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The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

Cruelty-free

The new year has arrived, and it’s officially 2014. What does that mean to you? To most, it means new beginnings and a fresh start. I don’t really believe in new year’s resolutions because, let’s face it, they only last a few weeks until everyone forgets that they made them. If I had to choose a resolution to make, it would be to make a difference this year, and I highly encourage others to do the same.

I was inspired to set this goal after I watched my first movie of the new year, the CNN documentary “Blackfish,” which was conveniently on Netflix. On a snowy winter night, I decided to give it a chance. This film provided a shocking amount of insight into the way Sea World exploits the dozens of killer whales living in captivity. Seeing all of those poor animals trapped, hurt and mistreated really touched me. Watching animals get harmed was so painful to observe, especially because we have more power than they are, and they never really had a chance.

Just like the whales in the film, many other animals are being used for financial gain against their will. This is extremely prevalent in the beauty industry, believe it or not. You know that amazingly fresh L’Oreal anti-frizz shampoo that you use everyday? According to animal activist Heather Rose from ForceChange.com, it was tested on multiple animals before it reached you. These are animals that did not have the power to avoid the painful situations they were put in, all because the growing industry cares more about selling products than protecting animals. Companies that test on animals include well-known brands such as Johnson & Johnson and Dial. Avon, a beauty company that once was cruelty-free, ended its streak in 1989 in order to sell products in China. As a matter of fact, China is one of many countries around the world that requires animal testing.

So this year, in 2014, don’t just make a resolution. Make a difference. Supporting positive change is as easy as buying cruelty-free products. Not only will you be saving an animal, but you will also be supporting a company that conducts itself with integrity. Some of my personal favorite beauty suppliers that are cruelty-free are Paul Mitchell, The Body Shop and Burt’s Bees. You know those cute round Eos lip balm products? They are both eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Even buying cosmetics at a Whole Foods grocery store near you will be in support of this cause.

Animals don’t need to be harmed in order for guys and girls to have great hair and skin. It’s as simple as that.