127 Comments

  1. Ann
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:14 am

    I love you even more for this post!

    Reply

  2. Becki
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:16 am

    I think you’d enjoy “Castles in the Air” by Judy Corbett. She and her husband renovated a crumbling Welsh castle. The book is very endearing!

    Reply

  3. Lora Hart
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:17 am

    I agree with everything you wrote, and try to live my live as cruelty free as possible. But the photo of the puppies with gas masks made me cry. Thanks. 🙁

    Reply

  4. Nikki Gwin
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:18 am

    The first thing I noticed was the extraordinarily shiny floors! Thats just unnatural. BEautiful, but unnatural. And I do LOVE the sofas but I totally agree about all the rest of the furniture. Wouldn’t the world wide search for the perfect antiques be FUN!!
    🙂
    https://gwingal.blogspot.com/

    Reply

    • Di
      April 27, 2016 @ 11:02 am

      I specifically asked for a matte finish when floors were being redone. I know how real people live and that shiny floor would be half shiny/half matte in a month!

      Reply

  5. Nora
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:19 am

    Now I love you even more. I have been buying cruelty free products for about 30 years (dates me I know). Thank you for letting your devoted readers know about these animal welfare issues. Just for that I’m not going to hold it against you that you lied about the location of your latest fabulous acquisition (although all is fair in love, war and GFT).

    Reply

    • Cat
      April 28, 2016 @ 2:36 pm

      Thank you for using your blog to raise awareness on cruelty-free products. I’m proud that I haven’t purchased anything from any of the companies on the chart in at least 20 years – I refuse to support any of them. I buy the same brands as you or I make my own (seriously, no one needs 20 different cleaning products – vinegar, lemon, baking soda, water, boom, you’re done — and you and your pets are safe. And your wallet is fatter, leaving more money to buy GFT or whatever else floats your boat.)

      Reply

  6. Tammigirl
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:20 am

    I love it when you post!

    Thank you for the photos of jazzy window treatments and also the info about the doggie cruelty. I hate seeing those pictures, I really super hate it. But who do they think they are, doing this? How awful in this day and age they can get away with it! Shouldn’t they be in jail somewhere, forced to drink only shampoo and breathe only poison?

    Reply

  7. Becca
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    Wish there were a “like” button for this post. Thanks for sharing with us so we can also benefit from your research into cruelty-free products. I’m going right by a BB&B today, so I’ll pop in and get myself some Dr. Bronners.

    Reply

  8. Lisa Smith
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:21 am

    How is Elvis? And you, and your saintly husband?

    My 5-year-old Yorkie, Winnie, inexplicably decided to wet the bed in her sleep last night. Unfortunately, it is also MY bed. I can only suppose she has lost her furry little mind.

    Reply

    • Sarah
      April 27, 2016 @ 9:45 pm

      My dog used to do that. She’d have no idea she’d had an accident, and she’d be so confused when she woke up, like, how did this get here? After spending much $$$ at the vet, she was finally diagnosed with spay induced incontinence. Now I give her a super cheap medicine, Proin, twice a day, and she never has accidents in her sleep. Unless I forget to give her her medicine…

      Anyway, not saying that’s what your dog has, but if she does it again, it’s something to look into. 🙂

      Reply

  9. Christy
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:23 am

    The house itself looks beautiful, looks like it was decorated by someone with a lot of class anxiety. That, or (as the furniture may suggest) the house has been elaborately staged by a realtor. Are the floors photoshopped, maybe?

    Reply

  10. Michele
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:23 am

    You know I’ve heard of companies testing on animals but I hadn’t given it much thought and assumed that was a thing of the past. How incredibly sad!! Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will be making some purchasing changes!
    Btw – those shiny floors would show every speck of dust – no thanks!

    Reply

  11. Suzeraine
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:24 am

    Wow. Did not see that coming. Not that I disagree…just that it’s rather a departure from Craig’s List and remodeling. Our household is full of allergies and excema so this had to be done years ago. Just a happy coincidence that using products that won’t harm you generally happen to be products no one tested on animals. Thanks for the links. Go Victoria!

    Reply

  12. Darling Lily
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:27 am

    Amen.

