For me, my diet is entirely down to ethics. Although I am naturally lactose intolerant, I ate meat and eggs for a very, very long time. Eventually, after discovering what animals went through to produce these products, I stopped, and although this was a huge step for me towards living as ethical of a life as I could, I realized that it is not enough to simply cut animal products out of your diet.
A cruelty-free lifestyle is what I aim for. A while ago, a tag (or challenge, depending on what you'd rather call it) circulated YouTube, aptly named "How Cruel is my Makeup Bag?". Using a blog called Logical Harmony, YouTubers would run through the brands in their makeup bag and sticker those that were not cruelty-free so that they would know not to buy them again. I don't wear makeup all too often, however, after going through my own makeup bag, I was brought to a rather abrupt and horrifying sight, that well over 70% of my own makeup (which consists of concealer, powder foundation, some lipstick, eyeliner, and a mascara tube or two) is not cruelty free.
About a year ago, I went out of my way to desperately change this. I wanted to live a cruelty-free life, and step one was cutting out animal products. Step two was cutting out animal cruelty. So I slapped stickers on all of the makeup that didn't fit, and every time they run out, I replace them with a cruelty-free brand.
Here's the catch with cruelty-free things, though. There is an unbelievably slim market for things that are truly cruelty-free. For example, cosmetics sold in China whose companies claim that they are cruelty free, are not. China is one of the only countries in the world left where animal testing is mandatory for cosmetics, meaning that any product made or sold in China cannot be cruelty-free. Though there are brands who still claim to be exactly that. As well as this, certain brands that were definitely 100% cruelty-free are often bought over by larger brands, such as l'Oreal, where animal testing is still unbelievably common.
The only way to ensure your makeup is entirely cruelty-free is to buy from a brand, which does not use animal products in their cosmetics, test on animals, import ingredients that have been tested on animals, sell in China and has definitely not been bought over by a larger brand. That's a big list of things that can be extremely hard to find out.
You could just not wear makeup at all, which is certainly an option, though some people don't want to do that, and that's entirely up to them. Makeup is an extremely difficult one to figure out, along with clothes.
Cruelty-free products nowadays are more common than they ever have been, with brands such as Lush, E.L.F, Barry M, Luvia Cosmetics and more, though just because they are more common, it doesn't mean that they are easily obtained. Depending on where you live, most products might have to be purchased online, will most likely be more expensive than the average, and may not be of as good a quality.
Makeup isn't the only thing where trying to be cruelty-free feels as though you're walking on eggshells. Clothing is, too, though maneuvering your way through cruelty free clothing may be somewhat easier. Unfortunately, I'm not as well educated on this topic, although I do intend to be.
Nowadays, being cruelty free is almost impossible. Once we sift through our makeup and clothes, and we stop eating meat, we need to start looking into anything else we own that could harm animals, or creatures, that we don't want to.
It is not hard to live a compassionate life, and it's certainly not hard to be kind to creatures that we encounter in our lives. However, being entirely cruelty free could prove extremely difficult for the vast majority of us. Does that mean we should stop striving to live in a cruelty free world? No, but it means we need to be more cautious and far more careful about what we eat, wear, buy and use.