Around 75%* of people in the EU and 79%** of people in the United States are against animal testing for cosmetics and support a law against this outdated and unneccessary practice.


 

Since 2009 there is even a testing and marketing ban in place for the EU, meaning no actual testing or selling of products that have been tested on animals within the EU or else where in the world.

Yet, there are still plenty of products that have been testend on animals on the European market, thanks to loopholes that allow tests on animals in China or other countries - as long as the data isn’t used to demonstrate product safety for EU standards. Furthermore, if a company is conducting animal tests in e.g. China for the Chinese market – animal testing in China is required (there have been developments in 2021, though: https://www.peta.org.uk/blog/cruelty-free-cosmetics-china/) – those products are still also sold in the EU. Other countries, like the US don't legally require animal testing for cosmetics, but the tests are still permitted.


You can see the dilemma and how the ban is not a guarantee for cruelty-free cosmetics, let alone a near end in sight for animal testing.

There are scientific limitations to animal tests (animals often respond differently than humans when exposed to the same chemicals) and results from animal tests can also be quite variable, even between two species (such as mice and rats) and difficult to interpret.


More importantly there are other ways.


Companies can use already tested and safe ingredients with a long history and no additional required tests. Or they can use any of the 50 non-animal tests that are already available, which can more closely mimic how humans respond to cosmetic ingredients and products; they are also often more efficient and cost-effective.

Since I feel like „animal testing“ is such a mainstream expression and doesn't really paint the picture, I want to go into a few details at this point - because it is not just an unneccesary but also cruel practice and those animals deserve to have their fate and stories heard and known.

Typically they use rats, mice, guinea pigs, or rabbits, who are purpose-bred in secretive facilities and who will never see the light of day or breathe fresh air. They are confined to cold and bleak cages in the laboratory with artificial light.

It's estimated that over 300,000 animals in China alone are used every year, but the global number is likely much higher. In the United States, a large percentage of the animals used in such testing (such as laboratory-bred rats and mice) are not counted in official statistics and receive no protection under the Animal Welfare Act.

Pregnant rabbits are force-fed ingredients before they are killed and disected to see if their offspring in the womb is deformed. For the Draize test rabbits are restrained, unable to move or wipe their eyes, while experimenters apply chemicals onto their eye. After the test is done, they are killed, usually by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation. For inhalation tests rats are squeezed into narrow tubes and forced to inhale substances for hours on end, sometimes daily for weeks or months. Then, they are killed and dissected.

Since there is no single globally accepted legal definition, the label „cruelty-free“ doesn't guarantee that a product has not been tested on animals or is vegan.


To differentiate: „cruelty-free“ means that none of the ingredients were tested on animals, whereas „vegan“ means none of the ingredients were derived from animals. So a vegan product can still have been tested on animals.




But let's get to the important part: What can you do to help end animal testing for cosmetics for good?

1. Obviously: Stop buying products that have been tested on animals

As these companies speak the language of money, we vote with our wallets. It has probably never been easier to avoid these products thanks to the internet and the following websites, who list companies that are truely „cruelty-free“ and don't conduct any animal tests. Cruelty-Free Kitty - List of Cruelty-Free Brands

Cruelty-Free Kitty - Cruelty-Free Brands on Amazon

Peta - Companies That Don't Test on Animals

Leaping Bunny - Compassionate Shopping Guide

As well as lists of companies who do still test on animals:

Cruelty-Free Kitty - Companies that Test on Animals Peta - Companies That Do Test on Animals


2. Let them know

The more complaints, the more pressure. Let companies know why you are boycotting them by sending E-Mails and urging them to stop this cruel practice. Cruelty-Free Kitty has an excellent guide plus E-Mail template you can use: Cruelty-Free Kitty - Make Brands Go Cruelty Free


3. Sign & share

It only requires a few minutes of your time to sign and share petitions and by spreading the word about an issue and collecting signatures that support a petition demanding change is like a snowball that is growing bigger and bigger until it can't be ignored anymore by the people in charge. Here are three petitions to start with, feel free to leave links in the comments if you have more!

