If every Cruelty Free product was marked, wouldn’t it make shopping so much easier? There wouldn’t even be any need for this blog! But as it stands, certification takes a lot of time, money and commitment from companies, and some simply can’t afford it. Or they choose not to have it.
There are many different versions of Cruelty Free labels from all parts of the world, and I’ll list some examples of these below. The most common that we see in Ireland is the Leaping Bunny Certification and the PETA approved logo.
It is important to be aware of what is legitimate and what isn’t, though. If you take the L’Oreal or Garnier ‘Vegan’ labeling, for instance, you could be easily fooled into believing this is a Cruelty Free product, as Vegan is defined as ‘a person who does not eat or use animal products’. I don’t consider a product or brand that tests on animals to be Vegan, and both L’Oreal and Garnier sell in mainland China. Therefor, their Vegan product claim is false.
Another instance is one I was fooled by myself a few years back. OGX. When I was in Boston, I came across their shampoo and conditioner in a Walgreens and read ‘Not tested on animals’ on the back of the bottles and thought, great! Cruelty Free! However, when a brand writes this, they can take it to mean whatever they feel like. OGX is sold in mainland China, so I can assume they don’t test their products in the USA, but it is sold in China and therefor OGX pay for their products to be tested on animals for sale there. I should also mention that when I examined the OGX bottles in Boots here in Dublin, they didn’t have the same No Animal Testing claim. Odd one, isn’t it?
An opposing example of this though, is Tesco, who bare the same statement on their products; ‘Not tested on animals’. I wrote to Tesco to ask about their position on animal testing, and they were able to confirm to me that all of their household products and other own brand products are not tested on animals and are therefor Cruelty Free (It should be noted that they have their own range of medicinal products and therefor these fall under different categories for animal testing etc. which is a different issue).
We also have companies who do not test, or have finished products or ingredients tested, but do not opt for any certification. Boots is a prime example of this. They assured me they did not use any animal testing in any area of production, even before the EU ban came into place. They told me they do not feel the need to get a certification, however I wish they did.
The final issue to be considered when choosing brands is a personal one.
Some individual brands are Cruelty Free, but have a parent company/ are owned by a company who are not Cruelty Free. This doesn’t affect CF certification of the individual brand, so it is one to be aware of.
Burt’s Bees is the best example of this. They have received the Leaping Bunny certification, but they are owned by a major corporation called Clorox, who are not CF.
Supporting a brand with a Non CF parent company can be looked at two ways:
- You are showing a demand for Cruelty Free products
- A portion of the money you pay ends up going to the Non CF parent company
I leave this down to you from here. Personally, I choose to support these brands and help show a demand for these products. But if you choose not to, you can find more info on brands and parent companies here .
Leaping Bunny certification comes from Cruelty Free International (formerly BUAV), a major organisation which is made up of 8 different groups: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Alliance of Canada, Beauty Without Cruelty USA, Doris Day Animal League, Humane Society of Canada, Humane Society of the United States, New England Anti Vivisection Society, and the National Anti Vivisection Society. Their aim was to come together to produce a certification which had clear understanding and meaning, as many companies had produced their own versions of ‘CF’ which was able to mean whatever that company wanted.
As mentioned above in the Burt’s Bees example, they do not take the parent company into consideration. It also doesn’t mean that a product is Vegan, so have a look at the ingredients list!
You can read up more here : www.leapingbunny.org
Choose Cruelty Free (CCF)
Australia based organisation which has been campaigning for an end to animal testing since 1993. They seem to work in a similar fashion to the Leaping Bunny Programme, whereby a company applies to them for certification and go through months of examination, and pay an annual fee to have the CCF bunny logo on their products. The symbol doesn’t necessarily mean it is vegan though, so you’ll have to check this out with the brand itself! Their website is really interesting and has loads of information on animal testing and sales in China:
PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) also offer a ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ certification. However, the process appears to be a lot simpler than the Leaping Bunny, and only incurs a once off fee of $100. Some consumers are more skeptical of the PETA logo, which just reminds us of how hard it is to make the right decisions while shopping!
More information can be found here: https://www.peta.org/living/personal-care-fashion/beauty-without-bunnies/
Whatever way you choose to shop Cruelty Free, your actions are making a huge difference and impact in the world!