Its unfortunate that cosmetic animal testing is still legal in the United States. Some countries banned the practice long ago (in fact, in 2013, the entire European Union made it illegal to sell any products whose manufacture had included cosmetic animal testing), but the U.S. is still trailing behind.
If you are passionate about reducing and preventing animal cruelty, chances are you do your best to avoid purchasing products from companies that perform animal testing. Theres more to shopping cruelty-free than simply relying on a label, though. Heres what you need to know in order to shop cruelty-free:
Look for the Leaping Bunny
The most reliable and well-known way to find cruelty-free products is to select items that feature the characteristic Leaping Bunny symbol (bonus tip: You can download the Leaping Bunny app, which allows you to quickly check whether or not a product is cruelty-free). Created and bestowed by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, this symbol shows that the product is distributed by a company you can feel good about supporting.
In order to earn the certification, companies must pledge not only to preclude animal testing internally, but also to only purchase their ingredients from other cruelty-free companies. They must promise not to sell to countries that make animal testing compulsory (Ill get to that in a minute), and must do thorough screenings and upkeep to ensure that none of their partners have begun animal testing practices. They must also commit to renewing their certification every year.
Shopping for products that have this certification is a really good way to avoid accidentally supporting companies that test on animals, becauseas I’m about to explainthings can get complicated.
Do Your Research on Parent Companies and Affiliates
Many, many companies that arent cruelty-free own all-natural product lines that claim to be. For example, while the popular toothpaste and personal care line Toms of Maine might not test on animals, it’s owned by Colgate-Palmolive, which is decidedly not cruelty-free. The same can be said of Clinique, which is owned by EsteLauder.
Some people believe that purchasing a cruelty-free brand from a large conglomerate can help shift the parent company toward better values, while others decide not to support the company or its affiliates at all. That decision is yours to make.
Get to Know Countries’Individual Animal Testing Requirements
The Chinese government requires that many cosmetic products be tested on animals before they can be sold to the general public. This means that if a cosmetic product is available in China, it’s most likely being tested on animals.
By contrast, no cosmetic products sold in the European Union can ever have been tested on animals. Buying a European-made product is a great way to know that your cosmetics are cruelty-free.
It takes a lot of time to sift through the information out there about animal testing. There are definitely signs that things are getting betterthe EU law and recent changes to Chinese laws are big victories for animal rights activists. But were not done yet! Make your voice heard by supporting companies that consider animals well-being. Be choosy about your cosmetic purchases, ask your favorite companies to take the cruelty-free pledge, and do your research about animal testing laws and issues.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.