    Reply

  13. Anne
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:29 am

    Hi there! I think the house for sale was probably staged, which accounts for the bland uniformity of the furniture and the Vuitton photobomb.

    Reply

  14. Cynthia Choat
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:30 am

    Thank you so much….for EVERYTHING! XO

    Reply

  15. Grandmas House DIY
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:46 am

    We’ve been making all of our own dishwasher detergent and laundry soap (using vinegar for fabric softener) for years using non toxic ingredients and we would never go back. For regular cleaning vinegar and baking soda is all we use and I’ve been working on my own body butter recipe with coconut oil and a little castor oil whipped up in our blender – it is amazing! Once you get those toxins out of your life it is incredible how terrible they smell and make you feel, shocking what we get “used” to. I love that you’re posting about things like this!! It’s wonderful!

    Reply

  16. Cate Prato
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:50 am

    Love the post. Love your blog. Love Elvis. Hate the ill-treated doggie image (necessary?). But I do appreciate the overall message and wish you had provided more space to links of products to use (maybe instead of the sad doggie pic).

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Yvonne Angus
      April 28, 2016 @ 6:31 am

      I rather think the photo of the gassed beagles WAS necessary. Our society is too trusting of Big Manufacturing. Shock is sometimes the ONLY way to wake people up to the cruelties being perpetrated. Horror is an excellent motivator.

      Reply

  17. Tahma Nash
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:51 am

    Because of your post, I plan on taking the opportunity to go cruelty free when I replace products in my upcoming move. Usually you make me laugh, today it was tears. God bless you for both!

    Reply

  18. Sarah
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:51 am

    Thank you for this post! I always try to buy cruelty free, but sometimes I get lazy. I needed to be reminded why it is so important to read labels and help stop animal cruelty in any way that I can. I love all of your posts, but I especially love when you blog about issues that are important to you. Off to sign the petitions now. Thanks Victoria!

    Reply

  19. Nicole
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:56 am

    I love this! I have been trying to convert all household items to non-toxic by using items from the Honest Co. It’s been harder to do beauty products. There are so many more resources and great brands to choose from now. Thanks for this, would love to see more posts on this topic.

    Reply

    • Lesley
      April 27, 2016 @ 11:09 am

      thanks for posting this, it reminds me of real estate listings that have wet concrete driveways, to show how sparkling clean even the outside of the house is. Regarding the use of toxins, I’ve been involved in green-ing up my house and kitchen over the last several years and have saved money doing it besides. Concentrated cleaners just require dilution, even the laundry soap. And best of all, THEY DELIVER! click through to my site to order. Best decision I ever made.

      Reply

  20. Patty/NS
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:57 am

    Amen Victoria! Wake up everyone, Europe is bucking the multicorp trend. Why are most people so uneducated to what is being pushed on us?! Because it means asking questions and doing work to educate ourselves! Anyways that is tiring and not fun when dinner has to be made and there is hockey/baseball practice to get to. We are creating our own hell as well as the creatures. So very, very sad.

    Reply

  21. Tonia
    April 27, 2016 @ 10:57 am

    I’ve been transitioning over to cruelty free products. Any recommendations for deodorant? I’ve tried a couple and let’s just say they have not been effective and leave it there.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 27, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      lol… my bff and I have had this exact conversation. I use the liquid crystal stuff, but sprinkle talc-free baby powder on top before getting dressed. For some reason this makes a difference for me. (but not for Lara)

      Maybe explore this site: she is extensive! http://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/start-here/

      Reply

      • Victoria Georgianna
        April 27, 2016 @ 7:14 pm

        I’ve been cruelty free for almost ten years. Deodorant wise I would strongly recommend Every Man Jack Sandalwood deodorant. Even though it is a guy’s deodorant it smells pretty gender neutral and I think the smell is fantastic.
        It is cruelty free and I’ve been using it for the last two to three years and I’ve only had to replace it once so it lasts forever. It’s also super affordable because I’ve been able to pick it up for around 5-8$ and I see it on sale a lot. You can get it at Whole Foods.
        I just think it is so great because previously I used to have to use extra extra strong Secret and the flowery smell would just smell so wrong on me and it never really worked very well but once I made the switch it was so so so much better.
        By the way, I know this sounds like a terribly long add but this deodorant kept me smelling great through 90 degree weather and training through cross country and through out prom and overall teenage grossness and hormones so it is great. I should probably go stock up.

