With more people making the switch to cruelty-free cosmetics when they’re not vegan, there’s an influx of “there’s no point in being cruelty-free if you’re not vegan” comments. Or “but you’re not really cruelty-free” comments. If you’re in this community then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Put simply, this is nonsense. Of course you can be cruelty-free without being vegan.
How can you be cruelty-free without being vegan?
Cruelty-free and vegan don’t mean the same thing.
If someone chooses to still consume animal products in their food, that’s up to them. I know a number of cruelty-free bloggers who aren’t vegan; some aren’t vegetarian either. This is an individual choice and it’s really not our place to judge.
You’re assuming everyone can go vegan
Some people can’t go vegan because of their health. Don’t even think about giving me “but being vegan is healthier!” – you don’t know their life. You don’t know what health issues they’re facing that makes changing their diet difficult, or in some cases impossible.
Some people simply don’t want to be a vegan. That’s okay too.
That doesn’t mean the impact they’re having on showing a demand for cruelty-free cosmetics is any less valid.
Small steps are better than no steps
Some effort is better than no effort. It’s not hypocritical for someone to eat meat but choose to purchase cruelty-free products. Change happens over time, and it’s not realistic for any vegan to judge someone for not making that change as fast as they’d like them to. You might have made that change overnight, but this isn’t always practical.
I’ve spoken about this in this post on medication, cosmetics and animal testing but this is about doing your best – not about being perfect.
How do you know that going cruelty-free isn’t going to be what eventually makes someone choose to become vegan? This is actually the case for many now-vegans, their going cruelty-free is what made them make that change.
It’s time to have some actual compassion
Compassion for animals isn’t enough. If your compassion doesn’t extend to other human beings, then it’s not really worth much at all. This isn’t a hard concept. The world can already be a pretty unpleasant place to be without comments judging someone else’s lifestyle.
Not vegan or cruelty-free yourself?
Then your reasoning for thinking you can judge someone on making more of an effort than you are on the back of a postcard, please.