Several years ago a blogger that I follow wrote a post about animal testing. It was a mostly decor-related account, but on that day she made a plea to boycott products tested on animals, and you know what? It was effective. I decided that day that I would no longer support products or brands that tested on animals. The influencing was just that good.
That post challenged me to think about what my values were, and ask myself if I was supporting the kinds of practices that I believe are important. I believe that in this day and age we don’t need to test our chemical products on animals, yet I wasn’t using my purchasing power to support that belief.
I need to also acknowledge the place of privilege that I have in making this decision. Choosing cruelty-free products and brands is often the more expensive option, and one that may not be available locally to everyone. I lived at the time in Brooklyn, and now live in New Jersey, and am spoiled for choice with stores that carry the lines that I want to support. That is not true of everyone, even if they personally do not agree with the practice of animal testing, and it’s important to recognize that and reserve judgement.
From that day forward all the personal and household products we bought were cruelty-free. The make-up I wear, the soaps and lotions we use to take care of our bodies, the sprays and cleaners we used to keep our home clean – all of it. It took a little legwork to find which brands align with our values, but the internet has many helpful guides to make this change easier.
That decision to go cruelty-free had a domino-effect as I paid more attention to the types of companies and products I wanted to support. It started with cruelty-free products and grew to making better choices for the environment – not just the animals, but the land and the air and the sea. I became increasingly aware and concerned about the impact that my purchases made on the natural world, and with that awareness I started making better decisions.
It’s true that corporations and businesses have a greater negative impact on our environment, and it can feel like the actions of an individual are a microscopic drop in the bucket when facing the enormity of climate change and the environmental degradation that we are facing. But by sharing what we do as individuals, and supporting companies that do good, we create a bigger and more impactful movement.
The changes that I made came from one blog post on a home decor blog. Don’t underestimate your power to influence change.