        Reply

    • Kay
      April 27, 2016 @ 1:34 pm

      I’ve used a deodorant stone for many years. One application is effective for a good two days, although I use it every time I shower. It is not an antiperspirant, so don’t expect it to keep you dry. It goes on wet, but I do other things after applying it, and by the time I’m dressing, my underarms are dry. One stone lasts about six months. Just don’t drop it–it shatters and you end up salvaging the larger usable lumps. Despite that drawback, I’m devoted to the things.

      Reply

    • Allison
      April 27, 2016 @ 2:25 pm

      I use magnesium oil spray (allow to dry) followed by a little coconut oil. It works so well that even after moving on a hot summer day last year, I still smelled totally neutral.

      Reply

      • Jen
        April 27, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

        Magnesium oil? Do you buy ready-made or make your own or how does that work? I realize I could Google it but I’d rather hear from someone who’s using it successfully than sort through a lot of ads ?

        Reply

        • Allison
          April 27, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

          They sell it at health food stores and you can get it on Amazon as well. I’ve used the Life-flow brand with good results. It’s not oily at all – it’s more like water, but dries quicker. It’s strictly topical. I think some people mix magnesium chloride flakes with water to make it themselves, but I’ve never tried that.

          Reply

    • Cat
      April 28, 2016 @ 2:45 pm

      The natural German brand Dr. Hauschka makes fabulous deodorant that really works. It’s pricey in the US but it’s lovely stuff.

      Also, The People’s Pharmacy (Joe & Terry Graedon of NPR fame) make a Milk of Magnesia deodorant that my entire family now uses – let’s just say we’ve really put it to the test and it passed with flying colors. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/store/body-care/aluminum-free-mom-milk-of-magnesia-roll-on-deodorant/

      Reply

    • Carisa
      April 29, 2016 @ 10:46 pm

      I’ve found that the Kiss My Face liquid rock works amazingly well for me. It’s a liquid roll-on that drys fast and leaves no residue. Comes in an array of lovely, natural scents or unscented. Natural deodorants sometimes need a lot of personal trial and error until you find what works for you. I’ve tried some that made me smell worse than wearing nothing. Body chemistry is real.

      Reply

    • Jill
      November 28, 2016 @ 10:16 am

      Tonia, I use Arbonne deodorant. It is vegan and cruelty free. Best part is it has a 45 day guarantee. If it is not optimal with your body, you’re not stuck with it-where else can you say that? I’ve worked in a retail drugstore for years and no one returns the one that didn’t work, they just spend more hard earned $ on more. I will post a link here which I hope is ok- please delete if not- http://www.jilljacobek.arbonne.com ; you will find cruelty free nutrition, make up, skincare, spa and sports products. All are vegan ( meaning no beeswax either!), petroleum and phthalate free, many are kosher too. Do note that the deodorant is strictly that, it is aluminum free and not an antiperspirant. For some people, for health reasons, that is a huge selling point, while others prefer the drying activity of an antiperspirant.

      Reply

  22. Susan
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:00 am

    Add Rebel Green products to your list. Totally organic, cruelty-free and made in the US of A! They have been expanding their product line lately due to high demand. rebel green.com

    Reply

    • Yvonne Angus
      April 28, 2016 @ 6:39 am

      Nice to hear that a US company is making a cruelty-free product. The Euro-Ban on animal testing is the best argument AGAINST Buy American!

      Reply

  23. Alex
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:06 am

    That impossible sheen is the hardened sweat of generations of maidservants.

    If any of you feel hopeless in the face of animal cruelty, take a look at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – http://www.pcrm.org/research/resch/research
    They, and many other organizations, are working hard for you to make the world a happier place!

    Reply

  24. Sheryl
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:19 am

    https://schmidtsdeodorant.com/?gclid=CMuu76mOr8wCFQcKaQodCAoMmg

    This is not an endorsement as I have not tried it, but the website has a good deal of info about it and looks to be legit.

