How to Buy Cruelty Free: What to Look For: Where to Go to Find Cruelty Free Products

How to Buy Cruelty Free

leaping-bunny-logo

The main lesson when buying cosmetics and personal care products – look for this logo!

What is cruelty free?

As the name implies, it is shopping with the intention of only buying from companies that adhere to certain standards. These standards equal products manufactured with the intention of using ingredients and processes that did not use animals in any way. That happens in a few ways.

1. There are no animal ingredients.

2. The ingredients used were not tested on animals.

3. The finished product itself was not tested on animals.

There are a couple issues to watch out for here.

Not all companies that claim to be cruelty free are considered to be such by recognized bodies.

Of the most prominence, is the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics and it’s standard, the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, which originally was a group of eight national animal protection groups. These included The American Anti-Vivisection Society , American Humane Association , Animal Protection Institute , Beauty Without Cruelty, USA: (212) 989-8073, Doris Day Animal League , The Humane Society of the United States , New England Anti-Vivisection Society, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The international partners include Animal Alliance of Canada, and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments.

This is the best protection for consumers truly interested in buying 100 percent cruelty free products.

In their own words: “It is a voluntary pledge that companies make not to test on animals during any stage of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100% free of new animal testing. Commitments are renewed on an annual basis. This program applies only to cosmetics, personal care, and household products.”

“This Standard provides the best assurance that no animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or suppliers. Under the CCIC program, companies obtain assurances from their suppliers and intermediary agents that, with respect to the specific ingredients supplied, no animal testing has been conducted on their behalf after a fixed date.”

What Products are Covered Under the Program?

The products covered are far reaching and include, “[p]roducts eligible for approval include items regulated as cosmetics . The program also applies to products traditionally found in the Household Products aisles of supermarkets, such as cleaning supplies, bleaches, laundry and dish detergents, and cleaners.”

If a company produces these products and meets the standards set forth, “[o]nce CCIC approved, a company is named and linked in our Online Shopping Guide , listed in the published Compassionate Pocket Shopping Guide, and included in media and marketing opportunities. Companies that choose to license the Leaping Bunny Logo receive additional promotional opportunities, as we seek to educate conscientious consumers to “look for the bunny.”‘

The common question arises then – Doesn’t the law require animal testing?

The simple answer – NO! Again, the CCIC:

“Neither the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the US Consumer Product Safety Commission requires animal testing for cosmetics or household products, respectively. There are sufficient existing safety data as well as in vitro alternatives to make animal testing for these products obsolete. While it is true that virtually every ingredient, even water, has been tested on animals in the past, we can help prevent future animal testing.” In essence, it is not necessary to test, and plenty of alternatives exist to animal tests.

List of Vegan, Vegetarian and Cruelty Free Products and Foods that can be Found on Conventional Chain Grocery Store Shelves

As the title implies, this page provides a list of vegan (without animal ingredients), vegetarian and Cruelty Free products and foods that can be found on the shelves of conventional grocery stores. In other words, products that would not necessarily be on the shelves at “health food stores”, but would be found in larger chain grocery stores.

For those without options to buy from “health food stores”, but still with a desire to eat vegan, vegetarian and cruelty free products, this list will help you out.

Note too though, that this isn’t an endorsement of the companies you will find that produce them. For those with concerns regarding buying food from multinational corporations, or that tend to be non-organic, then this probably isn’t for you. But, if you’re ever caught without an option (say in a small town or when traveling), then this list can be of great help.

The types of vegan, vegetarian and cruelty free products and food found in this list are:

  • Cereal
  • Oat meal
  • Soft drinks
  • Hot chocolate
  • Candy
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Condiments
  • Salad dressing
  • Gravy
  • Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Breads
  • Pie
  • Bagles
  • Fries
  • Cake, pancake, waffle mix
  • Frosting
  • Pudding
  • Margarine

 

Breakfast (Dry)

