While many people are very aware of how animals are exploited in the food industry (because we eat them when we exploit them), they may not know how they are used to make personal care products and cosmetics. Many products are tested on animals or contain ingredients that have undergone animal testing. In the past, there was no way to know for sure which products involved animal testing and which ones did not. But two new companies—Leaping Bunny and CrueltyFreeConsumer.com—are making it easier for animal loving consumers everywhere to buy cruelty-free products.
Leaping Bunny certifies companies as cruelty-free, ensuring that all of their products’ ingredients and formulations meet Leaping Bunny standards, which require a fixed cut-off date after which no new animal testing can be commissioned or conducted. To see which companies are part of the Leaping Bunny program, you can consult their Compassionate Shopping Guide or their free Cruelty-Free app for the iPhone and Android phones. You can also look for the Leaping Bunny Logo on the products of the growing number of companies that are joining the program.
And now, it's easier than ever to make sure products are cruelty free, thanks to Julie Kirk's CrueltyFreeConsumer.com, a new site that has just launched to make it easier for consumers to find and buy only products that have been certified as cruelty-free through the Leaping Bunny Program.
Kirk has always loved animals, from helping a turtle cross the road to trying to save a crow in her backyard. "In 2006, I became a vegetarian," said Kirk. "The more products I looked at and the more people I asked at cosmetics counters about cruelty-free products, the less certain I was about the true story. I had a lot of conflicting info until I found the Leaping Bunny site." Her new project takes that information and makes it easily accessible online.
Vicki Katrinak, administrator of the Leaping Bunny Program, welcomed the launch of the site. "It’s truly a win-win-win: for the consumer looking to shop cruelty-free, the companies doing the right thing, and the animals who won't be subjected to cruel testing." Currently CrueltyFreeConsumer offers products from nine companies, all of which are certified Leaping Bunny companies, and they are in the process of adding over 30 brands, including products for beauty, baby, pet, and home. Current companies represented on the site include: Baby Bump, Belly Buttons and Babies, Bumboosa, Honeymark International, Infusion Beauty, Organic Oscar, PRITI NYC, The Living Clay Company, and Tsi-La Organics.
"I believed that if I could offer a place where consumers could easily shop for all of the cruelty-free products they want that I could create a unique niche and change how people shop and the companies they support," says Kirk. "It is important to make thoughtful choices and be socially conscious. It's our actions that will influence change."
[Image: Flickr user Oh Joy!]
Glenn Croston is the author of "75 Green Businesses" and "Starting Green", helping businesses to make a difference at www.StartingUpGreen.com.