I am always on the lookout for cruelty free and vegan personal care products. What does that mean exactly?
Well, it means that companies which produce these products:
1) do not test their products and the ingredients in their elixirs either themselves or by a third party, even when required by law.
2) do not use any nonhuman animals in their ingredients.
3) are not owned by a parent company that does either or both.
It is not a long list, but it is an important list for vegans looking to have their every day lives reflect their values. Mainstream companies like L’Oreal and Esteé Lauder know that consumers are becoming more aware of the cruelty inherent in producing and selling products which contain non human animal ingredients and have been tested on non humans. And many people, vegan and non vegan alike, are asking for alternatives.
So companies such as these will fudge on their definition of cruelty free (no species testing) and will say stuff like this.
We do not test our products or ingredients on animals, or ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law. We believe that animal testing should not be needed to validate safety of comestic products or ingredients and we are encouraging the use of alternatives and the elimination of such animal testing globally.
Whoopie-dee-doo!!! Sounds ethical, right? And it is, until Esteé Lauder hits the profit line wall. They will sell to China, for example, which requires testing on non humans, This renders the encouragement to which Estee Lauder refers, empty and meaningless. All they have done is given themselves a get out of jail free card.
I stay away from companies such as these. But unfortunately , I have sensitive skin that does not like many of the products out there on the market. I know without a doubt, that my temperamental dermis is not more important than the health and well being of suffering beings. Therefore, I search high and low for products that are good for me and for them. I make mistakes and sometimes buy the wrong thing because I do not always understand the subterfuge used by companies to promote and sell their wares. I am getting smarter now and fewer tricks get past my radar.
So, I was pleased and a little bit skeptical when I came across Arbonne. I had heard positive and negative things about this company’s stance on cruelty free and vegan. I decided to do a little digging. After several e-mails with both the company and a consultant whom I met through The Montreal Vegan Rejects, I am reasonably assured Arbonne’s products are as advertised.
In addition, they are certified by The Vegan Society. It is interesting to note that the easily recognizable logo is not emblazoned on all of the Arbonne packages. I was assured by the consultant and the company that they are in the process of rectifying this and that no, it does not mean that the product is not vegan.
The company itself is not vegan however, like Matt and Nat, for instance, which extends their view of veganism into all aspects of the business, including the food in the company cafeteria. Arbonne sells a nutritional product that suggests consuming “lean meat” as a part of the diet plan. But for me, it is not reason enough not to try their other products. So many of my must have boxes are ticked in terms of cruelty free and vegan product and ingredients. As my daughter says, once the due diligence is done and all seems on the up and up, it is time to take a leap of a faith.
Last week I met with two lovely Arbonne consultants who believe in the products they have to sell. Sherri says:
Pure, safe, green and beneficial are the words that kept going around in my head after I was introduced to Arbonne by District Manager, Natalie Ornstein. Her enthusiasm for the brand, products and business opportunity was infectious and I decided to give the products a shot….
I have extremely sensitive skin and always ran into problems with my current products. Natalie explained to me Arbonne’s commitment to all natural products, botanically based and vegan certified seemed like a solution to my problems…..
I became curious about the current skincare products I was using. I did some research on my current skin care products I was horrified by what I found. Fillers, chemicals and toxins… I couldn’t believe what I had been putting on my body for years!
I am proud to be part of Arbonne’s networks of Independent Consultants who promote healthier and beneficial products while building the brand, affording anyone the opportunity to build a business, earn additional income and reach their financial goals!
Now I cannot speak to the the purity of Arbonne’s products, but I am certainly going to give them a whirl and see how my sensitive skin likes them. I tried the shampoo the other day and enjoyed the result. Products are ordered exclusively through independent consultants. Please feel free to get in touch with Sherri and Natalie. They are welcoming and informative.
Sherri Gutberg –Arbonne Independent Consultant ID-116612469
Natalie Ornstein-Shragie – Arbonne Independent Consultant CID# 116552275
(514) 233 9235
Marita Bonillo-Farias- I also connected, on Facebook with this lovely Arbonne consultant.. I am not sure where she lives but, for out of towners, you can contact her at:
Debbie Larabie Beriault – another Facebook Friend and Arbonne consultant who lives in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area.
http://debraberiault.arbonne.com/ ID# 116311779
Update: October 2015
I received an e-mail from Sherri with the following message and image:
We officially have our certification.
Annie’s Vegan View
Cruelty free means no testing on nonhuman animals.
Vegan means no testing on nonhuman animals and no nonhuman animal ingredients in the formula.
Make sure there is no third party testing of ingredients and that companies do not sell to countries where testing is mandatory.
Be on the lookout for slight of hand in companies assurances.
May all beings be happy and free.