One of the most important things you should consider when switching to cruelty-free products is whether you want to support a brand that’s owned by a parent company that tests on animals.
Giant multinational conglomerates with questionable ethics are buying up cruelty-free brands like hotcakes as the once-small niche has steadily been gaining popularity. You might be surprised to learn that Method is owned by SC Johnson; Seventh Generation is owned by Unilever; and NYX is owned by L’Oréal.
Whether you’re going cruelty-free as a protest in the form of a boycott or doing it as a matter of personal integrity, it’s important to take a parent company’s animal testing policy into consideration.
Cruelty-free shoppers can have differing views when it comes to this issue: should brands such as Urban Decay, NYX, and Kat Von D Beauty still be considered cruelty-free?
Profits go to the parent company
As consumers, our money is our power. When we purchase a product from a cruelty-free brand with parent company, our money doesn’t stop with them; it travels up to the big guys at the top. This means that when you purchase Kat Von D products, you’re really giving your money to LVMH.
This is troublesome because it means that giving your support to a cruelty-free brand can indirectly fund further animal testing by their parent company.
From a personal integrity standpoint, if we’re against animal testing and we have the option to choose a cruelty-free brand that doesn’t have a cruel parent company, we should be giving our money to those brands first, right?
That being said, sometimes it’s impossible to find truly cruelty-free companies in your area. In those rare cases, I recommend either trying to buy directly from that company’s website or if all else fails, supporting cruelty-free brands that are owned by animal testing parent companies only as a last resort.
Choosing to buy from totally cruelty-free brands sends a powerful message
While some would argue that we should support cruelty-free brands of parent companies that test on animals to send a message to those parent companies that will hopefully get them to change, I disagree.
I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior.
I do, however, believe in rewarding good behavior.
There are literally hundreds of cruelty-free companies and brands that aren’t owned by parent companies that test on animals. These truly cruelty-free companies are consciously turning down higher profits in favor of staying true to their ethics. This is a big deal and it’s why I believe we should be rewarding ethical businesses FIRST.
We send a much stronger message to companies that test on animals by giving our money to their cruelty-free competitors than we ever could by supporting the cruelty-free brands in their portfolio.
By giving our dollars only to totally cruelty-free companies, a loud and clear message is sent to the entire industry: we consumers truly value cruelty-free products; we care about the ethics behind those products; we have plenty of options; and we will not compromise.
These brands are still trying
Situations aren’t always perfect. Because these brands are still individually cruelty-free despite being owned by cruel parent companies, they should remain a last resort if finding truly cruelty-free companies has proven impossible in your area.
Ultimately, supporting cruelty-free brands owned by companies that test on animals is better than purchasing from brands that aren’t cruelty-free, but supporting cruelty-free brands that aren’t owned by companies that test on animals is ideal.
This is why I’ve curated a list of cruelty-free & vegan brands that are ALL 100% vegan and 100% cruelty-free at every level — from parent company to subsidiary brand to ingredient manufacturer.