How often do you hear these phrases when you watch YouTubers? Chances are a lot. These phrases are often uttered when discussing brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder and L’Oreal. They are statements that just get put out there and never really seemed to be challenged.
But, there is very little actual evidence to support these claims.

The root of them is usually that the brands sell in China. China does require animal testing for some products that are imported and sold on their market.. The testing however is not conducted by the brand itself, but by government authorized laboratories. Now this is of course not cool. These days the effects of most cosmetic ingredients are well known, generations of animals have already given their lives to prove them and there really is no need for any more to die. In 2014 China lifted the requirement for animal testing on products manufactured in China for the local market, meaning that all these brands could manufacture there, they just may be choosing not to.

However, a government authorized laboratory testing a brand’s products is not the same as the brands doing it themselves. I am not a vegetarian, I eat meat. If a description of me, were to follow the same logic as the argument and conjecture above; I evidently kill chickens myself and eat them. That is not true. Whilst eating meat is also not cool, I do not personally kill animals.

I have recently heard concerns about the future of Too Faced being cruelty free as they have been bought by Estee Lauder, followed by the statement that Estee Lauder tests on animals. I have found no evidence that Estee Lauder tests on animals themselves. They do export to China, where: as I have described above, products may be tested on animals by government laboratories. There is no legitimate reason to assume that Too Faced, just because they have been bought by Estee Lauder, will launch on the Chinese market. If they do, you will see them do it. They will not suddenly be forced to test on animals, just because the parent allegedly does.

If you have heard these statements really often and believe them, you may be wanting me to provide evidence of my statements. I am not going to. The YouTubers provide you no evidence either. Instead I suggest you google and you will see the answers with your own eyes. If you google “does Estee Lauder test on animals?” all you will find is animal rights organizations stating that they do, with no evidence. They will state that they sell to China, for which there is evidence, from that you can understand that third parties will be testing the products on animals.

Ethically, what is the difference? Not much, by eating meat I am accepting that others will kill animals for me. By buying from brands that export to China you are accepting that animals may be harmed, enabling the brand to generate profits. Both are not cool! Both are horrible, but there is no need to mislead. Reality is bad enough.

We live in an age of hyperbole and conjecture. Let’s get real, or risk our credibility in the long term. Let’s be educators and work towards genuine change.