November 15, 2011
Fifteen years ago, animal protection organizations launched the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC), which administers the Leaping Bunny Program in the United States and Canada, on November 19, 1996. CCIC was created to provide consumers with accurate information on cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care, and household products.
Prior to the inauguration of CCIC, cruelty-free shopping was often confusing and even frustrating for consumers who wanted to make purchases consistent with their beliefs. Many companies at the time were creating their own definition of ‘cruelty-free’ or ‘animal friendly’ without consulting with animal protection groups. CCIC set out to change this with clear standards for cruelty-free certification and participation by all concerned parties.
And consumers are paying attention. According to a poll conducted this past month by the ORC International, 67% of survey participants agree that companies should not test consumer products like cosmetics and dish detergent on animals, and 60% of respondents are more likely to buy a product that has not been tested on animals, whereas only 11% are less likely to buy it.
CCIC’s standard is a voluntary pledge that companies make to remove animal testing from all stages of product development. Their ingredient suppliers make the same pledge, and the result is products guaranteed to be 100% free of new animal testing. In addition, all companies participating in the Leaping Bunny Program must be open to independent audits.
“It’s such a positive program,” said Sue Leary, Chair of CCIC and President of the American Anti-Vivisection Society. “We’re like matchmakers—we bring together compassionate consumers and cruelty-free companies. And best of all, the animals win.”
“I love Leaping Bunny because even my 10-year-old son is turning containers over to look for the ‘happy rabbit,’” said cruelty-free shopper Tamara Castagnaro. “Our children are being raised to know that this bunny is a symbol for what they care about and are not alone in what they feel is the right thing to do. Thank you for that.”
In the last 15 years, CCIC has seen an enormous amount of success in certifying new companies and reaching out to consumers. The growth of the Leaping Bunny Program has been phenomenal, with 395 companies now certified, a 233% increase in the past decade. The Compassionate Shopping Guide is widely available online, and is also available as a pocket-sized booklet with over 230,000 copies distributed annually, and as a free app for iPhone and Android phones.
“The member organizations, certified companies, and consumers who participate in our Leaping Bunny Program drive the success of our goal: to protect animals from the cruelty of research and testing, and to spare humans from the poor, even dangerous, results it yields,” said Theodora Capaldo, Ed.D., President of New England Anti-Vivisection Society, a founding member of CCIC.
The future of Leaping Bunny holds still greater growth, as consumers continue to express a desire for products that have not been tested on animals. Consumers in the poll are over three times more likely to trust an independent third party, like the Leaping Bunny Program (67%), than a company’s own claims (21%) about its animal testing policy. At the same time, the Leaping Bunny Program has continued to receive high marks from publications for its integrity and credibility.
“CCIC provides a valuable service to consumers who care that their purchases don’t cause pain and suffering to animals. When they buy personal care and household products listed on the Leaping Bunny list, they know it’s truly cruelty-free,” said Kathleen Conlee, Senior Director of Animal Research Issues at The Humane Society of the United States, a founding member of the CCIC.
“The MSPCA is proud to be a member of the CCIC Leaping Bunny Program because it enables consumers to shop for products that are manufactured without the use of animal testing,” said Linda Huebner, Deputy Director of Advocacy at the MSPCA’s Center for Laboratory Animal Welfare.
To celebrate its 15th anniversary, CCIC is working with over 60 Leaping Bunny certified companies to offer a variety of contests to compassionate consumers throughout the month of November. Visit CCIC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to see daily contests.Since 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has been connecting compassionate consumers with cruelty-free companies. The CCIC is made up of the following organizations: American Anti-Vivisection Society; Animal Alliance of Canada; Beauty Without Cruelty, USA; Doris Day Animal League; Humane Society of Canada; The Humane Society of the United States; and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society. CCIC’s international partner is the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.