  • All-Bran
  • Alpha Bits
  • Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
  • Apple Jacks
  • Berry Burst Cheerios
  • Bran Flakes
  • Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch
  • Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Crunch Crispix
  • Cinnamon Krunchers
  • Cinnamon Life
  • Cocoa Pebbles
  • Cocoa Puffs
  • Cocoa Rice Krispies
  • Complete Oat Bran
  • Complete Wheat Bran
  • Corn Chex
  • Corn Flakes
  • Corn Pops
  • Cracklin’ Oat Bran
  • Crispix
  • Froot Loops
  • Frosted Cheerios
  • Frosted Flakes
  • Fruit Harvest
  • Fruity Pebbles
  • Grape Nuts
  • Just Right
  • Kix
  • Life Cereal
  • Malt-O-Meal (Chocolate)
  • Malt-O-Meal (Original)
  • Mueslix
  • Multi-Bran Chex
  • Multigrain Cheerios
  • Nature Valley Granola Bars (Brown Sugar)
  • Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Apple Cinnamon)
  • Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Blueberry)
  • Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon)
  • Pop Tarts (Unfrosted Strawberry)
  • Quaker Apples and Cinnamon
  • Quaker Cinnamon and Spice
  • Quaker Date and Walnut
  • Quaker Oatmeal (Raisin)
  • Quaker Raisins and Spice
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs
  • Reese’s Puffs
  • Rice Chex
  • Rice Krispies
  • Trix
  • Wheat Chex
  • Wheaties Raisin Bran

 

Beverages

  • Alpine Spiced Cider
  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Hazelnut)
  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Mocha)
  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Double Chocolate)
  • Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate (Baking Cocoa)
  • Kool-Aid Drink Mix
  • Nescafe Ice Java Iced Coffee Syrup
  • Nestle Nesquick Syrup (Chocolate)
  • Nestle Nesquik Syrup (Strawberry)
  • Nestle Nesquik Syrup (Very Vanilla)

 

