The Bunny Symbols: What Do They Mean?

I’m sure you've seen those tiny little bunnies on the packaging of your favorite products before.  What do they stand for?  Are they legit?  What are the requirements for brands to use them?  In this post, we will answer all your questions surrounding bunny symbols!  


1. “Cruelty-Free” Bunny

Cruelty-Free Bunny


This symbol is verified by PETA and therefore is credible.  When you see the cruelty-free bunny symbol, it means that the company who created the product did not pay to perform any sort of animal testing for their products.  Companies must pay to use this license in addition to filling out a short form which is then reviewed to grant access to the symbol. 

Cruelty-Free and Vegan Bunny


Another version of this bunny contains both the cruelty-free license as well as a vegan license.  In addition to the qualifications stated above, a vegan product must not contain any animal-derived ingredients.  



2. “Leaping Bunny” Symbol

Leaping Bunny Symbol

The next symbol is sponsored by the Leaping Bunny International program.  This widely-known organization was formed by 8 animal protection groups and set the standard for animal testing restrictions.  Leaping Bunny requires their companies to commit to their standards and are reassessed on a yearly basis.  Like the PETA cruelty-free bunny, companies must pay to use the Leaping Bunny symbol.  

To view Leaping Bunny’s full list of Leaping Bunny certified brands, click here!  



3. “Not Tested On Animals” Symbol

Not Test On Animals Symbol


Our last commonly seen bunny symbol is funded by an organization called Choose Cruelty Free (CCF).  The CCF requires all of its products to be not tested on animals and may not contain ingredients derived from killing an animal.  Like both of the other bunny symbols, brands must fill out a questionnaire to attain the use of this symbol as well as pay a toll to use it in their advertising or on their packaging.  



Spotting Fake Symbols

Just because a label states that a product is “cruelty-free”, that is not only the case.  Beware of these common phrases that often end up on packaging:

  • “Vegan”:  Being vegan means that a product does not contain any animal products or by-products.  There is no proof that the ingredients really are vegan and the product may have been tested on animals.
  • “Vegetarian”: A product labeled “vegetarian” will claim to contain no animal-derived ingredients but may contain their by-products.  Once again, there is no way to confirm that this label is true as anybody could easily slap this label on their product.  
  • “Cruelty-Free/Not Tested On Animals”: This phrase means that the company states they do not spend money to test their products on animals.  That being said, they may outsource this testing to other third parties behind the scenes.  This label is not legit and is often used solely for marketing purposes.

What bunny-certified products are your favorite?  Let us know by commenting below or on our most recent Instagram post!

To brush up on your product label symbols and their definitions, read our full guide on How to Make Sense of Your Cosmetic Label here!

All of us here at Team Simply Lioness wish you a plentiful and safe Easter holiday.  See you next Sunday!

Follow Simply Lioness on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok at @SimplyLioness to stay up to date on everything that goes on in the SL community!

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