Why You Should Use Cruelty-Free Soap
In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about cruelty-free dish soap and vegan dish soap.
Why they’re good for you.
How you can find out if a dish soap is genuinely cruelty-free and vegan.
And where you can buy them.
But first, let’s look at why using cruelty free dish soap is important.
Why is cruelty-free important?
Thousands of animals are used each year for product and ingredient testing.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, in 2017 alone, 792,168 animals were used in the US for animal testing.
These tests are not just a little uncomfortable for the animals that are forced to participate.
They are cruel.
Brands that choose not to conduct research on animals help to reduce these numbers.
And the more people who switch to cruelty-free dish soap and other products that weren’t tested on animals, the less business there is for laboratories that test cosmetic and household ingredients on animals.
Let’s look at some details.
What does cruelty-free mean?
Sounds like an easy question.
You’d think it means that no animals were harmed in the development of a certain product.
Unfortunately things aren’t that simple.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, many brands that claim that their product is not tested on animals take a “liberal” definition of such claims.
Some of them simply outsource animal testing to another company.
Because the animal testing they commission is conducted off-site, they claim falsely that their products are “cruelty-free.”
Or, they simply push animal testing further up the supply chain. They purchase ingredients that their suppliers have tested on animals.
So what can you do to ensure that your dish soap (or any other product) hasn’t been tested on animals at any point in the process?
Look for certifications: specifically, cruelty-free dish soap that is certified cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny program and/or by PETA.
Why is this important?
Benefits of cruelty-free certifications
High-quality, third-party certifications like Leaping Bunny and PETA verify that the certified brands:
1. Don’t test their products or ingredients on animals.
2. Disclose animal tests they have carried out in the past.
3. Don’t source ingredients from suppliers that test on animals.
4. Cannot hire a third party lab to conduct animal tests.
6. Because these certification programs only certify entire product lines, not individual products, this forces companies to stand behind their cruelty-free claim 100%.
Finally, the PETA cruelty-free certification offers companies the option to also certify their product lines as vegan.
No animal-derived ingredients may be used in products that are PETA-certified vegan.
Just look for one of these certification, and you can be 100% sure your cruelty-free dish soap is indeed cruelty-free.
Not so fast.
There’s more to it.
Watch out for these cruelty-free and vegan-certification loopholes
Big companies are often like Russian nesting dolls.
A smaller brand, like Mrs. Meyer’s, is often owned by a much larger company, like S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., which manufactures not only Mrs. Meyer’s, but also –yikes-- Raid, Off!, and Drano.
If you want to be thorough, do your research and find out: does the company that owns this brand own any other brands that are not certified cruelty-free?
Does the owning company also manufacture drugs or dietary supplements?
If any of this is the case, you cannot trust their cruelty-free certification right away, because they’re almost guaranteed to test on animals.
If you want to be absolutely certain not to spend your money in a way that promotes animal testing, here’s a handy checklist:
1. Check for PETA and/or Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certification.
2. Make sure the brand does not export to China (which requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals).
3. Find out if the brand is owned by a larger company that has non-certified products, or if they sell brands of drugs or dietary supplement that are tested on animals.
4. As a final step, you can always contact a brand to inquire for specific information.
Wanna go one more step further?
Then look at a brand’s ingredients.
Are the ingredients well-known to be safe and have been used for a long time in consumer products? (In other words: would your grandmother recognize them?)
Or do they sound like they were invented by chemists breaking apart molecules and mixing Chemical A with Solvent B?
Why natural products are more likely to be cruelty-free than chemical ones
If you can understand all of the ingredients on a product’s ingredient list, independently of any explanatory notes (such as “plant-derived cleaning agent”) that companies often include to make an ingredient sound safer than it is, that is usually a promising sign.
For most products, including cruelty-free dish soap, formulated only with well-known, all-natural ingredients, a brand does not need to test their formula or ingredients on animals.
