Cruelty Free Philosophy

My Cruelty-Free Philosophy (What I Consider Cruelty-Free)

Everyone’s definition of cruelty-free seems to be somewhat different, so I feel it’s important to clarify what kinds of products I consider to be cruelty-free. Firstly, and most importantly, the company itself (not necessarily the parent company) must not test their final products on animals either directly or through a third party. They also must not test their ingredients on animals, again either themselves or by hiring someone else to conduct tests. This is the main essential for me to consider a product cruelty-free, but other factors can play into my decision as well.

On the subject of parent companies, I aim to purchase brands that are fully clear of animal testing, but it is not a requirement. I do not insist that a cruelty-free brand have a cruelty-free parent company. For example, The Body Shop I consider to be a wonderful cruelty-free brand, yet they are owned by L’Oreal who is not cruelty-free. I choose not to hold the sins of the parent company against an often smaller brand that has retained their independent cruelty-free status.

As far as animal ingredients, I do not insist on Vegan products. I still consider products with animal by-products to be cruelty-free. However, if an animal is harmed (and I suppose “harmed” is a debatable topic as well) in the process of obtaining an ingredient, I do not consider it cruelty-free. I suppose an exception to this would be Carmine, which is a colorant derived from crushed beetles. I suspect the beetles are already dead and, yes it’s quite disgusting, but I will include products containing Carmine among my cruelty-free choices. I really cannot think of many other examples where this occurs, but I will include products that include ingredients like lanolin or beeswax as well.

Finally on the issue of “cruelty-free” companies that may not test their products on animals in the United States, but knowingly allow animal testing of their products in countries where it is required by law (like China), I will not purchase products from these brands. Since many brands have made the decision to enter some of these markets, it does eliminate a number of companies, but there are still many wonderful alternatives to products made by these not-quite cruelty-free companies.

If there is ever any question, or you have information which conflicts with my findings of a company’s cruelty-free status, please feel free to email me at so I can try to decipher the “truth” about a company or product.

Also, please keep in mind that, though I try to update older posts, it is easy to miss posts or be unaware of a change in every company policy. If you see a post that you believe has since changed and no longer meets the criteria set out here, please email me or leave a comment with your concerns so that I can address the issue.


Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by my blog, and I hope you enjoy the contents!

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