In the beauty community, the word “cruelty-free” gets thrown around a lot. And yet, not a lot of people know what exactly it means.
Cruelty-free, as defined by the dictionary, is “the manufacturing or developing of cosmetics or other commercial products by methods that do not involve experimentation on animals. This means that the ingredients, formulation, and finished product cannot be tested on animals.
The animals that are usually subjected to these tests (mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, cats, dogs, monkeys) can suffer greatly from pain, distress, and long lasting harm to their health. Fortunately, cruelty-free organizations allow companies to not partake in this activity by signing legally binding documents to be a cruelty-free company.
In the United States, there is no regulation on animal testing; companies can decide for themselves if they want to be cruelty-free. The companies that reject being cruelty-free, however, usually do so because they want to sell their products in China where animals testing for products is required by law.
There are three main and legitimate organizations that promote being cruelty-free: Cruelty-Free International, PETA Caring Consumer, and Choose Cruelty Free. Any product that claims to be cruelty-free and is not certified by these organizations is usually not actually cruelty-free. Cruelty-Free International (known with the Leaping Bunny logo) is the most trustworthy organization, as their cruelty-free regulations for companies.
However, it should be noted that just because a product is cruelty-free, its ingredients can still be made from animal products. Choosing cruelty-free products is a great way to support animal rights. If you are interested in supporting cruelty-free brands, check these out:
Kat Von D
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Wet n Wild