And again, this is proving difficult. About a month ago, I neared the end of my shampoo and conditioner supply and knew that I would finally be able to replace the old Pantene Pro-V, a Proctor and Gamble product, with something from a cruelty-free company. I’ve written about Proctor & Gamble previously – they do test on animals. Instead of being smart about my replacements, however, I “saved on time” and went to the store without doing my research. Well, I did do research, on some other shampoo/conditioner companies, but their products are SOOO expensive for really small bottles. And I have thick, curly hair. So, while it is quite short at the moment, I still need to use more shampoo and conditioner than most people. Money does play a factor.
Anyway, while looking around the shelves at a drug store, I stumbled across TRESemmé. The back of their shampoo and conditioner bottles say THIS PRODUCT IS NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS. Awesome! I remember using these products as a kid and they seemed to work alright. Since I have been using this new combo, my hair does feel softer, which is a new feeling to me – thick, curly, hair doesn’t always lend itself to softness. My take on the product is that it is actually removing all my natural oils from my hair as well, because its definitely not been the same since switching. I don’t think I like that, personally.
As I set out to write my blog post this evening about this company that “doesn’t test on animals,” I wanted to make sure I had all the facts, so I did some research, and this is what I found on TRESemmé’s website (Unilever is their parent company):
Animal testing is a contentious issue, and there are strong and diverse opinions on the need for animal testing to underpin the development of new consumer products, particularly cosmetics. Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world. Where we are legally obliged to commission animal studies, we ensure that the minimum numbers of animals are used.
Unilever is committed to the elimination of animal testing for its business, and is at the forefront of research into non-animal approaches for assessing consumer safety. Currently, a very small amount of animal testing is still necessary to deliver innovative products that provide consumer benefits and are market competitive.
At Unilever, using non-animal approaches is the norm. Most of our products reach consumers without testing any of their ingredients on animals. We do not test our actual products on animals (any testing is undertaken on individual ingredients), and we do not undertake animal testing in our own laboratories (any studies are conducted by third party laboratories). A few countries still undertake product testing in their government laboratories. We are working with the local authorities to ensure the implementation of non-animal methods.
Unilever is working toward eliminating animal testing, but they’re not there yet, and their quotes about not testing their “actual” products on animals is a little sketchy, in my humble opinion. Unilever is also the parent company to a number of food brands and has this to say about Farm Animal Welfare:
Unilever recognises that many consumers do have concerns about animal welfare and we take these concerns seriously.
Accordingly, we encourage our suppliers to participate in initiatives to define good animal welfare practices and improvement programmes in the countries and/or regions where they are sourcing, processing and marketing products from animal origin. Good animal welfare practices should address issues such as housing, hygiene, feeding and feed, health management and the management of antibiotics, water supply, mutilations, transport, slaughtering practices and traceability.
Is anyone really keeping up on these practices? Or are they just paying lip service. I, honestly, don’t know and therefore, will not use their products.
Blerg, back to the drawing board I guess. Lesson learned: Do your research before hitting the stores. And sometimes, spending more money might be the only way to go. I’m dedicated to these changes in my life; guess I’ll have to find alternative ways to make more money. Anyone want to buy a cat? She comes complete with attitude. :P