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  • Writer's pictureEmma Shipley

Choosing Cruelty Free Products

Updated: Jul 27, 2019

By Rebecca Griffin

Around 10 years ago I stumbled across a photograph on social media that shocked me to the core. It showed the inside of a laboratory with beagles lined up, restrained and being forced to inhale toxic substances.

Now, I was aware that this had happened back in the ‘old days’ with cigarettes, when we (apparently) didn’t know any better, but this was a recent photo that opened up my mind to a whole other world that I naively knew very little about. I subsequently went on a mission to find out everything I possibly could about this horrific scene of abuse and cruelty. I felt that it was the very least I could do to raise awareness and be a voice for these imprisoned animals that were suffering terribly.

I stumbled across The Beagle Freedom Project and Run Free Alliance; two amazing charities that rescue laboratory beagles and campaign to end the abuse and murder of the beagles bred for lab testing.

What I found was enough to make me deeply upset and lose sleep, and it was enough to make me rethink every single item I was purchasing – I almost became obsessed! This was because I felt utterly helpless to the millions of animals (all species) born into this ‘business’ that seemed totally incomprehensible and unacceptable to me. I felt guilty that I had not been aware sooner. And I felt guilty that I had known about rodents in labs. Yes, I knew this was cruel and wrong, but somehow I felt different with the realisation that this was happening to dogs.

Why did dogs matter more? Because we are conditioned to believe that certain lives matter more than others and we only tend to think outside the box when we are alerted to something that questions our morals. What I realised is that all animals in labs suffer the same pain and fate of those dogs regardless of the species.

Cleaning products
How many of your household cleaning products are from brands that still test on animals? Replacing with cruelty free alternatives is easier than ever.

The majority of the people I knew hadn’t heard of the term ‘cruelty free’ when I started to bring it up in conversation with friends and family, apart from seeing an odd brand with ‘not tested on animals’ on the packaging.

Now, 10 years later, things are improving with people taking action as consumers. People are now making choices based on their morals and the empathy they feel towards those abused lab animals. Don’t get me wrong, lab tests are done in other industries and we sometimes cannot avoid the products that have been tested i.e. pharmaceuticals. But we can boycott the companies that test on animals for cosmetics and household products. There are so many options now that I no longer have to be obsessed and thoroughly check labels. I know my go-to brands that are no more expensive than the mainstream brands, and for me they are much better quality and a healthier choice all round.

By choosing cruelty free and vegan products you can be more ethical and know that no animals were harmed in the process.

For more information you can visit


If we know better, we have the choice to do better.


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