“Not tested on animals.” You have probably read this statement on many packaging labels and purchased certain products as a result, believing they were cruelty-free – when in fact they were not. Many companies today make misleading marketing claims to uphold their reputation and sell more products.
Although animal testing for cosmetic products is now banned in several U.S. states and a project is under study in Canada, there is always room for improvement!
“Hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in product testing for cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, and more.” Harsh irritants and chemicals are applied to their skin and eyes, and lethal fumes are forced into their lungs.
Yes, animal testing is already banned in some states, but unfortunately, the FTC does not manage claims across the continent. This means that despite best efforts, not all brands are required to highlight which products or ingredients were tested on animals.
Cruelty-free certifications showcase a company’s ethical standards and provide consumers with the certainty that the products they buy comply with humane practices, free of harm, abuse and testing on animals.
Who is PETA?
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest non-profit American animal rights organization in the world, comprised of over 6.5 million members and supporters.
Founded in 1980, PETA focuses its efforts on certain core areas related to animal abuse: animal testing, factory farming, fur trading, and the treatment of animals in the entertainment industry. It is also involved in other campaigns including the cruel killing and treatment of domesticated and non-domesticated animals, and practices such as bullfighting, dogfighting and more.
PETA brings together a large network of scientists, policymakers, celebrities and volunteers. Together they promote animal safety through public education, research and investigations, legislations, and protest campaigns.
For nearly 40 years, PETA’s groundbreaking campaigns have successfully led to numerous shutdowns of animal testing laboratories and discouraged the displacement of animals for chemical testing. In addition, they have exposed the mistreatment of animals in the entertainment industry, and have prompted hundreds of companies in the apparel industry to go fur- and leather-free – amongst other initiatives. These successes have led to dramatic improvements in the lives of millions of animals.
Beauty Without Bunnies: PETA's cruelty-free certification program
Beauty Without Bunnies is PETA’s cruelty-free certification program, which provides consumers with information about a company’s testing policies and practices. It is the ultimate resource for conscientious shoppers looking for cruelty-free products, with a searchable online database comprised of over 3,800 cruelty-free companies, with reaches over 2.7 million potential customers each year.
In order to be certified, companies are required to either sign PETA’s statement of assurance or provide a formal statement verifying that they do not conduct or commission animal tests with ingredients, formulations, or finished products – and they must pledge not to do so in the future.
Once approved, qualifying companies receive a seal of approval that ensures their product is made without harming animals and therefore by definition, all their products are concerned: the Beauty Without Bunnies logo. PETA will then add them to their Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide and to their online database.
What does it mean to be “cruelty-free”?
A product is considered cruelty-free if:
- The finished product (shelf product) is not tested on animals.
- None of the ingredients listed on the label have been tested on animals.
- None of the company’s external suppliers perform animal testing.
- It is certified by a recognized and trusted third-party cruelty-free certification.
Cruelty-free companies use alternative methods to animal testing, including sophisticated tests using human cells (known as in vitro methods), and advanced computer-modeling techniques (in silico models).
How do I recognize a PETA certified product?
To find out which products have earned the Beauty Without Bunnies mark:
1. Look for the Bunny logo on the product packaging
The fact that the PETA logo, as well as the words "cruelty-free" or "vegan and cruelty-free" are visible on the packaging of the product sold in stores or online is a good starting point, although there are several other clues.
2. Browse PETA’s Online Searchable Database
All PETA-certified products and companies can be found in their online database, where users can browse by brand or product type.
3. Request PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide
PETA’s handy shopping guide provides useful tips and insights to help you shop for cruelty-free and humane products.
4- Look at a company’s website
Companies with the PETA certification have information on their websites that showcase which of their products meet PETA’s cruelty-free standards.
What About "Vegan and Cruelty-Free"?
To be considered “cruelty-free” under PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies program, a company must not only ban animal tests but also refuse to use any animal-derived ingredients, such as honey, beeswax, or carmine, in its products.
ATTITUDE: Proudly cruelty-free and PETA approved
At ATTITUDE, caring for the well-being of our environment and its fauna is an important part of our mission. All our personal care and household items are proudly cruelty-free: you can rest assured that our external suppliers are cruelty-free, and that none of the ingredients listed on our labels have been tested on animals since the company was founded.
In addition, our products are certified vegan – meaning they do not contain any animal-based ingredients. We use healthy ingredients, which are, for the most part, mineral and plant-based.
Aligned with PETA’s standards, we use responsible and environmentally-friendly production and manufacturing processes. From sourcing raw materials to packaging, we have minimized our environmental footprint by using biodegradable and non-toxic ingredients to help protect our natural habitat.
Tips to help you buy cruelty-free products
- Read the label: Look for the Cruelty-Free or Cruelty-Free and Vegan PETA logo which features bunny ears or other recognized certifications on the market.
- Do your homework: Research the company online, or use PETA’s searchable database to see if the product is registered. You can also email the company to find out more information about their policies and practices.
- Keep in mind: Prior to January 2021, animal testing was required by law in China for cosmetics companies from outside the country. It is now possible to avoid animal testing in some cases, but it is best to keep an eye out and consult PETA's online database beforehand.
Avoid products using “Finished product not tested on animals”: Even if the shelf product was not tested on animals, that does not mean some ingredients listed on the label were not previously animal-tested.