I bet you saw that image and thought to yourself: Great leaping lagomorphs, woman, are you still working on that Rabbit Raiser badge?!
In short, yes. Even though Brooke and I are tag-teaming on the Foods Badge this month (more on that exciting venture shortly!), I’m still not technically done with the world o’ bunnies since I just started volunteering with Bunny World Foundation a few weeks ago, so brace yourself for periodic tales o’ the fur.
Back to that image above: for a while now, I’ve tried to be more conscious when buying beauty and personal care products: Are they paraben-free? Are they organic? Are they cruelty-free? To be honest – sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t. Most of the super duper do-gooder stuff’s expensive, and I have some longtime favorite products that are just reallllllly hard to replace (I’m looking at you, face lotion).
However, spending time with the bunnies every week makes me realize that I really do want to make it a priority to purchase products that are not tested on animals during any step of the process (not just the final product itself, but every ingredient that goes into it – here’s a simple explanation that someone else wrote, so I don’t have to reinvent the blog wheel). But how to start?
I poked around the ol’ interwebs a bit and came up with two great resources – LeapingBunny.org’s guide to compassionate shopping and PETA’s search engine for cruelty-free companies. Then I sat down in my bathroom and made a list of every product I’m currently using and cross-referenced it with these websites.
I was actually surprised (and happy) to see that I already use a lot of cruelty-free products – and was downright shocked (and thrilled) to see that cheapo drugstore brand Wet n Wild was on PETA’s approved list, since their MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner is the best liquid eyeliner I’ve ever used in the history of ever (that that, Sephora)!
However, I wanted to cry into my makeup bag because I also learned that Neutrogena is not cruelty-free, and not only is their Dry-Touch Sunscreen my new favorite sun protectant in the universe, but I’ve been faithful to their face lotion since the day I first discovered that I actually needed to use face lotion, so many moons ago. Ugh. Trial-and-error isn’t so much fun when it’s happening on your face, but I suppose them’s the breaks – and I’d rather test out different products on me than slather that stuff on my face knowing that bun-buns and other animals have gone through much worse tests themselves.
The biggest issue I’ll probably face, however, is trying to replace my contact solution. I see that there’s one cruelty-free brand out there – Clear Conscience Multipurpose Solution – and it costs a whopping $10 a bottle. A regular-sized bottle. Of contact solution. That I can get generic at Target for $4.
I guess change ain’t cheap, is it? Maybe I can cut back on all of the other face / hair / body stuff that isn’t essential and spend my money on the stuff that is, knowing that I’m looking out for our four-footed friends in the process.
Speaking of cutting back on other stuff, I’m realizing that I’ll also have to say goodbye to my Birchbox subscription (That sound you hear? Oh, just me SOBBING FEROCIOUSLY.) For $10 a month, it’s been an awesome way to sneak fun little treats into my life and try out new products, but alas, there isn’t an option to receive only cruelty-free products and if I’m doing this, I’m DOING THIS. I see that there are quite a few earth mamma subscription boxes out in the world (Eco Emi, Goodebox, Conscious Box, Green Grab Bag, Petit Vour), but they’re all more expensive than Birchbox…so maybe I can just do without.
Anyways, moral of the story is – this is going to be hard. But maybe not as hard as I thought? If you have any experience in clearing out your cupboards* in the interest of going cruelty-free, paraben-free, organic, yadda yadda yadda, please drop me a line!
* I’m not technically “clearing out” my cupboards – I’ll just be replacing the animal-testy things with non-animal-testy things as they run out. I’m nothing if not a believer of using what you already have before buying something new – just ask my 2005 Honda Civic, my (admittedly non-functional) first generation iPod, my many multiple sweaters with holes in them…