For many people, going to college is their first taste of an adult life. You have to work around your own schedule, make your own meals, and you can’t pile up your laundry until your mom ends up eventually doing it. In the midst of all of these daily activities, in combination with balancing school, health and a social life, it is hard to find time to invest in other activities, let alone something as basic as shopping for makeup and beauty products. However, what many people do not realize is that their choices at the store actually affect much more than just their lives. Being aware of the products that you are buying and using could save hundreds of animal’s lives.
As an avid animal lover, I always feel a huge amount of remorse any time I accidentally step on my cat’s tail or leave my dog home alone for more than a couple hours—an emotion that I know many other individuals can relate to as well. Nobody I know would ever want to purposely hurt a little rabbit or any other animal. Despite this, millions of mice, rodents, dog, cats, and farm animals are mistreated and actually killed each year due to brand testing that is done behind closed doors, funded by purchases made by all of us in our day to day life. Although this is hard to hear and a problem which is impossible to eradicate all at once, very small lifestyle changes can actually have a huge impact on the safety and rights of all animals along with promoting a more ethical treatment of all creatures to better their quality of life.
You can make a difference simply by looking at the back of the packaging of a product before you buy it. In most cases, companies that do not perform animal testing will have “cruelty free” or “this product is not tested on animals” written on the back, generally in a top or bottom corner. If you cannot find the label or are unsure, there are plenty of great resources online which list out products and companies which still test on animals which you can find just by Google searching. One that I find very quick and easy to use is at peta.org, under the section “living” and “beauty”. In addition to the fact that certain products and brands are cruelty free, they are also awesome because most of them end up being more organic, locally sourced, and having fewer chemicals—something really beneficial to individuals with sensitive skin, especially when you are already dealing with the stress of school, work, and everything else. Along with this, a lot of the products that are cruelty free are also a lot cheaper (a win-win for a broke college student like myself).
With all this being said, there is no reason to feel like you have to go out and replace everything you own with new products that are not tested on animals. Everyone has their own preferences and circumstances which influence their consumerism. However, when looking at the bigger picture, it definitely seems worthwhile to take small steps and make small changes if you are aware of what is going on and know that your decisions can ease the suffering of a furry friend!