Parent Company That Tests On Animals: Why It Matters

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.


Cruelty-Free Resources


  • I disagree with this.

    Is it bad to buy vegan burgers from McDonald’s too? Is it bad to buy vegan products from a supermarket that also sells meat products?

    We’re trying to CHANGE companies

    • I understand what you’re saying. Some vegans are fine eating anywhere there are vegan options; some people aren’t even vegan but want to have a vegan meal every once in a while; and some vegans would prefer to support companies with an ethical backbone which are 100% cruelty-free and vegan. Everyone already knows about vegan options at fast food chains. The purpose of these lists is to help people to support companies with an ethical backbone which wouldn’t ordinarily get nearly as much attention, support, and business as the businesses you’re describing.

      I’m not here to force anyone to do anything. I’m simply here to help connect anyone who wants to support ethical cruelty-free and vegan companies anywhere from 1% of the time to 100% of the time.

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