How To Live A Cruelty Free Lifestyle Checklist
This article How To Live A Cruelty Free Lifestyle Checklist, is so important and something I am very passionate about as I believe even small steps can have a big impact! Many people love animals and hate the thought of them suffering at the hands of us ‘human beings’, but the idea of converting over to living a cruelty-free lifestyle seems hard, complicated and just too much of an effort.
Thankfully I know from personal experience that it really doesn’t have to be that way at all. Deciding to live a cruelty-free lifestyle these days is really much easier than you may think and I believe that even if you just do a couple of the things outlined on my Cruelty-Free Lifestyle Checklist below, then you will still be making a very positive and life-saving difference to so many of the animals that are being hurt, abused and slaughtered for the sake of human indulgence.
Cruelty-Free Lifestyle Checklist
For all your personal care, beauty, household, garden and pet cleaning products, this includes things like toothpaste, deodorants, nail-polishes, baby wipes, sunscreens, pet shampoo, hair dyes and even hair removal products. When I say to ‘shop humanely’ I don’t just mean reading the bottles and boxes to see if they state on them that they are cruelty free, as sadly this isn’t enough, as many companies are not entirely honest about their cruelty-free stance; e.g. the finished product might not be tested on animals, but the ingredients were tested – see article Animal Testing Do Your Part To Stop It.
Cruelty-Free Australian Companies
I personally recommend you always consult the Choose Cruelty Free List at ChooseCrueltyFree.org.au before you buy your products and download their handy CCF App to your phone. Although they list predominately, but by know means only, Australian and New Zealand brands, there are plenty of brands and products that are available over in Asia, America and Europe too.
Cruelty-Free International Companies
If you live in the US or Europe and you are unsure about a product, please first consult ChooseCrueltyFree‘s list, as many brands are internationally available and it is the only list I can ethically recommend you use. If you can’t find what you need on the Choose Cruelty Free list in your own country, then the alternative is to check out this cruelty-free shopping guide Leaping Bunny List.
Please note, that the Leaping Bunny List is not as strict in it’s criteria for companies applying for cruelty-free certification as ChooseCrueltyFree is. Some of the companies on Leaping Bunny are owned by parent companies that test on animals. Also Leaping Bunny are not as strict as Choose Cruelty Free in regards to what animal ingredients are allowed in products and what are not. Choose Cruelty Free goes that extra step ethically, to ensure that animals are not being slaughtered for the cosmetic industry.
Please understand that I am by no means undermining PETA. I commend PETA for it’s amazing work helping animals all over the world, but I can’t recommend you shop from the companies listed on their cruelty-free shopping guide, as currently their criteria for listing companies is sadly just not strict enough and many of the companies listed on are ethically questionable. Again, were possible, I advise only using the Choose Cruelty Free List, as you can be sure that none of the companies on their list are owned by bigger parent companies that are still testing on animals.
Shopping Humanely (step 2.)
Consulting the Choose Cruelty Free List is your first step in the right direction, but your second step is to then make sure these cruelty free companies that you choose to shop from are using, wherever possible, ethically sourced, eco-friendly and if possible certified organic ingredients, such as being certified palm oil free and free of toxic and environmentally polluting chemicals free e.g. no petrochemicals, dioxins, formaldehyde, parabens, sulphates etc. As even if the company doesn’t test directly on animals, if the ingredients they use are toxic or destroying natural habitats, then yes, they are still harming animals greatly.
Cruelty-Free Vegan & Vegetarian Food Choices
Choosing to go vegan is obviously the most humane and cruelty-free choice for living a healthier, cruelty-free life. For those not willing, or unable to go vegan; e.g suffering from food intolerance’s, the 2nd most humane eating choice is being an ethically conscious, vegetarian. This means knowing where your dairy and eggs comes from and ensuring the animals are kept humanely.
For vegans and vegetarians, eating humanely means trying where possible to choose to eat only certified, bio-dynamic and organic produce. Alternatively try growing your own organic veggies – see How To Start Your Own Organic Veggie Patch.
Remember if you choose conventional produce, even if it’s vegan, then it is not just yourself that is digesting toxic pesticides, fungicides, antibiotics, GMO crops and more, it is also the animals, plant life, soil, air and waterways that are being poisoned. Have a read of Why Organic Food Really Is Healthier.
Fact- When my family changed our lifestyle over to organic vegetarian, our food bill barely went up. The reason for this is choosing to eat healthier, means you buy less processed, packaged and junk food, which when all added up together into a weekly shop can get pretty expensive. Another great thing is buying fresh organic produce means less packaging and production pollution to the planet and this is definitely a great cruelty-free choice to make!
Did you know that many well respected health experts believe veganism or vegetarianism is a much healthier way to eat – see article Eating Meat The Unhealthy Truth and article Why Cows Milk Is Bad For Us!
With egg production even in the process of organic egg production, roughly 50% of all chicks hatched are males and unwanted and therefore killed at one day old, either by gassing or being ground up alive. So raising your own happy, free-ranging, small backyard brood of egg laying hens is the most humane option. There are plenty of hens needing rescuing.
Be careful when buying free-range egg as many egg farms get away legally with calling their eggs ‘free-range’, when by humane standards the so-called free-ranging that these hens have barely conforms to even a remotely, humane standard.
