Introducing our new “Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty” badge! This badge signifies that the company on whose website it is displayed is committed to a cruelty-free business, and when displayed on an individual’s site, that the individual is committed to only purchasing truly cruelty-free products. Here’s what Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty means:
Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty: Being cruelty-free because it is a core belief of your company and one that cannot be compromised. Not up for negotiation or policy change.
Opportunistically Cruelty-Free Beauty: Being cruelty-free because it is not necessary to test on animals at the time, fits within laws in the countries in which the beauty products are sold, and because it’s recognized as a valuable marketing tool. Open to negotiation and policy change.
In light of news that has surfaced regarding the fact that Estee Lauder, Mary Kay and Avon are paying for their products to be tested on animals in China, we realize that many who previously used their products in good conscious, or so they thought, would be outraged. These companies were previously listed as “cruelty-free” on many of the lists that are compiled by large, non-profit animal welfare groups. But if you take a look at some of these company’s declarations on their websites, they leave a lot of wiggle room:
Estee Lauder: The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.
Now look at Mary Kay: Mary Kay does not support animal testing. Mary Kay is committed to the elimination of animal testing and is a strong advocate of utilizing alternative methods to substantiate the safety of our ingredients and products. We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor do we ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law.
Both sound eerily similar.
Avon has done a fantastic job of feigning corporate responsibility as a distraction from these practices. Launching “Avon Hello Green Tomorrow”, they have an entire website devoted to corporate responsibility and claim that they are “mobilizing a global environmental movement to nurture nature and help end deforestation.“ A large chunk of their proceeds goes to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Can they truly be committed to the environment, nature and its inhabitants when they are allowing needless product testing to be performed on animals?
And this is where a very clear distinction arises: opportunistic vs. intentional. On this very website we have reviewed scores of vegetarian beauty product companies who are cruelty-free because that is a core belief of their value system. These are companies that, unlike Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder, would refuse the net gain in return for selling out their values. These companies are both large and small businesses, all united by this common anti-cruelty policy. These companies are intentionally cruelty-free.
Opportunistic cruelty-free companies, such as Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder are able to call themselves cruelty-free because they happen to fit that criteria by the laws in the United States, or because only their United States operations are cruelty-free. But if the opportunity for a new market arises and they must compromise these claimed commitments to being cruelty-free to benefit their bottom line, they will do so. They do it quietly, and have conned their consumers into thinking that “cruelty-free” is a core value. But it is not. And that is the critical distinction between beauty product companies who are cruelty free opportunistically versus companies that are cruelty free by intention.
We at Vegetarian Beauty Products make this commitment from this day forward:
Our reviewed beauty products will be from companies who have made it very clear, either by their own company mission and practices, or correspondence with us directly, that they are intentionally cruelty-free. We will only support companies who are intentionally cruelty-free in their beliefs, their mission and their daily operational practices. We ask that you do the same. By adding our “Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty” badge, you will stand with the rest of us in supporting companies who are working hard to promote the cause, and not those who are riding their coattails.
To display our “Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty” badge on your site, just copy this code:
Thank you for joining us in this important movement, and supporting companies that are truly environmentally conscious, and cruelty-free with intention!