I think some people will agree that it's difficult to try and actively participate in charity events in our busy schedules, as well as trying to donate on a regular basis when one slaps their hand to their forehead when they see this month's heating bill. Which is why, as I suggested in a previous post, one way of trying is by making it a part of our daily lives.
One of the ways we can do this, especially us women, is to think about what beauty and skin products we use.
Since there is a now an EU Official ban on animal testing since March 2013 it may seem safer to buy European brands, but it's difficult to say as animal testing is still legal in countries such as China, and some brands may continue to have their products tested there. As I found on this post at 'People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' website, we must beware of companies "concealing the whole truth from customers".
In terms of Japan, being in Asia, though appearing to have a few laws, things are rather blurred when it comes to animal testing. It was difficult for me to find some sort of solid source stating that animal testing is illegal or banned here, which leads to me thinking it isn't (one source here). If you clicked the link above for the post at the PETA site, you'll see that big Japanese brand 'Shiseido' eliminated animal testing quite recently, but it's only "mostly". Therefore, unless the company boldly states it is animal testing-free, background research is needed to find "cruelty free" Japanese cosmetics.
I will admit that, because at one point last year I wasn't earning a lot of money, I had to resort to cheap make up and skincare, one of them being the Korean brand 'ETUDE HOUSE'. I researched into this brand, and found that though "customer services claim that they don't test on animals, their head offices were unable to confirm further". Their uncertain response has made me certain that I won't be buying their products again, also as I hear that Korean beauty products sold in Japan are not safe (though I'll post about that another time).
You can find a list of beauty products that are cruelty free and sold in Korea at this website.
As a result, I have decided in myself that I will try and stick mostly to buying products which openly and confidently state that they;
- have never tested their products on animals and do not plan to do so
- uses organic, natural ingredients not containing any substance of animals in a way that may harm them
- support fairtrade
The ironic yet wonderful thing is that two of those companies are British!
Yet, everyone's skin type and make-up preference is different, as is mine. Although I wish to stick with these three, I would still like to find the best products that fit me. In that case, I will search for other products, but make sure I do background research. Check out this great link which lists all Japanese companies that are animal cruelty free, as it lists cleaning products, baby care products and even toothpaste!
It now leaves me looking at my still-in-use Japanese make up products with unease (especially as I found out that Kanebo still test on animals). When I think of money and waste, I don't want to throw it away, but I will feel a bit sick when I put my usual eyeliner on my eyelid. Though, when I think of the pain the animal went through, or how many poor animals were lost to create such product, I feel like I must use the product till the end for the sake of those poor souls.