This FAQ addresses common questions about all things cruelty-free as well as questions about my site and cruelty-free list. If you have any questions right now, you’re probably going to find some answers on this page.
Please make sure to take a look at the questions below before contacting us!
- Cruelty-Free & Animal Testing
- What does “cruelty-free” mean?
- What makes a company truly cruelty-free?
- Why should I go cruelty-free, and does it even matter in 2017?
- What do the tests really involve?
- Without animal testing, how do we know our products are safe?
- How come animal testing hasn’t already been banned?
- What can I do to help the cause?
- If there’s a bunny on the packaging, does it mean it’s cruelty-free?
- What does it mean when a brand sells products in China?
- Why can’t a company be considered cruelty-free if they sell in China, as long as they’re cruelty-free otherwise?
- When I see “made in China” on the packaging, does this mean it’s tested on animals?
- What’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?
- Cruelty-Free Kitty & Our List
- Is Cruelty-Free Kitty an organization?
- Which companies are added to the list of cruelty-free brands?
- How do you decide which brands are added to the list? Will you add my company?
- Which cruelty-free certifications can we trust?
- What’s the difference between Cruelty-Free Kitty and organizations like PETA or Leaping Bunny?
- I’m looking for the cruelty-free status of a specific cosmetics brand. Can you help?
- This company claims to be cruelty-free but you list it as testing on animals. What’s up with that?
- Where can I follow Cruelty-Free Kitty on social media?
Cruelty-Free & Animal Testing
These questions relate to animal testing and what “cruelty-free” really is. They’re helpful if you’re new to the cruelty-free scene or if you want to expand your knowledge.
What does “cruelty-free” mean?
The term “cruelty-free” means that a brand doesn’t test on animals. Since it’s not regulated, any company can claim to be cruelty-free, hence why we can’t always rely on the company itself when they make this claim.
What makes a company truly cruelty-free?
A company is only truly cruelty-free if there’s no animal testing at any point during the production of their products.
This means that their finished products or ingredients aren’t tested on animals, either by the company itself or any third parties. It also means that they don’t purchase raw materials from suppliers who test on animals. Finally, it means that the company doesn’t test on animals under any circumstances, even if the authorities require it by law, which is the case in China.
Why should I go cruelty-free, and does it even matter in 2017?
Unfortunately, animal testing for cosmetics is still a frequent practice to this day. You can find animal testing along the whole production chain, from the raw materials used in products to the mandatory animal testing in China.
It’s as important as ever to protest against these cruel experiments by supporting cruelty-free brands. Animal testing is far from being a gentle practice. Laboratory animals don’t have any rights, even though they’re animals just like our household pets. These animals are routinely tortured, crippled, and eventually killed from the experiments.
If you’re on the face about going cruelty-free, click here to read my article on 15 great reasons to make the switch.
What do the tests really involve?
Most tests involve dropping chemicals in an animal’s eyes or rubbing them on its shaved skin in order to determine how toxic they are. At the end of the experiments, the animals are almost always killed. If you’ve seen pictures, you know how cruel and damaging these tests are.
Humane Society International estimates that between 100,000 to 200,000 animals suffer and die for cosmetics testing alone each year in the United States alone, and these animals are mostly bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, and rats.
Without animal testing, how do we know our products are safe?
Safety isn’t the issue, since there have been alternatives to animal testing for decades, and many companies rely on them when testing new ingredients for safety. The most common one is called “in vitro” testing, which uses human tissue to identify chemical irritants. This method is not only less cruel, but also more effective than animal testing.
There’s also a huge library of over 5,000 ingredients that have already been proven to be safe. Companies can mix those ingredients to formulate their products without the need for any testing.
How come animal testing hasn’t already been banned?
Animal testing for cosmetics has actually been banned in multiple countries, but we’re far from a global ban. It’s currently banned in the European Union, the UK, New Zealand, India, Turkey, Israel. Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan are also considering bans.
It’s hard to say why animal testing hasn’t also been banned in more countries, but there are ways we can make it happen.
What can I do to help the cause?
To go one step further, you can also email both companies and your local government representatives. If you have a favorite brand that tests on animals, let them know you will no longer purchase their products until they go cruelty-free. E-mail your government representatives to let them know how important it is to you that they make the right choices when presented with bills against (or pro) animal testing.
If there’s a bunny on the packaging, does it mean it’s cruelty-free?
No. Many companies use unofficial bunny logos which are not affiliated with an official organization such as the Leaping Bunny. Click here to read more about how to spot a fake cruelty-free logo. You’ll learn to recognize the real logos (which are limited to Leaping Bunny, Choose Cruelty-Free, and PETA).
