The Fulfilling Journey of Ethical Choices: A 2024 Beginner’s Guide To A Cruelty-Free Lifestyle
As we step into 2024, the call for conscious living and ethical choices becomes ever more significant. Adopting a cruelty-free lifestyle is a powerful way to align your values with your everyday decisions. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore eight practical steps to help you transition into cruelty-free living seamlessly.
- Use Up What You Already Have:
The first step to a cruelty-free lifestyle is right in your hands. This has been said many times before, but unfortunately, we still see comments such as “Trashing it right now!” by people who discover a certain product they own is not cruelty-free. Much of the conventional makeup packaging is not recyclable, so throwing it away unnecessarily is cruel to the planet without making any positive impact, as you already paid for that product. By finishing what you have, you minimize waste and transition gradually into cruelty-free alternatives. As you finish each product, replace it with a cruelty-free alternative, turning your beauty routine into an effortless and sustainable evolution.
It could also be the case that after learning about animal testing practices you find it hard to continue using products from some brands – if so, we encourage donating these products to a family member or a friend.
- Go Beyond Makeup and Skincare:
Although you might be most aware of the use of the term “cruelty-free” in the realm of cosmetics, the truth is that a much wider spectrum of products is being tested on animals. Ideally, cruelty-free living should extend to every corner of your daily routine, although every change makes a positive impact. You can begin by researching cruelty-free alternatives in every facet of your daily routine, including household items, cleaning and personal hygiene products, and even clothing.
- Change Gradually:
Ethical burnout is a real thing. Also known as eco-anxiety (in people who aim to live fully sustainably), trying to apply too many changes in your consumer practices too fast, puts you at risk of moral distress that can easily turn into depressive moods if not managed. Change your habits and the items you own gradually, one product at a time. Whether it's replacing your shampoo or opting for cruelty-free cleaning supplies, each small step contributes to a significant impact over time.
- Don’t Try to Be Perfect:
Embracing cruelty-free living is not an all-or-nothing endeavour. Going cruelty-free is a process that should be enjoyed, not a destination. Understand that you might encounter setbacks, but it's the continuous effort that counts. There may be instances when you accidentally purchase a product by a brand that tests on animals (although this cannot happen when you shop at Cruelty-Free Babe) – try not to overwhelm yourself with the feeling of guilt, as this is a common occurrence when you are just starting. Celebrate your progress and learn from each experience, cultivating a mindset of growth and compassion towards not only our animal friends, but also towards yourself.
- Don’t Trust What the Brands Say:
Brands that test on animals take advantage of the lack of regulatory laws around the use of the “cruelty-free” label. Just because you see this label on the product or a brand’s website, it doesn’t mean it is true. Don't solely rely on labels or marketing claims; delve deeper into a company's policies and practices, but also make use of the number of credible resources and organisations that have done the heavy lifting for us and thoroughly vetted the brands in order to know which ones test on animals, and which don’t. Get acquainted with the different resources and cruelty-free logos. The more you learn, the easier the changes become.
- Decide What Cruelty-Free Means for You:
Even though ethical cosmetics are widely demanded and talked about, there is still no legal regulation of how the term can be used. This means that brands who wants to advertise as cruelty-free while testing on animals, can do this without facing any legal consequences – and this is what some of them do. This has led ethical consumers and animal welfare advocates to adopt their own definitions of the term. So, while cruelty-free for some people means that the brand doesn’t test on animals, others take a broader approach to include testing practices of parent companies, or even the use of animal ingredients in products (vegan vs. non-vegan) or the brand’s supply chain. Some people would disagree with this advice, as they believe there should be a single definition of what cruelty-free means, the one that reflects their own. At Cruelty-Free Babe, we welcome these differences in opinion and encourage beginners to start with the approach that feels comfortable to them, while slowly considering more ethical criteria.
- Give Smaller Brands a Chance:
Large or small, many brands are dedicated to cruelty-free practices. Big-name brands may dominate the market, but smaller, independent brands often lead the way in cruelty-free innovation. Give these smaller brands a chance – they often embody passion, transparency, and a genuine commitment to ethical practices, without compromising the quality of their products. Give smaller brands a chance to shine.
- Share Your Journey:
Transformative journeys are best shared. Engage with your community, friends, and family by talking about what you learned and exchanging knowledge, sharing it on social media, or joining groups of like-minded people who are making the same changes in their lifestyles. By opening up, you not only create a support system but also inspire others to join the cruelty-free movement.
As a bonus tip, and perhaps the easiest of all, we highly recommend starting your shift at Cruelty-Free Babe. The primary purpose of our web shop is precisely to help both cruelty-free newbies and experts (but also any beauty lovers) to find ethical products without spending hours doing research and trying to verify the cruelty-free status of different brands. Cruelty-Free Babe was created to take the pressure off and provide a safe space where ethical treatment of animals is the norm.
In conclusion, it is helpful to remember that cruelty-free is not only something you buy or consume - it is a way of living that should be researched, grown with patience, nurtured, shared and enjoyed, and will likely become a part of you that you will be most proud about.