According to the MUTTS Manifesto, our goal for August is “To Make Humane Choices.”
As consumers, it’s important for us to remember that, for better or worse, our voices are often measured by the dollars we spend. And in our mission to create a cruelty-free world, we think it’s a great idea to support companies and products that align with our values. Unfortunately, with so many options to choose from, it can be tough to know which brands actually deserve our affection.
So to make things a little easier, we’ve created this handy Humane Choices introductory shopping guide! We hope it’ll help you navigate the basics, and encourage you to explore other aspects of a humane lifestyle.
We urge our friends to adopt a plant-based diet — that is, to eliminate eating animals and any animal-derived products. However, because we understand that it can be difficult to make this adjustment, we’re including some of our favorite meat and dairy substitutes below. These are easy ways to introduce healthful, humane alternatives to meat. And they’re delicious, too!
- Hampton Creek is food technology company on a mission to find new ways to use plants in food products. Its current line of products include plant-based cookies and cookie dough, and egg and mayonnaise substitutes.
- Field Roast offers meat substitutes made from vegetables, spices, and wheat protein. Products include sausages, whole roasts, frankfurters, deli slices, burgers, and more.
- Beyond Meat offers products that have the taste and texture of meat, but are made entirely from plant protein. Choices include plant-based burgers, ground beef and chicken strip alternatives, and single-serve meals.
- Gardein‘s vast line of plant-based foods include substitutes for chicken, turkey, beef, and fish, plus a variety of “pocket meals” and gluten-free options.
- Silk provides a wide selection of dairy alternatives, including a popular line of milk products. Options include milk made from soy, almonds, cashews, or coconut. Silk’s newest campaign also invites customers to share recipes and photos using the hashtag #DoPlants.
BEAUTY AND COSMETICS
Unfortunately, most hygiene and cosmetic products (and the ingredients used to make them) are still tested on animals. That’s why it’s so very important to support companies that have cruelty-free policies, and to keep animal testing out of our shopping carts.
In this category, the best indicator of a company’s dedication to animal welfare is whether it belongs to the Leaping Bunny Program. It doesn’t cost anything to become Leaping Bunny certified, and all companies who participate submit to independent audits. A few of our favorite Leaping Bunny companies include:
- Burt’s Bees
- Everyday Minerals
- Foster Naturals
- Kiss My Face
- Meyer’s Clean Day
- The Body Shop
- J.R. Watkins
- Urban Decay
- Yes To Inc.
- … and many more! (You can check out the entire list online.)
When shopping for clothing and accessories, always read the tags! Try to avoid items that include animal-derived materials. Instead, look for labels that include only plant-based or man-made materials (such as canvas, cotton, hemp, linen, denim, twill, nylon, microfiber, moleskin, faux leather, down alternative, synthetic down, and polar fleece).
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER
- When shopping locally, don’t hesitate to ask independent retailers or farmers about their stance on animal welfare. There are plenty of small, cruelty-free businesses — probably in your own community — that don’t get national attention, but deserve our support all the same.
- Do your own research on the items you buy, and choose brands that you’re personally comfortable supporting.
- Don’t stress! There’s a lot of information out there, and we know it can seem overwhelming. Be kind to yourself, and take it one step at a time. Even a small act of compassion can have a big impact on the life of an animal.
Want to learn more about making humane choices? Join the Humane Society’s Be Cruelty-Free Campaign or visit the Humane Society’s Guide to Meat-Free Meals. Looking for inspiration and updates about MUTTS-related news? Sign up for our daily email on the MUTTS.com homepage.