What does it mean when a brand sells products in China?
Mainland China requires that most of the cosmetics sold there be tested on animals. For foreign brands, this means agreeing to mandatory pre-market animal testing. For all brands, the authorities can request that products be taken off the shelves and tested on animals (for what we call post-market animal testing).
This is why a company that sells in China can’t be considered cruelty-free.
Why can’t a company be considered cruelty-free if they sell in China, as long as they’re cruelty-free otherwise?
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 that the brand itself is paying for animal testing, so they’re forfeiting their cruelty-free status.
No one is forcing these companies to test on animals in China! Every company has a choice, and many brands choose not to sell in mainland China in order to remain cruelty-free.
When I see “made in China” on the packaging, does this mean it’s tested on animals?
No! A brand only tests on animals in China if their cosmetics are sold there. Many cruelty-free companies manufacture their products in mainland China without selling them there, meaning their products aren’t tested on animals. You can read more here.
What’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?
“Cruelty-free” means there’s no animal testing, and “vegan” means there are no animal ingredients.
Not all products mentioned on the blog are vegan, but there’s a vegan section. If you’re looking for companies that are 100% vegan, they’re marked on our list of cruelty-free brands.
Cruelty-Free Kitty & Our List
These questions revolve around our website and our cruelty-free list.
Is Cruelty-Free Kitty an organization?
No. I’m a regular girl with a big interest in beauty and an even bigger love for animals. Cruelty-Free Kitty is currently only run by 2 people: me, Suzi, and my assistant Aly.
Which companies are added to the list of cruelty-free brands?
Only companies who can confirm they’re truly cruelty-free with no animal testing involved at any point are added to the list. Brands you’ll find on that list claim that:
- They don’t test finished products or ingredients on animals
- Their suppliers don’t test on animals
- Their finished products or ingredients are not tested on animals by a third party
- They don’t test on animals where required by law and don’t sell cosmetics in mainland China
How do you decide which brands are added to the list? Will you add my company?
Each week, we reach out to selected brands about their animal testing policy. I personally select these brands based on demand, and companies cannot pay to be added to the cruelty-free list.
Which cruelty-free certifications can we trust?
The only cruelty-free certification I trust is Leaping Bunny’s, and we don’t reach out to companies who are Leaping Bunny-certified before adding them to the list because we know they’re truly cruelty-free. The downside to Leaping Bunny is that not many mainstream brands choose to be certified by them, and their list mainly consists of smaller brands. Choose Cruelty-Free is also reliable for Australian companies.
PETA’s list isn’t as reliable and they’re not as thorough as Leaping Bunny, but it can be helpful if you’re a beginner.
What’s the difference between Cruelty-Free Kitty and organizations like PETA or Leaping Bunny?
Companies voluntarily reach out to the Leaping Bunny and start a certification process. Since this is done on a voluntary basis, not all cruelty-free companies are certified by the Leaping Bunny. In fact, most companies aren’t, and this is where we come in.
What we do is reach out to all the companies who don’t have Leaping Bunny certification in order to inquire about their animal testing policy. If the company is cruelty-free, we add it to our list.
The Cruelty-Free Kitty list is a curated list and only lists the most popular and sought after brands. We include a small amount of Leaping Bunny certified brands, but since most companies found on the Leaping Bunny’s lists are very small brands, we only list a minority.
Another difference is that we try to publish companies’ policies on our website. You can take a look at our library of brand policies here.
I’m looking for the cruelty-free status of a specific cosmetics brand. Can you help?
First, try using the search at the top. If you can’t find the brand on any of our lists, try reaching out to the company directly and ask them the following questions:
1. Does your company test on animals, either for finished products or ingredients?
2. Do your suppliers test on animals?
3. Does your company hire or allow third parties to test on animals on your behalf?
4. Do you test on animals wherever the authorities require it by law?
5. Are your products sold in stores in mainland China?
This company claims to be cruelty-free but you list it as testing on animals. What’s up with that?
This means they test on animals, most likely in mainland China or where required by law. Always make sure to read the fine print in companies’ policies.
Where can I follow Cruelty-Free Kitty on social media?
We’re active on pretty much every social media platform, so follow us on:
- Facebook: Cruelty-Free Kitty
- Twitter: @crueltyfreecat
- Instagram: @crueltyfreesquad
- Pinterest: Cruelty-Free Kitty
I hope you’ve found all the answers to your questions. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered in this FAQ, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the full list of cruelty-free brands in my 10-page guide, Cruelty-Free Made Simple. Enter your name and email below to get it in your inbox.