    Reply

  25. Garden, Home and Party
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:21 am

    Thanks for the information on the products. It’s so confusing. I’ve been trying to change over, especially now that I have 2 granddaughters, the moms are strict and I want to follow their lead. However, there was an article not long ago about “Honest” products still having toxic chemicals. Who are we to believe on this subject. I’ll check some of your links. It would be nice to know we were only using products that are pure and free of toxins, not to mention that they’ve left all animals to live without this horror.
    xo,
    Karen

    Reply

  26. vikki
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:22 am

    Thanks again for a great post. I do love your passion about going cruelty free. I have been slowly trying to go chemical free for years, but now more so since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of last year. I usually just make my own cleaning solutions and laundry soaps from simple ingredients. They clean as good and I feel better knowing they are not toxic. Thanks so much for including a few items that can be purchased that are also cruelty-free. I will definitely look into buying those items. It does amaze me when I see what goes into baby shampoo and baby wipes. I cringe when I see my children using them on my grand babies. It is unconscionable that industry would poison our babies, but they do not care as long as there is $$ to be made doing so. Keep on your soap box, it will help others to see what is going on.

    And by the way I love all your beautiful antiques. I wish I lived in an area where I could pick up some of those beauties, but I refuse to leave the West Coast. 🙂

    Reply

  27. Marni
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    Thank you for being an amazing, outstanding human!

    Reply

  28. Debbie
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    Thanks so much for getting the word out about toxic chemicals. Stopped buying name brands years ago just as I also don’t eat fast food. Also love the work FOOD BABE is doing too get harmful chemicals out of our food. We need to stop these companies from poisoning us on a daily basis by not buying there products. We wonder why there is so much illness. Money talks. If they can’t sell it, they won’t make it. I even make our own toothpaste because of the terrible chemicals it has. And we get great check ups, too. America needs to pay attention, the EU has banned way more than the US. It is even a felony in Russia to sell GMO products. Have you ever read the list of chemicals in something as common as aspirin? I read every label we use. Great house tour picture, too. I WANT THE MOLDING!

    Reply

  29. Victoria
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:43 am

    Love this post and yes, the animal pics made me tear up. But I am glad you used them as words would not been enough to describe such insanity. Thank you.

    Reply

  30. Barb
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    Well said! Years ago I worked for one of the MAJOR companies that are on the list. It was back in the day before people truly “got” it. As a former beagle mom, this is heartbreaking. Well done. I hope people truly change their ways. Life is short, make a difference.
    Oh, and thank you for the book reviews. Going to check them out. I hope Elvis is doing much better!

    Reply

  31. Jeanne
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:52 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I think we all can benefit from a less toxic environment and try to pass a less toxic environment down to our kids – and yes, animals should not be made to suffer for cosmetics and cleaners! One thing more is the amount of medications that people take that pass through our system and out to the water cycle. I would not want anyone to stop taking needed medication, but the amount of medication people take is on the rise, in some parts due to the hectic, stressed lives we lead – and the birth control pills are one of the main culprits, causing the feminization of male fish and other water life – which of course are part of the food chain. Add the number of people on medications for stress – we need to change our priorities – all the extra “stuff” is really not making us happier.

    Reply

  32. Lynn
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:54 am

    There is an app called Buycott that lets you scan any product in the grocery store to see if it aligns (or does not align) with what you want to avoid. It includes animal testing, GMOs, cheap labor, and everything else you could imagine. It’s great. It also makes shopping IMPOSSIBLE 🙂

    https://www.buycott.com/

    Reply

  33. S Zajonc
    April 27, 2016 @ 11:56 am

    I love your passion and resolve to speak your truth. I love your deep connection with life that reveals itself through GFTs and Elvis and every other beautiful being in the animal world. I love that you choose to guide and teach with this delicious blog you’ve created. Thank you, VEB.

    Reply

  34. Cindy
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:01 pm

    Hey- could you separate you post so I could share just the animal cruelty stuff on Facebook? I have friends that would skip my sharing it because of the title but they would read it if they knew that it was about animal testing.

    Reply

    • Yvonne Angus
      April 28, 2016 @ 6:48 am

      Why don’t you just copy and paste the part(s) you want to share with your friends?