Here’s an example:
See how short and straightforward this ingredient list is?
It shows this cruelty-free dish soap is made from easy-to-understand, all-natural, biodegradable ingredients.
We have known for hundreds of years that these ingredients are non-toxic and safe to use.
In such a case, there’s no need to conduct animal tests in the first place.
It would only be a waste of time and money for a vegan dish soap like this one to conduct expensive tests on a formulation that uses 100% ingredients that are already known to be safe.
When such products are also certified cruelty-free through a reputable organization (like Leaping Bunny or PETA), this ingredient-check provides an extra layer of certainty.
But even for products that are made from ingredients of more recent origin, there is no excuse for companies to engage in animal testing, because so many alternatives exist.
What alternatives are there to animal testing?
Researchers have come up with several clever ways to eliminate the need for animal testing in cosmetics and household cleaning products:
1. Cell cultures: These are human or animal cells that are grown inside a lab for product and ingredient testing.
2. Human tissue: Healthy and diseased human tissue donated after a surgery or biopsy can be used to study new products.
3. Computer models: Virtual experiments can be conducted to test products on virtually all human organs, including the heart and the skin.
4. Volunteer studies: Due to technological advances in scanning, machines that can see inside human organs make animal testing obsolete.
There you have it: Products like dish soap doesn’t need to be tested on animals.
There are enough cruelty-free methods available.
This leaves us with one more question.
We’ve talked a lot about cruelty-free certification.
Does it matter if a dish soap is certified vegan?
Cruelty-free vs vegan dish soap
We believe cruelty-free dish soap cannot be truly cruelty-free if it contains animal-based ingredients.
Therefore, it should be both cruelty-free and vegan.
Consider this example.
A beekeeper takes away the bees’ honey for soap production.
What does this mean for the bees?
They have to work harder to replace the honey.
In industrial bee colonies, chronic over-work stresses out the colonies, leaving them more vulnerable to disease, shortening their lives.
And it’s a similar case for the cows, sheep, or goats who produce milk (or other animal-derived ingredients) often used in natural soap.
In each case, industrial-scale production promotes profit at the expense of animals themselves, who are left to suffer helplessly in poor or cruel living conditions.
Want to be part of the solution?
Stop buying soaps (and other products) that include animal-derived ingredients.
There’s something in it for you, too: because vegan soap isn’t just good for the animals.
Benefits of vegan soap for your skin
Know what happens when you remove animal-based ingredients from dish soap, or any other product that comes into contact with your skin?
It allows more room in the recipe for plant-based ingredients.
And if these plant-based ingredients are whole (minimally processed), that’s great news for your skin.
It means there are no hormones in your vegan dish soap that are often found in animal-derived ingredients.
Instead, you’ll get more vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals from your plant-based ingredients.
It’s healthy for your body overall to eat a large amount of whole plant-based foods.
And the same goes for the ingredients that come into contact with your skin.
Know what your body does when you ingest toxins?
Your liver and kidneys detoxify them (to the best of their ability).
But when toxins enter through your skin, they go straight to your blood stream, and spread out in your entire body.
So how can you avoid absorbing toxins through your skin?
Watch what your skin comes into contact with.
Avoid touching receipts with your hands (receipts are crazy toxic).
(Instead, pick the receipt up with something else, like a napkin or paper tissue, until you can throw it away).
Check the ingredients in your personal care products.
Look up each product in the EWG’s Skin Deep database to check if it’s safe.
A cruelty-free dish soap or a vegan dish soap with no harsh toxins has no nasty hormones.
Just good plant-based nutrients that are in harmony with your skin while doing the dishes (find out how to get soft skin despite doing the dishes).
So where do you get such a dish soap?
Cruelty-free and vegan dish soap made from all-natural ingredients
If you’re interested in replacing your current dish soap with one that is all-natural, vegan, and cruelty-free, you can find more information here.
Good for animals.
Great for the planet.
Good for you.
Just plain good!