Not Tested on Animals ≠ Cruelty Free - Blog the Change for Animals #BtC4A | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, January 15, 2018

Not Tested on Animals ≠ Cruelty Free - Blog the Change for Animals #BtC4A

Several years ago after I adopted Lola and Lexy and became more involved in the cat community, animal cruelty started to come to my attention. The more I learned, the more I wanted to purchase more cruelty-free products. I always thought if a product was not tested on animals it was cruelty-free, but through some research I learned that wasn't true. Read on to see what the difference is. 

Blog The Change|cruelty-free|animal testing

What is Cruelty-free?

Cruelty-free means that there is no animal testing at any point during the production of a product. This includes no animal testing on any of the ingredients (either by the company or third parties) as well as the finished products. It means that the company does not test on animals under any circumstances, even if the authorities require it by law (which is the case in China.)

Does not tested on animals mean a product is cruelty-free?

No. Many companies will have a statement such as this on their website: "We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except where required by law." Most often this is China. If a company decides to sell in China, not only do they have to agree to cruel tests on animals, but they also have to finance those tests. This means the company is paying for animal testing and therefore are forfeiting their cruelty-free status. 

Once a company is cruelty-free will it always be cruelty-free?

One thing I learned along the way is that you have to do your research. A company that has upheld a cruelty-free standpoint can quickly change. One example is St. Ives, which was cruelty-free for years. I was doing some research on skin care products when I came across a post that stated St. Ives was no longer cruelty-free. I thought that had to be a mistake! I had just purchased a large bottle of St. Ives lotion and lo and behold, the label now stated: “contains no animal products.” It no longer stated the product was not tested on animals. I was so disappointed! Another example is Nars, which was a cruelty-free makeup staple for many women until they decided to sell in China. I was disappointed yet again! 

Another thing I learned is that a company may not be on certain cruelty-free lists because of who their parent company is. For example, Bare Minerals (one of my absolute favorite makeup lines) is owned by Shiseido. Shiseido does not have cruelty-free status, but Bare Minerals sticks to their decision to be cruelty-free. The same is true for Burt’s Bees, which is owned by Clorox. 

How do I know a product is cruelty-free? 

If a product has one of these logos the company has cruelty-free status. 

According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, these are the only three bunny logos a shopper should trust. You can read more about it hereCruelty-Free Kitty is my go-to website when I want to look up products, especially makeup. Other sites you can use are Logical Harmony, Ethical Elephant, PETA,  and Leaping Bunny.   

How can I help animals? 

We can all help animals by buying cruelty-free products. Voting with our dollars can have a huge impact. The UK has banned animal testing, and according to Cruelty-Free International, Brazil is one step closer. How wonderful would it be for the USA to join the cause? 

Norman Reedus, one of my favorite actors,
supports Cruelty Free International. 

Choosing to buy cruelty-free products does not have to be an all or nothing decision. The choice to switch even one product in your household is a step towards being the change for animals. I am far from perfect, but whenever possible I will choose a cruelty-free product. About 95% of my makeup and skin care products are cruelty-free, but I haven’t been as successful with my hair products. I have swapped several commercial cleaning supplies for natural products, but there are still some under my kitchen sink that are not considered cruelty-free. The more people support cruelty-free companies, the closer we are to getting animal testing banned here in the USA. 

Do you have a favorite cruelty-free product? 

Would you like to comment?

  1. This is a wonderful post and something I didn't know the difference between. I will definitely be bookmarking Cruelty-Free Kitty!

  2. Thank you, Dawn, for this wonderful post. I especially love this: "The choice to switch even one product in your household is a step towards being the change for animals." So true! Even the smallest decisions are important to changing the world. Sharing!

    Hugs to you, Lola and Lexy.

  3. Thank you thank you for this amazing post! I had no idea of the difference and now I will look for those approved cruelty free logos. I also like St Ives products and always thought they were cruelty free.

  4. We love this post and spent about an hour looking over the lists and lots of what we use are cruelty free and we'll be switching out some soon.

  5. This is a great post. Thank you for writing it!

    I only use cruelty free and vegan products.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  6. Thanks for doing this post! I used to be much better about buying only cruelty free and admit to having got away from it. It seems cleaning and laundry products are more challenging than personal products. I'm going check out Cruelty-Free Kitty right now.

  7. Great post ! Thank you for the links to the ressources ! Purrs

  8. We didn't know this about not testing on animals didn't mean they were cruelty free. Thanks for educating us. We'll look for more cruelty free products to use.

  9. Dawn, what an excellent post with so much important information. Thank you for the links as well. I am happy that most products I am using are cruelty-free. I will have to think about changing a few, like my shampoo. Hugs, Janet

  10. I had no idea there were differences in wording! Very upset to see my favorite shampoo tests on animals according to Cruelty Free Kitty :(

  11. OH thank you from the bottom of our and Katie. Thank you!!

  12. Great post! Mommy is pretty fanatical about products and tries to buy from small local peoples. They are much more diligent about what's in their products, it supports local business and entrepreneurship and quite often, yous makes furrends too.
    Mes wants to thanks yous for coming and commenting on my Spark today!
    Many kisses
    Nellie Bellie

  13. Wow. I had no idea of the semantics games companies play in regard to animal testing/cruelty. Of course, the companies bet on that - so thank you for interpreting the language for us - so we know what we're buying/supporting!

  14. I was SO UPSET when I heard Burt's Bees was not cruelty free anymore. I love their products, but don't feel comfortable using them anymore. Thanks for posting this! I sure wish more people would pay attention.


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