Why It’s Important To Check a Cruelty-Free List

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I recently got into an interesting email exchange with a company I contacted. I initially reached out to them asking for details about their animal testing policy like whether their products are tested on animals; if individual ingredients were tested on animals; third party testing; parent company testing; and suppliers testing.

In their response, they didn’t address any of my questions and instead just said,

All of our products are Cruelty Free, and hold the Cruelty Free Seal. Feel free to browse their website for their regulations that {brand} products follow: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org

I followed the link and checked the Cruelty Free International’s database and to my surprise, the brand wasn’t listed. I then hopped over to LeapingBunny.org which lists US and Canadian-based brands but they were also not listed there.

LeapingBunny.org (Left) CrueltyFreeInternational.org (Right)

Not one to lose faith, I emailed back the company and told them I couldn’t find them on either list and if they were perhaps operating under another legal business name. The rep responded saying,

“I’m not sure why we don’t show up on the Cruelty Free website, but we do have their seal on all of our products and have a partnership with them.”

Now this was getting interesting. Were they illegally using the Leaping Bunny logo on their website and products hoping no one would actually check the list?

When I checked the company’s website, I see the issue.

I see PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies Program logo and not the Leaping Bunny logo. I follow-up by checking PETA’s database and sure enough, they were listed.


Not one to hold a grudge for putting me in this goose chase, I kindly explained to them that they were misinformed and that Cruelty Free International and PETA’s cruelty-free programs are entirely different from one another.


So what’s the big deal?

As painful and tedious it can be, make sure you do your own research. I email a bunch of companies a week and this has happened to me a few times but it usually gets resolved when the company tells me they operate under another business name that is listed on a cruelty-free list.

I decided not to include the name of the company in this post because I don’t think they were intentionally trying to deceive me. However Suzi from the fabulous blog, Cruelty Free Kitty, has actually caught a brand unapologetically using the Leaping Bunny logo on their products without even being certified at all which is a lot worse than just saying you’re on the wrong list.

Again, take it upon yourself to do your own research when companies make unsupportive claims. If brands are innocently mistaken, you can help set the record straight so that they can stop spreading misinformation. It becomes a real issue (and possibly a lawsuit) when companies continue to falsely advertise their products as not tested on animals and using a trademark bunny logo on their packaging without permission.

I wanna know, have you had any experiences dealing with companies that may be misinforming their customers? How did you handle that?

What do you think?

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“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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