Who They Are:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is a nonprofit, charitable organization and is the largest animal rights organization in the world.
The Leaping Bunny logo represents the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which is comprised of the following animal protection groups: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Alliance of Canada, Beauty Without Cruelty USA, Doris Day Animal League, The Humane Society of Canada, The Humane Society of the United States, MSPCA Center for Laboratory Animal Welfare, and New England Anti-Vivisection Society. The CCIC developed the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, an internationally recognized non-animal-testing standard. The Standard of Compassion for Animals is recognized in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
What They Do:
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns. PETA focuses its attention on animals suffering in factory farms, clothing trade, laboratories, and in the entertainment industry.
The CCIC promotes a single comprehensive standard designed to prevent animal testing and to eventually drive it out of the industry. They work with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy.
Their logos & what they represent:
In order for a company to be included on PETA’s cruelty-free list, they must sign PETA’s statement of assurance or submit a statement verifying that neither they nor their ingredient suppliers conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products, and that they pledge not to do so in the future. After a company is certified as “cruelty free”, if they want to display the logo on their products, website, etc., they must pay a $100 fee. For companies that sell an entirely vegan product line, a logo that reads “cruelty free and vegan” can be displayed on their product.
Leaping Bunny’s standard is similar to that of PETA’s, in that requires the company and it’s ingredient suppliers to pledge that animal testing is not a part of any stages of the product development and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis. Like PETA, the certification process is free, but the license to display the logo on their products costs a nominal fee based on a sliding scale. Unlike PETA, Leaping Bunny does not have a separate logo to indicate that a product is vegan. They focus strictly on whether or not the product is tested on animals.
My thoughts on PETA:
PETA is often scrutinized by the public and while I don’t necessarily support everything that PETA does, I do advocate that idea that animals should not suffer for the sake of human vanity, while acknowledging that PETA is hypocritical in that they commit some of the same crimes they supposedly oppose. According to records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, PETA killed 1,647 cats and dogs last year while placing only 19 in adoptive homes. Since 1998, a total of 29,398 pets have died at the hands of PETA workers (see http://www.petakillsanimals.com/). Although PETA could easily become a no kill shelter, they remain a kill shelter so they can filter their money to publicity stunts instead of puppy food and kitty litter for the animals at their shelter. Thousands of animals are euthanized on a daily basis at animal shelters throughout the world, and I understand that this is a necessary evil, and that our world would be over populated with sick, starving animals if humans did not take it upon themselves to “put them out of their misery.” However, PETA commits the same atrocity as companies that choose to sell their products in China- their bottom line is more important than animals’ lives.
Despite the fact that PETA has done some immoral things, I consider their website to be a decent source of information about which companies test on animals and which companies don’t.
See if your products are cruelty free!
PETA’s Cruelty Free Shopping Guide: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/order-cruelty-free-shopping-guide.aspx
Leaping Bunny’s Cruelty Free Shopping Guide: http://www.leapingbunny.org/shopping.php
I like Leaping Bunny’s guide because it notates if a company is a cruelty-free subsidiary of a parent company that does not comply. The products made by these types of companies are, in my eyes, not truly cruelty-free, since the cash from your purchase is ultimately going into the pocket of the parent company.