Always choose certified bio-dynamic or in second place, certified organic, free-range eggs is a better option. I also recommend that you choose which certified egg brand to purchase by first checking out their farms website. If there is nothing to hide, these organic certified egg farmers, will freely show you live chook cams and photos of their farms and how the chickens are kept.
Cruelty-Free Dairy Foods A Myth
It pays to remember that sadly cruelty still happens even in the process of bio-dynamic and organic dairy production. All organic and bio-dynamic dairy animals that need to be slaughtered, are still transported to be killed in abattoirs, which is terrifying for them. Secondly Bobby Calves (male calves) born at organic and biodynamic farms are still an unwanted mouth to feed and are also slaughtered. See Bobby Calves Animals Australia. That being said the life of a dairy cow or egg-laying hen on a truly organic or biodynamic farm, is a lot better than on a factory farm.
Eating Meat Can Never Be Cruelty-Free, But You Can Choose To Do It More Humanely.
Although I wish differently, I understand that not everyone is going to give up eating fish and meat, so I urge those of you who remain meat and fish eaters to do this as ethically and humanely as you possibly can and to limit the amount of animals you consume.
Did you know for those who eat red meat, it is recommend that you eat no more than two palm sized serves of lean meat a week. How many meat eaters do you know that are sticking to this quota? Just imagine the positive cruelty-free impact this would have if everyone all over the world decided to limit their meat intake to this amount!
For people choosing to eat animal products, then eating humanely means making sure wherever possible that you choose certified organic, or even better certified bio-dynamic, ‘truly’ free range products.
For those who still choose to eat fish and seafood, be very aware and research and be sure to only choose the most sustainable and humanely fished products. Check out Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, this is a great place to help you make better, ethical seafood choices.
Eating Humanely Out & About
Means taking that extra conscious step when you are dining out. Where possible go for the vegetarian or vegan options. Unless your are dinning in an organic restaurant, 99% of the time you can be sure the animal products come from mass production factory style farming.
If you are going to eat eggs out, then first ask the restaurant before ordering whether they use free-range eggs and if they say they don’t, then the cruelty-free thing to do is to choose not to order them. Tell the restaurant that you only will ever eat free-range eggs as it all comes down to supply and demand. By voicing up, you the patron, is showing the restaurant owner that there is a demand for free-range eggs and he/she may just change over to them.
Eating humanely when dining out means never eating cruelly obtained and produced animal products; e.g. foie gras. It means when traveling overseas, opting for a vegan or vegetarian meal unless you are certain of how the animals you are eating have been raised. More often than not, you will have absolutely no idea of the state of the welfare of the animals before they ended up on your plate and quite honestly in most instances, you would be horrified if you did know.
Cruelty-Free Clothing – Dressing Humanely
Means never buying real animal furs or skins; e.g. this includes snake skin boots and handbags, lambskin ugg boots, pony hair or calf skin shoes and also hair accessories and toys with real fur trim etc. Generally, to check if a product is using real fur, part the the fur and see if their is a woven fabric mesh underneath, or if it looks like a whitish skin then it is skin. This is not a fool proof method, so if in doubt do not buy.
- Dressing humanely means not buying silk, that is unless you know the silk was humanely harvested, once the silk worm had naturally left it’s cocoon.
- Dressing humanely means not buying wool products unless you are absolutely sure about how the sheep and alpacas have been raised and treated. There are some ethical alpaca wools for example.
- Dressing humanely means to be more aware. Choosing organically grown cotton and sustainably grown plantation bamboo, or hemp, clothing, towels and bedding products are more humane and healthier for you the planet and the animals.
If you choose to wear leather, wool and silk the most humane way is to opt to buy second-hand from op shops.
Choosing Pets Humanely
Means never buying from pet shops of from backyard breeders. The best way to choose a new pet is through adopting one through either a reputable shelter or through re-homing and pet rescue organizations like, petrescue.com.au.
Be aware of the products you feed, treat,wash and groom your pets with. The most humane way to feed an animal would be either to own vegan pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. For those of us that own dogs and cats then yes, obviously a vegan balanced diet obviously, such as Veganpet is the most humane feeding option, but especially for cats who are true carnivores this is a bad choice, as cats need and are designed for meat protein.
Therefore for carnivorous pets an organic pet food is going to be your best ethical option e.g. Augustine Approved, Bio Pet or Baliz Woof Woof are some of the ones that I would recommend. When it comes to grooming products Organi Pet by Organic Formulations is our favourite cruelty free dog and cat grooming products.
More On How To Live A Cruelty-Free Life
Other things you can do to live a cruelty-free lifestyle is to be more eco-friendly in everything you choose to purchase and use, be it stationary, building materials, toys, books, furniture, paints, gardening products, including composts and fertilizers etc. Always try to choose natural and sustainable options.
Consumerism is destroying our planet and the billions of life forms that inhabit it at an alarming rate and therefore, before impulse buying, stop and think, do I really need it? If you decide you do, ask yourself, is there a more natural, sustainable option, (this is were the internet is your best friend).
Even by refusing plastic bags when shopping helps animals a great deal and helps you live a more cruelty-free lifestyle. This easy and simple act, means you are helping to reduce the amount of plastic bags being manufactured, which mean less production pollution and less chance of them ending up in our oceans and being able to harm marine animals.
We can all make a positive difference even if we take tiny steps in the right direction, but the bigger the steps the better!
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