How to Buy Cruelty Free
The main lesson when buying cosmetics and personal care products - look for this logo!
What is cruelty free?
As the name implies, it is shopping with the intention of only buying from companies that adhere to certain standards. These standards equal products manufactured with the intention of using ingredients and processes that did not use animals in any way. That happens in a few ways.
1. There are no animal ingredients.
2. The ingredients used were not tested on animals.
3. The finished product itself was not tested on animals.
There are a couple issues to watch out for here.
Not all companies that claim to be cruelty free are considered to be such by recognized bodies.
Of the most prominence, is the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics and it's standard, the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, which originally was a group of eight national animal protection groups. These included The American Anti-Vivisection Society , American Humane Association , Animal Protection Institute , Beauty Without Cruelty, USA: (212) 989-8073, Doris Day Animal League , The Humane Society of the United States , New England Anti-Vivisection Society, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The international partners include Animal Alliance of Canada, and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.
This is the best protection for consumers truly interested in buying 100 percent cruelty free products.
In their own words: "It is a voluntary pledge that companies make not to test on animals during any stage of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100% free of new animal testing. Commitments are renewed on an annual basis. This program applies only to cosmetics, personal care, and household products."
"This Standard provides the best assurance that no animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or suppliers. Under the CCIC program, companies obtain assurances from their suppliers and intermediary agents that, with respect to the specific ingredients supplied, no animal testing has been conducted on their behalf after a fixed date."
What Products are Covered Under the Program?
The products covered are far reaching and include, "[p]roducts eligible for approval include items regulated as cosmetics . The program also applies to products traditionally found in the Household Products aisles of supermarkets, such as cleaning supplies, bleaches, laundry and dish detergents, and cleaners."
If a company produces these products and meets the standards set forth, "[o]nce CCIC approved, a company is named and linked in our Online Shopping Guide , listed in the published Compassionate Pocket Shopping Guide, and included in media and marketing opportunities. Companies that choose to license the Leaping Bunny Logo receive additional promotional opportunities, as we seek to educate conscientious consumers to "look for the bunny."'
The common question arises then - Doesn't the law require animal testing?
The simple answer - NO! Again, the CCIC:
"Neither the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the US Consumer Product Safety Commission requires animal testing for cosmetics or household products, respectively. There are sufficient existing safety data as well as in vitro alternatives to make animal testing for these products obsolete. While it is true that virtually every ingredient, even water, has been tested on animals in the past, we can help prevent future animal testing." In essence, it is not necessary to test, and plenty of alternatives exist to animal tests.
So one last important note. For a shopper to truly be cruely free, one must be vigilant in understanding that not all companies that claim to be cruelty free are. Again, unless you see the CCIC bunny logo
the product cannot be trusted as adhering to their strict standards. Again from the CCIC: "Why does my bottle say "Not tested on animals," but the company is not listed in the CCIC Shopping Guide?
You may be aware that many products claiming to be "cruelty free" or "not tested on animals" actually contain ingredients that are tested on animals. The alleged "cruelty free" claim often refers to the final product; however, the majority of animal testing occurs through the supply chain and therefore these products actually contain ingredients tested on animals. Similarly, some companies state that "we" do not test on animals, when in fact they merely contract "someone else" to do the testing. These kinds of labels and claims are often confusing to consumers.
Without an assurance from a company through the CCIC certification program, we are unable to confirm its animal testing policy or its labeling claims. However, we're happy to work with any company to get it on board!"
Again, - Look for this logo! and only support those companies found in the CCIC online Shopping Guide and within the List of Companies that Do Not Test on Animals.
Click Here for a listing of links that will help you locate companies to purchase cruelty free products from