Change.org - Ban Cosmetics Tested on Animals Now

Humane Society - Urge the government of South Africa to ban cosmetic testing on animals

Peta.de - Petition gegen Kosmetik Tierversuche


 

While researching I found Suzana Rose's Cruelty-Free Kitty Website where you can find endless information about this topic, but also beauty tips and tricks. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Other Sources:


https://www.peta.org.uk/features/animal-testing-cosmetics/

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/cosmetics-testing-faq#performed

https://www.peta.de/themen/tierversuche-kosmetik/


* https://www.tierrechte.de/2020/08/27/27-august-2020-repraesentative-umfrage-drei-viertel-der-eu-buerger-fuer-ausstieg-aus-dem-tierversuch/ ** https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/what-we-do/latest-news-and-updates/new-poll-reveals-us-united-against-cosmetics-animal-tests


Don't forget to keep learning, always do your own research and start acting! ✌︎

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“Do things not because they are easy, but because they are the right thing to do."

 

Who are you and what is your mission?


I’m a smiley surfing Aussie from a lush subtropical east-coast region of Australia. I grew up under pretty adventurous conditions, spearfishing, surfing, hiking and camping were a large part of my earliest formed memories. I studied a bachelor of science with a double major in Ecotourism and Climate Change Adaptation building upon my adventurous upbringing I developed a more analytical appreciation for the environment and all of the current challenges the ecosystems of the world are facing. I decided I wanted to live as low of an impact lifestyle as I can whilst exploring the possibilities that exist in the tech world, and using them to take control of my impact whilst completely testing them.

My mission is to show the world that there is no reason we cannot operate our societies off of renewable energy. I commenced on a journey last year to be the first to drive a solar powered electric camper-van from the Arctic Circle in Alaska all the way to Tierra Del Fuego in Argentina.



How did you get started and what were the obstacles you had to overcome?


I had owned an RV in the past before moving on to the current van that I own, so travelling in a van and incorporating those things was a super easy transition. I knew that I liked Vanlife, I just had to make it a little more authentic to my personal ethical standards. I got started on this project the day I was born really as everything in my life up until now has formed a base with which I use to make all this possible.


But I would say the biggest catalyst in beginning this particular project was a break-up and a death in the family. I had had the idea for this project and a subtle plan in my mind for around 5 years before I actually built up the courage to just make it all happen.



What advice would you give to somebody who is just getting started on their own mission/journey?


I would say to them that action is the most important thing. Doing is better than thinking, even if it’s bit by bit, day by day - action is the way that things happen.



What are the three most important lessons you've learned in life and on your journey so far?


1. Slow down, enjoy as much of everything as you are able.

2. Let go of things you can’t control.

3. Don’t stray too far from the ocean.



What do you do when you feel stuck, insecure, or overwhelmed?


I usually find the nearest body of water and go for a swim or a surf. If I can’t do that I try my best to feel how incredible it is that I am alive and able to feel any of those things that are disturbing me. I do this by taking moments of pause to recognise my current headspace, and learn to accept it as it is. Then I focus on my physical existence, my body, arms, legs, feet, toes, etc and I will try to return to what it is that I am trying to achieve. If I am not ready to take action I will repeat this as much as necessary or change tasks to something else that I am more capable of achieving in that current status or headspace.



What are three values you live by?


Do things not because they are easy, but because they are the right thing to do.


Honour your own personal rhythm, disrupt that rhythm only for people whose opinions you can trust.


Every hypothesis, philosophy or theory started as someone’s idea - regularly check your opinion against an ethical understanding of this statement, people are really good at selling their ideas as truth, which are not always helpful for living your life with purpose.



What is your definition of freedom? And what do you do to get there?


For me for now there are two prongs to freedom:


First is basic freedom. It is clean air, drinkable water and good healthy food. The supply of all of these basic needs gives me my basic freedom that I have never been without since the day I was born.


