Caring Consumer Guide
Making the Choices that Make a Difference

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What are you trying to accomplish?
Many companies that test on animals really do not care about what goes on in their labs. You have to look at the one thing they do care about and that comes down to .. money. In other words, how many units of Item A or Widget Z are they selling to what demographic and how can they sell more of them. As long as they are selling Item A, they do not care how many animals are tortured in order to get Item A to market.
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How can YOU make a difference?
Every time you opt not to buy Item A and choose cruelty-free Item B, you are, in essence, voting with your dollars. You are saying "I'm not going to support animal testing" and choosing to give your money to an alternate company that has made a conscious decision not to torture animals. Does one person's decision make a company stand up and take notice? Of course not, but as long as you make that decision and others do their part as well (be sure to inform your friends of their choices too), eventually, a drop in sales may be noticed. In some ways, it is much like voting, your one vote may be meaningless, but you exercising that right is the part that is meaningful, as is you becoming part of the process.
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"It's too overwhelming, I can't keep up with everything."
It's important not to let yourself get too frazzled with all the different products and trying to keep up with every single item that is cruelty-free and which isn't. Even I can't do that every time I find myself at the drug store at 1:00 AM. Don't get discouraged because you come home with a product and later find out that it comes from a pro-animal testing source. The most important event is the time you put a cruel product back on the shelf and choose an animal friendly product over it. At that point, you have made a difference.
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The "Little Things" You Can Do
A) Look through your bathroom, find products that are "replacable"

B) Print off the Cruelty/Bad Company Page, take it shopping with you

bunny C) Browse through the Good Company List, make a "mental note" of familiar names that you may want to check out next time you go shopping

D) Don't get "too" attached to any particular animal right's group list. Unfortunately, at ALL organizations of size, money/influence do enter the picture. Anyone who has L'Oreal or Estee Lauder on their "good" list is highly syspect. One of the few lists I trust other than my own at the present is NatureWatch.

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"Isn't this going to be EXPENSIVE???
Not really. The price difference in products is usually negligible. Sometimes, yes, it can be a bit higher. The reason for that is volume sales. The cruelty-free companies are usually much smaller and don't enjoy the economies of scale that large companies do. But, wouldn't you rather pay an extra 30 cents in order for animals to not be tortured? Also, these smaller companies generally use better ingredients and make a better product anyway (they don't have the economic pressure to shave fractions of cents per unit production in order to realize some significant addition to the bottom line).
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ONLINE SHOPPING: Just Use It!
The proliferation of online shopping has made the task of selecting cruelty-free products so much easier. Almost all companies now have websites. The cost of shipping is negligible in regards to the cost of driving to the store. The "lock" some of the huge cruel companies, like P&G, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever have on stores shelves (where they pay retailers to keep small competitors products off the shelves) has made online shopping one of the few options left to those in saturated markets. Another benefit, is, you can go to Good Company List and click directly over to the retailers, or open it up in another browser/window while shopping at a consolidated online retailer.
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Why do companies test on animals???
I'm sure the first thought is, who are these heartless sickos that conduct these unnecessary tests in this day and age when so many companies do not? Sadly, they are people like you and me (well, maybe not just like you and me). In loose terms, two things contribute to the continued use of animal tests. One, large companies are slow behemoths when it comes to change. Enough of us need to stop buying their products to bring such about. Two, the fear of liability is so pervasive, especially for American companies, that changing testing methods makes their legal counsel shudder. Yes, they may be aware that there are much better and more accurate methods of testing out there, other than their antiquated animal tests. But, even if their products are harmful to humans (even though animal tests can not convincingly disprove or prove such), they can stand in court and say, "we've been conducting these same tests for 70 years and nothing would indicate .. blah, blah, blah."
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Your Personal Health and Well-being
Beyond the well-fare and suffering of countless lab animals, there is one other major benefit to shopping cruelty-free. The smaller manufactures still use natural ingredients. The synthetic compounds used by most major personal care product manufacturers are often toxic waste products from other industries, and can be damaging to your health. [A MUST READ]

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