As I was saying in my last post, I try to be cruelty-free. But it isn't always easy, or even straightforward. It's helpful to see the bunny logo to ensure products haven't been tested on animals, but otherwise you have to be careful that testing wasn't excluded on the final product only, instead of all the ingredients. I love it when I see the word vegan right on the label because even 100% vegetarian is no guarantee that there aren't any animal ingredients included. You can't even count on brand names. For example, I picked up a Jason's lip balm the other day without checking because I already had their lotion and shampoo, and sure enough, I got home and discovered it had beeswax! It's vegetarian, but not vegan. I didn't throw it out though because it was an honest mistake, and I'm not in a position to throw money away. So, I have to remind myself to check ingredients carefully.
But even then, you're not out of the woods. Take my Silk soy beverage for coffee--it's delicious, and I wouldn't be able to drink my coffee without it. And it's also completely vegan, but WhiteWave, who happens to be a dairy company, owns it. Yep, ultimately my money is going to a company that's part of an industry I despise. Tom's of Maine? Also vegan, but a subsidiary company whose parent company is Colgate-Palmolive--a company heavily involved in animal testing. Earth Balance? Well, it contains palm oil (as does the Silk soy beverage and lots of other foods) an ingredient associated with clear cutting rainforests, and that of course has negative impacts on the environment and non-human species like orangutans. Yikes!
So what's a vegan to do? Simply the best they can given the circumstances. I strive to avoid the obvious and worst offenders in terms of ingredients, but I'm not a scientist, I don't have all the ingredients memorized, and while I might not like certain parent companies, I sometimes think that because profit is the only thing they care about; realizing that vegan products are in big demand may not be such a bad thing after all.