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The Leaping Bunny Program

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Now that we have introduced the concept of Intentionally Cruelty-Free Beauty, we want to talk a little about the resources that are out there for cruelty-free shopping, such as the Leaping Bunny Program. It can be confusing when looking at cruelty-free product lists because there are many such lists out there. How do you know which is the most comprehensive? How do you know which has the most stringent guidelines?

Many consumers who have faithfully followed the PETA list of cruelty-free companies were upset to learn that Avon, Mary Kay and Estee Lauder had been on the PETA list for years, despite the fact that they were not, in fact, cruelty free. While they were not actively animal testing at the time that they were on PETA’s list, they certainly were positioned to do so at anytime, and stories that they had resumed testing for purposes of selling their products in China surfaced just this week. On top of that, it turns out Avon, for example, had been using carmine in the production of their makeup further back than just last week.

While PETA has said that they are “extremely upset” about learning that these companies have resumed testing, it seems that the wording in each company’s official statement on the issue read something along the lines of, “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor do we ask others to do so on our behalf, except when absolutely required by law.” Why were they allowed on the list when their stated policy made clear that they would do animal testing?

One organization stands apart from the rest as not allowing any beauty company to squeak by on sneaky wording, and that is the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ (CCIC). Their “Leaping Bunny Program” is well known to those who recognize their leaping bunny logo. In order to bear this logo on their products, or make the cut to be listed on their website, beauty companies must adhere to their strict policy on ethical conduct.

This program does not encompass just beauty products, it also includes personal hygiene products and household products. They are extremely thorough in what they consider “cruelty-free” and companies aiming to be a part of their Leaping Bunny Program must agree that no current, or future, animal testing is used in any part of the development and production of the product. This includes the company, the laboratories where the products are developed and the suppliers of the ingredients.

One thing of which to be aware is that the Leaping Bunny program’s main focus is animal testing, so they do not specifically focus on animal ingredients. If a company they list on their site complies with all of their non-testing guidelines, but sells some products containing ingredients such as honey, milk or carmine, the Leaping Bunny will note that some of their products are not vegan, and so to please refrain from buying those products.

The Leaping Bunny Shopping guide provides a comprehensive list to consumers who would like to know which products are safe. While there are many programs and lists that offer “cruelty-free” companies, The Leaping Bunny program is the one that we officially endorse (until we find a reliable list of companies that are solely vegan and don’t test on animals). They have proven to have the most stringent guidelines beyond other large animal welfare organizations.

To read more about The Leaping Bunny program, please visit their website

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