Dove beauty products have always been a favorite of mine. I am a sucker for the light smell of almost every one of their products. As a sufferer of migraines, finding a brand that does not trigger scent-induced pain has been a daily struggle. Thank you, Dove, for allowing me to faintly smell like a flower when so many other brands have failed me. I also need to thank Dove for another reason - Dove beauty products and its parent company, Unilever announced that beginning in 2019 their products will have a cruelty-free label.
Dove is no stranger in the realm of decision making for the greater good. For over 30 years, Dove and it's parent company, Unilever, has not used animals in the testing of cosmetics and household cleaning products. By adding the PETA approved "Beauty without Bunnies" cruelty-free logo on labels. Cosmetic and household cleaning products, Dove's commitment to end the testing of cosmetics and other products will be seen by over 2.1 billion people a day in over 190 countries.
Buying a product labeled cruelty-free makes me feel good. Every time I spend money on something that was not tested on animals is like casting a vote for the kind of world I want to live in. With More than 3,500 companies currently offering items labeled "cruelty-free" can consumers be confident that a cruelty-free label is in fact not tested on animals? Can we trust companies to use the honor system when it comes to their claims of producing cruelty-free products? The answer may surprise you!
Currently, there is no established regulatory commission to oversee the use of animals in the "cruelty-free" market. Companies that want to establish themselves as certified cruelty-free must apply to an organization that offers this designation such as PETA, Leaping Bunny, and Choose Cruelty Free.
Perhaps the most famous of these cruelty-free organizations is PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals). Dove's announcement comes after being approved by PETA; adding this brand to the list of over 1,900 others that are on PETA's cruelty-free list.
In order for a company to be considered for PETA's "Beauty Without Bunnies" list, a signed statement acknowledging they meet PETA's standard of cruelty-free products and verifying that neither the company or any of the suppliers that ingredients are purchased from a test on animals.
However, PETA does not monitor companies or their suppliers once they have been certified to ensure products consistently meet the cruelty-free guidelines and once approved, and no further accreditation is done.
If PETA's honor system seems a little "iffy" to you, look for the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny logo. In order for a brand to be certified cruelty-free under this worldwide program, strict standards must be met on an annual basis. Monitoring systems, mandatory audits for both the brand and suppliers along with annual recommitment agreements allow Leaping Bunny to ensure regulations are being consistently met. Leaping Bunny does not allow applicants to distribute their products in foreign markets that require animal testing (such as China).
One of the smallest organizations that offer cruelty-free certification, Choose Cruelty-Free, is in Australia. Keep an eye out for the CFF bunny logo. They are gaining an international presence and offer something PETA and Leaping Bunny don't – Companies that want to earn the CFF accreditation must agree to the terms of a legally binding contract to ensure that any claims concerning testing on animals and any raw ingredients from suppliers are accurate.
We can make a difference in the lives of millions of animals used in unnecessary testing of beauty and personal products. Consider purchasing cruelty-free products and avoiding those that still support animal testing.