How to Know if it’s Cruelty-Free?

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pic source: kaboompics
pic source: kaboompics

You’re well on your way to living a more compassionate lifestyle by choosing cruelty-free products that do not test on animals. However if you’re anything like me, you find yourself getting distracted by pretty packages and marketing buzz words promising products to be “sustainable” “earth-friendly” “animal-approved” and other good for the planet, good for the animals, and just plain good for you types of labels. But how do you know which labels to trust?

“Cruelty-Free” is amongst the many labels that are often abused and misused by marketers. And with the many loopholes in products claiming to be cruelty-free, how can we be 100% certain that none of our friends from the animal kingdom were harmed in order for us to enjoy a new shade of lipstick?

Thankfully, there are three Cruelty-Free Certifications that are commonly found on cosmetics and personal care products available to Canadian residents. These certification programs provide consumers with the reassurance that the products we buy have not been tested on animals and they come in handy when you need a quick reference. Look for any of these three bunny logos to be 100% certain that the product and its ingredients were never tested on animals!

Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free Logo

The Leaping Bunny

an internationally recognized logo for cosmetics and household products not tested on animals.

Products that have been licensed to carry the logo, and their individual ingredients, must not have been tested on animals since the deadline for compliance declared by the manufacturer. The use of substances supplied by third-party companies who test on animals or commission such tests is also not permitted.




lists companies that don’t test on animals and also licenses the Caring Consumer logo for cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care products, household products, and companion animal food.

A company wishing to be certified “cruelty-free” must confirm that it neither conducts nor commissions animal testing of any cosmetics and/or household products or of ingredients used in formulations of such products. It must also require that manufacturers of any finished product it sells or distributes does not conduct or commission animal testing of the cosmetics and/or household products, including formulations and ingredients of such products.


Choose Cruelty Free (CCF)

an Australian-based nonprofit organization that accredits manufacturers of cosmetics and household products not tested on animals.

In order to qualify, a manufacturer must either have never tested its products or their ingredients on animals or have not tested them on animals within a period of 5 years immediately preceding the date of application for accreditation. This includes tests performed by someone else on behalf of the manufacturer.

Take that extra second to look for these specific bunny logos on packaging because it can make a difference! And although some companies are certified cruelty-free and on the list of companies that do not test on animals, they may choose not to use the certified cruelty free logos. The most common reason why companies choose to opt out on displaying the logo is because the licensing fee is too expensive or it’s too costly to re-design and print new packaging labels.

But thankfully, the cruelty-free gods have our back and have created some helpful tools that makes shopping for cruelty-free options practical and enjoyable! There are online searchable cruelty-free directories that are always updated; printer-friendly guides that you can print off and carry around in your wallet; even a snazzy app by the Beagle Freedom Project that lets you scan product barcodes and it’ll tell you whether it’s cruelty-free or not.

Certified CrueltyFree Logos

What do you think?

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1 Comment
  • Beth Dennis
    January 17, 2016

    Hello Vicky,
    Your website is amazing! I just read your article on the app for scanning products to see if they are cruelty-free….LOVE IT! I didn’t know there was one. I find it hard to trust these companies cause they can say and put anything on their products just to sell it. Couldn’t they be charged legally for false advertising? I love your site, keep up the great work and a BIG THANK YOU for putting all this information together so that people are aware and can make compassionate choices to help our furry friends 🙂

“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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How to Know if it’s Cruelty-Free?