Being vegan means you avoid all meat and animal products in food, but since veganism is much more than a diet, it impacts other areas of your life as well. The clothes you buy, the products you use, the charities you support, you’ll find that all of these are influenced by veganism.
Being vegan also means you aim to avoid animal products in cosmetics, skin care, and other hygiene products. In addition to being free from animal products, ensuring a product is cruelty-free is just as important because this ensures the product was not tested on animals.
What are The Tests?
Animals used in laboratory tests include mice, rats, dogs, cats, and rabbits, and many more. The kinds of tests done on animals vary and are not always by name, as are the two below.
Commonly, testing is performed on animals to determine toxicity (how poisonous a substance is), irritancy (how a substance reacts with animal tissue), or mutagenicity (how a substance affects DNA).
When you first heard products like shampoos were tested on the same bunny rabbits you saw at the pet store, you might have imagined these rabbits getting their fur washed on a daily basis.
Actually, tests like the Draize test are tests for toxicity. The Draize test involves dabbing a substance in the eye of a conscious animal (often a rabbit) and letting it linger to study its possible effects on the human eye.
Why are rabbits used specifically? Because rabbits have no tear ducts.
Median Lethal Dose
The Median Lethal Dose, also known as LD50, is a metric of toxicity determined by the dosage required to kill half of a group of animals.
For example this test shows it takes 90,000 mg/kg of water (yes, water) or 50 mg/kg of Nicotine to kill half of a group of rats.
If you are new to veganism (welcome! and well done on taking that step!), don’t stress too much if you still have products in your home that aren’t completely vegan or cruelty-free. I recommend using up these products if you can, and then researching new vegan products to use once your current supply runs out.
The same applies for clothing. If you have leather boots or a down jacket, I’d wear and use these as long as I can, until they are beyond repair. Since you already own them, you might as well use them. Alternatively, you can donate them so someone else can wear them if the thought of wearing them disturbs you.
Now that you have the knowledge, you can be more informed when purchasing products and clothing in the future. Vegankit.com is a good resource if you aren’t sure how to begin!
Here are the products I use currently. Keep in mind, you might be able to find these products cheaper elsewhere, so check your local health store first before shopping online. I just wanted to give you some links so you know exactly which products I use.
- The Raw Chocolate Company Organic Virgin Cacao Butter
- Olive Pure Olive Oil Soap
- Cinnamon, clove, and peppermint shampoo bar from Lush
- Urtekram Organic No Perfume Deo Crystal Stick
- Eco-dent daily care anise toothpowder