Should we blame the parents?



Flicking through Issue 24 of Vegan Life magazine, I found an article called the ‘parent trap’ discussing opposing opinions about parent companies. When I started my cruelty-free journey a few months ago, I didn’t know much about parent companies or brands that sell in China. Reading ‘the parent trap’ it becomes clear why many people don’t want to go cruelty-free, there are so many loop holes and opposing opinions, sometimes it just feels like there is no point. Even within vegan and cruelty-free communities the issue still seems to be hotly contested.

Reading the article, it puts forward one point of view of a blogger, saying "when a smaller company is bought out it can make the parent company share ethical suppliers with them, and be more aware of cruelty-free vegan markets. I decided to do some more research on the issue, watched some you tube videos and read some other bloggers articles. While some were committed to boycotting brands entirely, others believed continuing to buy from brands that have been bought out will ultimately change the parent company values. For example, when they see how well one of their cruelty-free brands is doing, it might encourage them to become cruelty-free also.

These are choices for the individual to make, I think everyone should form their own opinion, however, I wanted to put forward my own. I know that it is a hard decision going cruelty-free, but you can’t ignore the fact that by purchasing from brands with unethical parent companies your money is still funding animal testing; you also can’t ignore the fact that these brands will never ever change their values without disinvestment. Why on earth would a large billion-pound company make a change like that for no reason? Alienating a large portion of the market (China) where nearly 2 billion people live, if they see one of their smaller conglomerates are doing well? Where is the incentive to change? Wouldn’t it be better for them just to continue getting more money and selling in China and testing on animals?

The most powerful way people can make large businesses hear their voice is by disinvestment. Disinvestment is one of the most powerful tools the consumer has and can change a business’s direction. Brands follow the market. Everyone has the right to choose and form their own opinions, but I think sometimes remembering the reason for going cruelty-free in the first place is important. Going cruelty-free isn’t easy and does require lots of research and commitment and I have found it quite hard. It is defiantly a process and a transition that requires dedication and passion for what you are doing. I have probably bought products from parent companies while being unaware and I don’t think that this is something to be shamed or judged.

If ever I blog about something that is owned by a parent company I would like to be told because it is difficult to be well informed all the time. I have enjoyed reading Vegan life and other bloggers opinions, becoming more informed is always a process and it defiantly takes time to learn about all the loopholes and product accreditation's and what they mean.

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