Dara Chooses Cruelty Free

We were excited to sit down with Dara Hayes and chat all about CCF and the cruelty-free movement!

How did you find out about CCF? I actually found CCF by surfing the web! I was on the hunt for cruelty free brands when I came across the CCF list. It is great that a resource like this exists for Australian consumers to help them with making the right buying choices.

What cruelty free products (CCF Accredited) do you use? This a wonderful list and there are a bunch of products on here that I use regularly. Some of the ones that jump out at me are: •  Lush: I LOVE their ‘Sleepy’ body lotion, it’s just divine. They also do an amazing face scrub. •  Nude by Nature: This brand is quite nostalgic for me. When I first started playing around with makeup this was one of the first powders I fell in love with! • The Cruelty Free Shop: This store is a regular stop for me when I’m home in Sydney. It’s like a wonderland for vegans. They stock amazing plant-based foods and cruelty free products, and often organise different events to raise awareness.

How would you advise others to share the cruelty free message? Lead by example! It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but I have finally realised that preaching veganism and denouncing people who eat meat is not a productive way to affect change. I wholeheartedly believe that the best thing you can do is to lead by example. Show your family, friends and community that you can thrive and flourish whilst living a cruelty free lifestyle. There is no need to hurt animals in order to look and feel your best. There are so many ways to share your beliefs with others in a non-offensive way.  If you love your new face moisturiser, show your friends and get them to try it! Explain to them how excited you are that it is not tested on animals. When you go out to BBQ's or dinners, bring extra servings of your food so that other people can try it. Show them how delicious a plant-based lifestyle can be! Take your girls out to ice-cream at a vegan ice-cream parlour (you don’t even have to tell them) – I bet they won’t know the difference. There is so much love to be found in food – it’s truly a gift for you to share with your loved ones.

What do you think is the main concern of your generation? This is a tough question. I would have to say that the most pressing concern is climate change, although I believe this is inextricably linked with animal welfare. It blows my mind that people are living in ignorant bliss in regards to this issue – the science is abundantly clear, humans are causing the destruction of our planet. Take a look at the Great Barrier Reef, for example. Statistics suggest that over half the coral has died off in mass bleaching events, which occurs when the water temperatures rise as a result of climate change. We need to take care of our oceans – it is the largest source of oxygen and life that we have. The reason I say that climate change is linked to animal welfare is because of the vast amounts of pollution that occur as a result of mass agriculture. Not only this, but most of the deforestation occurring worldwide is to make way for more agricultural land. And let’s not forget about the sheer amount of water and other resources that is required to execute these inhumane animal practices. I had better stop here – if you get me started, I won’t stop!

What would it take for your generation and the future generations to only use cosmetics, household and cleaning products that are not tested on animals? I honestly think it’s a matter of effective education. I often have friends say to me that they don’t want to watch the ads and documentaries because they will find it upsetting and they don’t want it to turn them off animal products. The information is there, but it is far too hidden, and it is often those who are interested in animal welfare that go searching for it. I think it’s important to educate the entire population about the conditions and ramifications of animal testing for cosmetics, household and cleaning products. I believe that humans are wired to feel empathy towards all creatures, yet we are raised and conditioned in a way that makes us feel this is not the norm. If we had an effective education campaign, coupled with the rising numbers of prominent figures that are advocating this way of life, and also the plethora of ethical brands that are now entering the market, I feel like we would have a good chance of affecting mass change.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? I would just like to say a big thank you to Choose Cruelty Free for the work you do. I know you are run primarily by volunteers, and that as a NFP it can be difficult to get sufficient funding, but I want to let you know that the work you do does not go unnoticed. Every week there are more brands and people making the transition to a cruelty free lifestyle. I do not believe it’s an all or nothing approach.

"I do however believe that every choice we make matters. It matters what we put in our mouths. It matters what brands we choose to support, and it matters how we vote with our dollars. Take the time to think about what you are voting for – I know my vote will always be for the animals."

Dara Hayes runs a vegan and conscious living blog on Instagram. You can follow her here: O U R S O U L P U R P O S E 🐰❤️

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Choose Cruelty Free acknowledge that we meet and operate on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, and that sovereignty of the land of the Kulin Nation was never ceded. We pay our respects to their ancestors and elders - past, present, and emerging.