      Reply

  35. Pattie C
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:06 pm

    I think as consumers we forget about the animal testing or we chose to forget so thanks for bringing it to my attention again. I do have a question, what does Tommy Hilfiger do test on, ugly pants and overpriced purses? Oh, I bet it’s perfume, which I hate.

    Reply

  36. Barb
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this infuriating TRUTH. I’m proud to run a cruelty free household. I learned some more just reading this, so thank you. I love YOU even more! 🙂

    Reply

  37. Anne Greene
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

    I’ve also been on the quest to go “all natural” with cleaning and personal care items to benefit our family as well as the environment, so was shocked to see Arm & Hammer on the list of brands test on animals 🙁 I’ve used their super washing soda to replace dishwasher detergent as well as an ingredient in our homemade laundry detergent, and have used their baking soda for years as our go-to cleaning product (with vinegar)… Looks like I’ve got some more research to do.

    We use Dr. Bronner’s for shampoo now (diluted with a bit of essential oils added for scent), and lotions have been replaced with organic oils. I use argan oil in place of facial lotion and almond for body lotion (though all the oils I’ve tried work great for body lotion). I’ve been thinking of trying baking soda (applied with a pouf) in place of deodorant, but am still using up what I have left of another natural brand I like (Tom’s of Maine).

    Thanks for the information!

    Reply

    • Tal Saarony
      April 27, 2016 @ 1:17 pm

      Tom’s of Maine has for a long time now belonged to Colgate-Palmolive, a major animal tester. Many of the beloved cruelty-free companies are slowly being acquired by the testing giants.

      Reply

      • Anne Greene
        April 27, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

        Well that’s a bummer… I should have known when I saw that they include fluoridated toothpaste in their line of toothpaste several years ago 🙁 I’ve since switched our toothpaste brand and plan to move to a homemade deodorant as soon as finish up what I’ve got.

        Reply

        • melbajo
          April 28, 2016 @ 1:15 pm

          i recently made the switch from tom’s to dr. bronner’s toothpaste (after using bronner’s soap for a decade or more, i only just found out that they make toothpaste too!). definitely less foamy-sudsy – i think that is a sure sign it has less crap in it, but it does take some getting used to.

          Reply

  38. Melinda
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    Thank you for all the safer, cruelty free cleaning/soaping tips! …and the book reading suggestions… and those house pictures with your amusing comments:)

    Reply

  39. Randi
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

    I live in Savannah. Sadly, that is not my house, although I do have 5 1/2 bathrooms. I read Empty Mansions…good book. I make my own cleaning products and many of my own lotions and potions using essential oils. Chemical free and everything smells delicious…

    Reply

  40. Katherine
    April 27, 2016 @ 12:12 pm

    Thank you so much for such an informative post, Victoria. I’ve been ysing white vinegar and baking soda to clean almost everything, but I still occasionally succumb to other cleaning products. This must stop.

    Also, I’m in France and it is very difficult to find real cruelty free, chemical free products here. But I’m always looking.

    Elvis looks adorable!

    Reply

    • Katherine
      April 27, 2016 @ 12:22 pm

      By the way, I stopped coloring my hair 2.5 years ago due chemicals and expense. I love the result – healthy white hair – and would urge others to give it a try.

      I read your post again and saw there’s an EU ban on animal testing, of which I was completely unaware. As I said, I’ve had difficulty finding such products but I guess it’s time to look harder!

      Reply

    • Kiki
      April 28, 2016 @ 4:29 am

      Katherine; you’re right up my alley…. I also live in France and I would recommend the site http://www.ferme-des-peupliers.fr/fr/2713-savon-multi-usage-1-l-anae.html where I just ordered washing nuts – I used to be able to buy them at Auchan years ago and then, when they didn’t have them any longer, I switched to green products with satisfactory results. But then I found one last bag of the nuts and because they have no smell at all and we’re pretty allergic to everything with chemical components, I decided to find another supplier. I knew the wash nuts from Switzerland where I origin from.
      Ferme des peupliers has many other organic products too incl facial & hair products as well as organic coconut oil (which is also difficult to source in F).
      Good luck – and I DO commiserate the non-state of organic produce in France; Switzerland is so infinitely more advanced, incl. sourcing produce of ‘nearby’.

      Reply

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