Understanding Cruelty-free and Vegan logos

Now, you want to shop cruelty-free. But, where do you start? It can get overwhelming esp. when walking into a drugstore and you see all these options with various symbols, logos, and labels. Argh, I can totally relate coz, I have been there.

This post will clearly explain what each symbol and label mean. I have also added a high-level overview of logos you can trust at the top.

CERTIFIED Cruelty free & VEGAN Logos-2

Logos and Labels Dissected


When it comes to “Cruelty-free” logos, there are 3 different certifications that can be trusted today. These certifications are given by different established organizations. Let’s go over each certification and clearly understand how they vary.

If you are unclear about what terms “Cruelty-free” vs. “Vegan” vs. “Not tested on animals”, check out my blogpost here.


Leaping Bunny Certification


The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it. The Logo can be seen on packaging, advertising, and websites for cosmetics and household products around the world. For more information, you can check out their website.

This is one of the stricter certifications compared to the ones below. So, you can fully trust a product when you see this exact symbol!

Leaping Bunny has a mobile app called “Cruelty-free”, which is available on both App Store and Android play. You can download to find out which brands are part of the leaping bunny program.

Leaping Bunny Approved Brands


Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF)


Choose Cruelty-Free (CCF) is an independent, non-profit organization based in Australia, which since 1993 has produced the Choose Cruelty-Free List (CCF List) for Australian consumers. They actively campaign for an end to animal testing of ingredients used in cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaning products, and animal care. For more info, refer to their website.

CCF also has an app called “Choose Cruelty-Free”, which is available on both App Store and Android play. You can download to find out which brands are part of the leaping bunny program.

Choose Cruelty-free Approved Brands


Beauty Without Bunnies


PETA’s Bunnies without beauty program is not the most reliable source for knowing if a brand is cruelty-free or not. Even though their cause is really ambitious, their certification requirements are not as stringent as Leaping Bunny or CCF. They recently certified Dove as a cruelty-free brand which is clearly not the case as Dove is still testing in China. With that said, their Beauty without Bunnies’ database is still an excellent source for searching if a company DOES animal testing.

Beauty Without Bunnies Approved Brands


Term “Vegan” means that a product doesn’t contain any animal ingredients or byproducts.


Certified Vegan


Certified Vegan Logo is a registered trademark for products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals. This is verified by vegan.org. Companies are required to submit documentation on a product along with supplier verification that animal products were not used in the manufacturing of ingredients ie, no actual testing is performed but they need proof from the company’s suppliers too.

Cost for this certification is based on the annual revenue the company makes. 


Vegan Society

vegan-society-logoVegan Society logo implies a product should not contain any animal product, by-product or derivative and must not involve testing of any sort on animals by the manufacturers or on its behalf, or by any third parties. This is verified by Vegan Society.



Vegetarian Society – Vegetarian

Vegetarian Society has 2 distinct logos – “Vegetarian” and “Vegan”. Vegetarian Society Approved trademark accreditation involves independent ingredient and production method checking by experts.

veg-society-approved-logo This is a Vegetarian Society ‘vegetarian’ logo. It is required to be free of any ingredient resulted in animal slaughter and it allows free-range eggs. It should also be GMO-free.




Vegetarian Society – Vegan



This is a Vegetarian Society ‘vegan’ logo. This certification is stricter and it should be free from any animal-derived ingredients and GMO-free.


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