More customers and more companies are joining hands to make their products cruelty-free. They still have a long road ahead of them before we can declare ALL beauty products animal-friendly, but we’re getting there! If you’ve just started your quest for cruelty-free products and don’t know where to begin your homework, this 5-step guide will make the transition easier.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay#1 Check For A Certified Bunny Logo
The fastest and easiest way to check if your favorite product is cruelty-free is to look for a ‘bunny’ logo on their packaging. Check for these three companies’ logo in particular:
- Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF)
- PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies
- Leaping Bunny
However, not all bunny logos are created equal. Some companies deceive their customers by printing a similar cute one hoping customers will take the bait.
There’s another limitation to this method, too. Companies must pay licenses to use these logos and many might not have the budget to accommodate that. So, lack of a bunny doesn’t always mean that the product tests on animals. When in doubt, you can simply reach out to their customer care for more information.
#2 Use Online Lists/ Apps
There’s a whole directory available online mentioning cruelty-free products and companies. This is a great alternative for brands that can’t pay for a license. All they need to hop on the list is to meet the cruelty-free standards stated by this organization. Here are some renowned ones to trust:
- Leaping Bunny
- Cruelty-free International
- Choose Cruelty-Free
And if going through a whole list feels like a lot of work to you, there are cruelty-free mobile apps that let you scan the product’s barcode and instantly show their animal testing policies. Some apps you can trust:
- Leaping Bunny App
- Bunny Free App (PETA)
- Choose Cruelty-Free App
- Cruelty Cutter App
All organizations have different standards, make sure you agree with them before trusting anyone. Cruelty-free websites, like Those Graces, are also good options for finding out if individual products fit your ethics, as they cover single brands in more detail than apps and directories do.
#3 Contact the company directly
A time-consuming but the most reliable method of all. Emailing is the best choice, and here are some questions to ask:
- Do you test on animals, at any time during the production of your products?
- Who are your suppliers? Do they test on animals?
- Do you sell your products in any country that requires testing on products?
- Are you owned by another company?
It will take around a week or a month to get your doubts cleared, but at least all the cruelty-free questions and concerns will be addressed.
#4 The China Angle
There are some countries, like mainland China, that require products to be tested on animals before selling them. This is absurd though. Just to make it clear, animal testing isn’t necessary to ensure the safety of a product. There are many other ethical alternative ways to ensure consumer safety, like in vitro tests and clinical studies on humans.
Now, when these companies, let’s say Benefit, who don’t voluntarily test their products or ingredients on animals, decide to put their business in China, they will be tested on animals. So, their products in the USA might be cruelty-free, but the company can’t be declared cruelty-free because of their choice to sell in China.
#5 Reach Out To A Cruelty-Free Expert Or Blogger!
Just like you consult a real-estate agent while dealing with properties, reach out to a cruelty-free expert or blogger for help on your cruelty-free product transition. Most of them would be incredibly happy to help someone who’s now a part of the change they’re trying to bring in the world. Moreover, they have already done extensive work and might already have data on the company you want info on. Just DM, email, tweet them or go through their website and find their curated cruelty-free product list for reference.
What is animal testing and a cruelty-free product?
Animal testing is a scientific experiment in which a living animal is exposed to a chemical through inhalation, injection, or ingestion. This is likely to cause pain, suffering or permanent damage. Cruelty-free products are a range of cosmetics that aren’t tested on animals and are manufactured ethically.
What’s the difference between vegan and cruelty-free?
The terms that are often confusing are vegan and cruelty-free. While cruelty-free products are free of animal testing, vegan products take it a step further and don’t include any ingredients that come from animals. To ensure your beauty products are completely harmless to animals, look for products that are both ‘vegan’ and ‘cruelty-free’.
Labels can be mind-boggling and misleading at times. The sheer amount of information on cosmetics we’re flooded with makes shopping overwhelming. But there are some things that can’t be ignored and animal cruelty is certainly one of them. If you want your products to be 100% cruelty-free, we’d urge you to take each step mentioned above seriously and make sure your toiletries were harmless to animals.
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