This is a post that’s been a long time coming, I just never knew which angle to write it from. After seeing a fairly concerning discussion over the last few days, I’ve decided that now is the time to address this subject. Today I’m talking about animal testing in regards to both medication and cosmetics.
A post did the rounds on Twitter the other night, though I don’t want this to be seen as “calling anyone out” – because that’s not what this is. Instead, this is the perspective of a disabled person who makes a conscious effort to buy cruelty-free cosmetics. I hope it’s common knowledge for regular readers by now that I am both disabled and mentally ill. Because of this, I take multiple medications multiple times a day. I do this to survive. I choose to buy only cruelty-free cosmetics because it’s one of the many issues close to my heart.
I’ve always told myself I wouldn’t let my thoughts on disability rights and animal rights cross over. I know a change in the laws regarding animal testing and medication isn’t going to happen in my lifetime. It isn’t fair to myself or other disabled people to try to cross them over. This is a lifestyle about doing your best, and you can’t do your best when you don’t have the necessary treatment to function. I want to make it clear that I don’t want anyone to feel guilty about taking medication they need, nor am I asking anyone to stop doing so.
But there’s also a big issue in the non-cruelty-free community that relies on the premise of “if I can’t do my 100% best, there’s no point in trying at all”.
It’s 2017, I think we all agree that animal testing for any purpose is cruel and inhumane. Except there’s a massive difference here. Sometimes medications are needed to keep a person alive, to keep them functioning. Cosmetics are completely optional; something we can all live without. Not only that, but in the UK only one of these is a legal requirement – and it’s not for cosmetic purposes.
But also, do people not hear how lazy that sounds?
It’s impossible to be perfect at anything, so with that logic why do any of us bother doing anything at all?
This isn’t about being perfect. It’s about doing your best. It’s about trying to reduce harm to as many animals as we can. That doesn’t even mean you have to be vegan – or even vegetarian – or stop wearing leather goods. Please do not stop taking the medication you need. It certainly doesn’t make you a hypocrite for “picking and choosing”. Some kind of effort is better than no effort at all.
It’s completely fine if yours and my ethics don’t align. I’m just sick and tired of hearing “it’s impossible to be perfect” as an excuse to not bother at all. You don’t care? Say you don’t. I’m sure most of us would respect that more than “it’s too hard to bother”.
You do not need to throw away all of your non-cruelty-free makeup and go out and repurchase everything in its cruelty-free form. There’s no need to be wasteful. Use things up, and then replace it with something that is cruelty-free. It’s taken me well over a year to have a completely cruelty-free makeup collection.
I’m really not asking anyone to justify why they still but non-cruelty-free cosmetics because I simply don’t care what their reasoning is. It is not necessary for an animal to be injured and killed just so you can look pretty. Especially when there’s a plethora of options out there you could get the same results from.
Change is never going to happen if we all just sit around saying “well this sucks and I don’t agree with it” without actually taking any action.
I do genuinely enjoy helping people find alternatives to what they’re currently using and answering questions on this topic, so everyone is always welcome to @ me on Twitter. If you’re new to the cruelty-free lifestyle and don’t want to talk to me after this, check out Nadia, Steph, Brianne, and Tara, who are all smashing it lately.