Rabbits don’t just symbolize holidays like Easter, they can also appear on your favorite products! The bunny has become the symbol of the cruelty-free logo, which actually comes in more than one form. There are three different pictures to watch for depending on where you live:
On the right is the leaping bunny, the official international symbol for any cruelty-free product. The middle is for the USA, and the right for Australian products.
Cruelty-free means that whatever is being labeled does not harm or cause suffering/death to an animal anywhere in the world. This means that if there’s no bunny, the business/company is involved in some kind of animal harm whether directly or by proxy.
Besides, having a cruelty-free logo on a product inherently adds to it’s value. A company isn’t going to avoid putting a bunny logo on their product if it’s actually cruelty-free. Most consumers want transparency, and to feel good when purchasing a product so the cruelty-free logo acts as a subtle incentive to buy the product.
Takeaway: If a product doesn’t explicitly say it’s cruelty-free, it has some form of cruelty in it.
Ok so if a product has the bunny logo, it’s 100% cruelty-free, right?
Here’s the tricky part, just because a product has a bunny on it, doesn’t inherently mean it’s all cruelty-free. There is no clear definition of “cruelty-free” by law so business often use the loophole of having the final product labeled as such; when in most cases, animal testing is done at the ingredient level. Or in other cases the business didn’t organize animal testing directly, but received that information through their suppliers.
There are a few different ways a company can put a bunny logo on their product without being totally accurate. To avoid this, quickly search and find if the company is actually certified by any of the leaping bunny programs (international or otherwise). If not, then there is no guarantee that animals weren’t harmed in the making of the product… on any level of its production.
Here’s some good news, since the 1980’s animal testing has declined by 90% or more. Thanks to new technology, and a higher standard of ethics in data collection, there is virtually no need to test on animals anymore. Simply put, if a company is still using animal testing they shouldn’t be supported. At this point in time it is an outdated and cruel form of safety regulation.
There has always been an odd divide between the animals we keep as pets, and the animals we use for scientific studies. Cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, non-human primates, and pigs are all used in animal-based research. But they’re also kept as pets.
If a product is supplied by demand, then demand is supplied by money. So if you want cruelty-free products, don’t buy products that aren’t labeled as such. By doing so it creates a domino effect because it forces brands/companies to change their manufacturing practices.
They want to make money? They need to provide products people want to buy.
It’s really just a win-win for everyone involved. By creating a cruelty-free standard for all companies it obviously benefits the animals, but also the consumer. Any official, cruelty-free certified company has to be transparent about their supplier system, supply chain (from ingredients to manufacturing), and their adherence to dates and audits. Transparency is better for everyone, especially for those buying the products.
More good news? Cruelty-free is the trend that’s been growing in the market for a few decades now, and is why it’s more and more common to see products labeled with a bunny. Why not demand that all products adhere to ethical standards when so many others are already doing just that?
As always, be sure to reference the reviews of any product. Never take one person’s word as law because everyone is different! You’ll have different skin needs or desires which can be re-affirmed by other’s experiences.
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