Cruelty-free manufacturing has made huge progress over the years, but we still have a long way to go! This guide will help you sort through all of the cruelty-free terms and logos you may see on a product and give you a clear picture of what exactly you need to look for.
What Does Cruelty-Free Actually Mean?
When companies claim to be cruelty-free, what they are saying is that they never test their ingredients or the final product on animals and they do not produce their products in a facility that contains animals. They have a clear stance against animal testing. The term is often used to give a strong commitment to the environment and ethical standards in manufacturing a product. Brands that are cruelty-free proudly display their third-party certification to that effect.
How To Find Cruelty-Free Brands
There are different ways to find cruelty-free brands. You can either go to a list of cruelty-free retailers online or google the brand you want more information about. You can also go to the databases of these third-party certifiers, Leaping Bunny, Peta, Cruelty Free International, Choose Cruelty Free, and look up cruelty-free brands that way. Almost all brands that are certified cruelty-free will display their certification logo on their site or on their product. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the real logos; many brands will display a very similar logo to the real one on their website in hopes to fool you. PETA, for instance, has changed its logo a few times - most recently in 2020. They are not requiring their certified brands to switch to the new logo yet so be familiar with both. When you are shopping for cosmetics or cleaning products look for the certified cruelty-free logo on their packaging and once again watch out for fake logos! Here are some of the most used real cruelty-free certifications you should be looking for.
If you do not have the time to research a company for its cruelty-free stance there are many cruelty-free mobile apps available for download. They'll allow you to scan a product's barcode, search by brand name, search by category, and keep a history of your search, making it a lot easier to be cruelty-free! The Bunny Free app lets you find cruelty-free beauty products that are only certified by PETA. The Leaping Bunny app does the same thing - enabling you to find products that are certified by Leaping Bunny. EWG (Environmental Working Group) has an app just for cosmetics; it lets you know if a product and the ingredients are safe to use. Then there is the Cruelty Cutter app, it has in its database both PETA and Leaping Bunny certified products and brands. It worth nothing that there are brands on Cruelty Cutter that are neither in PETA nor Leaping Bunny's database, so do your homework when buying from one of these brands.
The Bottom Line
It is important that you do not blindly trust a brand that claims to be cruelty-free. The issue is that without the third-party certification or being in a cruelty-free database, you can’t be certain that their claims are true. Making a conscious effort to avoid those products you are unsure about can help protect the lives of innocent animals. If you decide to start buying cruelty-free, the above tips will help you on your journey. It doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you thought! If you have already embarked on this journey, know that you are saving countless animals from cruel treatment and this is definitely something you can feel good about.