Second is more complicated, it is freedom of my mind, which is a lifelong journey that never really ends. It is hard work, I am trying to achieve this through doing the right thing with my life, strengthening my connection with the planet I live on and being kind to myself and others that I encounter during my life.



Who or what inspires you?


Nature is a huge inspiration for me, also humans are a big part of where I draw my inspiration. I would love to see a world where humans can live in harmony with our planet again. I couldn’t tell you one individual that inspires me, but here are a few: Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Han, Russel Brand, Kendrick Lamar, Bo Burhnam, Dr Bronx, My Friends and Family.



If you had one wish for the world, what would it be?


A modern sophisticated technological society that operates completely within the laws and limitations of a natural Ecology.



A closing sentence.


Make sure you go check out my project Route Del Sol on Youtube and Instagram, thanks for reading my responses I hope you got something out of it all.


 

If you want to know more about Joel and his mission, here is how you can connect with him:


www.routedelsol.com


Facebook: Route Del Sol

Instagram: @routedelsol

YouTube: Route Del Sol



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„Blessed are those brave enough to make things akward, for they wake us up and move us forward“ - Glennon Doyle


 


Untamed by Glennon Doyle


If you are new to the whole topic of personal development starting with „Untamed“ by Glennon Doyle is a good way to get into the mindset of breaking old rules and perspectives and replacing them with new ways to look at and deal with things. In regards to relationships with others, but also with ourselves and the world around us - all the expectations we think we have to meet instead of following our heart. Glennon herself has been on quite a journey herself and she tells little snippets of important moments and situations in her life. All of them with a little lesson for the reader.


"I was wild until I was tamed by shame. Until I started hiding and numbing my feelings for fear of being too much. Until I started deferring to others' advice instead of trusting my own intuition. Until I became convinced that my imagination was ridiculous and my desires were selfish. Until I buried who I was in order to become what I should be. I lost myself when I learned how to please." - Glennon Doyle, Untamed



Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty


If you are ready for more awareness and mindfulness training, „Think Like a Monk“ by Jay Shetty is up next. In his book he doesn't only explain the theory behind Monk-thinking, but also gives you little excersises and ways on how to incorporate it to your relationships and your own behaviour in every day, modern life. It helps you to overcome negative thinking and habits and to find your purpose and gift to the world.


"Remember, saying whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, is not freedom. Real freedom is not feeling the need to say these things." - Jay Shetty, Think Like a Monk
"Fear motivates us. Sometimes it motivates us toward what we want, but sometimes, if we aren’t careful, it limits us with what we think will keep us safe." - Jay Shetty, Think Like a Monk



A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle


I'd say this one is for the more spiritually advanced among yourselves. And at the same time, for some it might as well be a good start to dive right in – everything is explained in detail, all you need is to be open to new ideas and a broader view. To the world that lives inside of each of us.

You will learn about the Human Consciousness, The Ego and its' many faces, the Pain-Body, Inner Purpose ... just to name a few topics. If any of this sounds intriguing I'd say go for it!


“When faced with a radical crisis, when the old way of being in the world, of interacting with each other and with the realm of nature doesn't work anymore, when survival is threatened by seemingly insurmountable problems, an individual life-form -- or a species -- will either die or become extinct or rise above the limitations of its condition through an evolutionary leap.” - Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

 

And for my fellow Germans out there:


The two books I started with and that I mentioned in my Blog Post Learning How to Flow are by Laura Malina Seiler – „Schön, dass es dich gibt“ & „Mögest du glücklich sein“.


Next on the list is „Das Kind in dir muss Heimat finden“ by Stephanie Stahl, which open up the door to healing your inner child – a big and important step to self-liberation.

And lastly I myself read „Gefühle sind zum fühlen da“ by Safi Nidiaye. We all learn to surpress our feelings instead of reading them and finding out what they might try to tell us. So with this book you will get some insight about how to do it right and actually FEEL your feelings.

So have fun, let me know how it goes and if you have your own recommendations on books!


And as always, keep learning and stay curious! ✌︎

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