Snacks

  • Airheads Taffy
  • Anna’s Almond Cinnamon Thins
  • Anna’s Ginger Thins
  • Archway Ginger Snaps
  • Big League Chew Gum
  • Blow Pops
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Brach’s Cinnamon Hard Candy
  • Brach’s Orange Slices
  • Brach’s Root Beer Barrels
  • Brach’s Star Brites
  • Bremner Wafers
  • Brownstone Baking Co. Mini Bagel Crisps (Garlic)
  • Bubble Tape Gum
  • Carr’s Table Wafer
  • Carr’s Tea Biscuits
  • Charms lollipops
  • Chick-o-Sticks
  • Chocolove Dark Chocolate bar
  • Chocolove Orange Peel (Dark Chocolate Bar)
  • Cracker Jacks
  • Cry Babies
  • Dem Bones
  • Dots
  • Dum Dums
  • Entenmann’s Fudge Delights Fudge & Mint Cookies
  • Everest Gum
  • Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate)
  • Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Oatmeal Macaroon)
  • Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
  • Famous Amos Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
  • Ferrara Wafer Swirls With Chocolate
  • Fireballs
  • Food Lion Animal Cookies
  • Food Lion Ginger Snaps
  • Food Lion Oatmeal Cookies
  • Food Lion Saltines
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Assorted)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Creme)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Chocolate Fudge)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Double Creme-O’s)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Duplex)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Mini Chocolate & Vanilla Cremes)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Peanut Butter)
  • Food Lion Sandwich Cookies (Vanilla)
  • Food Lion Snack Crackers
  • Food Lion Sugar Cookies
  • Fritos (Barbecue)
  • Fritos (Original)
  • Fruit By the Foot
  • Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (Original)
  • Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews
  • Goya Flan
  • Grandma’s Peanut Butter Sandwich Cremes
  • Hain Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
  • Herr’s Onion Flavored Rings
  • Herr’s Salsa and Lime Tortilla Chips
  • Hot Tamales
  • Hubba Bubba Bubblegum
  • Hubba Bubba Gum
  • Jolly Ranchers (lollipops and hard candy)
  • Jujubees
  • Jujyfruits
  • Keebler Animal Crackers
  • Keebler Club Crackers
  • Keebler Ice Cream Cups
  • Keebler Vienna Fingers
  • Kellogg’s Fruit Snacks
  • Kettle White Popcorn
  • Kool-Aid Gels
  • Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies
  • Laffy Taffy
  • Lance Capitain’s Wafers
  • Lance Choc-O Cookies
  • Lance Malt Crackers With Peanut Butter
  • Lance Nekot Cookies With Peanut Butter
  • Lance Nut-O Lunch Cookies (Peanut Butter)
  • Lance Nut-O Lunch Cookies (Strawberry Creme)
  • Lance Peanut Bar
  • Lance Sugar Wafers (Strawberry Creme)
  • Lance Sugar Wafers (Vanilla Creme)
  • Lance Toasty Crackers With Peanut Butter
  • Lance Van-O Lunch Cookies
  • Lay’s Blue Corn Chips
  • Lay’s Potato Chips (Natural Country Barbecue)
  • Lay’s Potato Chips (Thick Cut Sea Salt)
  • Lay’s Stax
  • Lay’s WOW! potato chips
  • Lay’s Yellow Corn Chips
  • Lemonheads
  • Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes
  • Mambas
  • Mambas
  • Manischewitz Whole Wheat Matzo, Unsalted Matzo, and Savory Garlic Matzo
  • Mary Janes (regular and peanut butter kisses)
  • Mates Pudding Mix
  • Melba Toast (Rye)
  • Melba Toast (Sesame)
  • Melba Toast (Wheat)
  • Mike and Ike
  • Munchos
  • Murray Butter Cookies
  • Murray Cinnamon Grahams
  • Murray Coconut Bars
  • Murray Southern Kitchen Iced Oatmeal Cookies
  • Murray Sugar-Free Vanilla Wafers
  • Nabisco Double Delight Mint’n Creme Oreos
  • Nabisco Ginger Snaps
  • Nabisco Halloween Oreos
  • Nabisco Iced Oatmeal Cookies
  • Nabisco Oatmeal Cookies
  • Nabisco Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Cones
  • Nabisco Oreo Thin Crisps
  • Nabisco Original Graham Crackers
  • Nabisco Saltine Crackers
  • Nabisco Teddy Grahams (Chocolate and Cinnamon)
  • Nabisco Uh-oh Oreos, Spring Oreos, Chocolate Creme Oreos
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Apple Crisp)
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars (Maple Brown Sugar)
  • Nestle Double Chocolate Thin Mints
  • New York Flatbreads (Everything, Garlic, and Fat-Free)
  • Now and Later
  • Nutter Butter Bites
  • Panda Licorice
  • Pure De-Lite Coconut Bars
  • Quaker Apple Cinnamon Rice Cakes
  • Ring Pop lollipops
  • Ritz Regular Crackers
  • Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers
  • Sesame Royale Breadsticks
  • Smarties (U.S. version only)
  • Snackwells Cracked Pepper Crackers
  • Snyder’s Jalapeno Pretzel Bites
  • Snyder’s Pretzel Sticks (Pumpernickel/Onion and Oat Bran)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Soy Crisps (Barbecue, Deep Sea Salt, and Garlic Onion)
  • Stacey’s Pita Chips (Baked and Taxarkana Hot)
  • Starburst (jelly beans and hard candy)
  • Sun Chips Original flavor
  • Super Bubble
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sweet Tarts
  • Toasteds Crackers (Sesame and Wheat)
  • Town House Original Crackers
  • Triscuit Crackers (Original, Reduced Fat, Garlic Herb, and Roasted Garlic)
  • Tropical Source mini chocolate bags
  • Twizzlers
  • Utz Puffed Caramel Corn
  • VeganSweets marshmallows
  • Velamints Mints
  • Wasa Crispbread (Light Rye and Multi-Grain)
  • Wheat Thins (Original, Multi-Grain, and Reduced Fat)
  • Zesta Original Crackers
  • Zotz

Condiments

  • Arnold Premium Seasoned Stuffing
  • Betty Crocker Bac-o’s Bacon Flavor Bits
  • Brianna’s French Dressing
  • Brianna’s Poppy Seed Dressing
  • Brianna’s Santa Fe Blend Dressing
  • Campbell’s Franco-American Mushroom Gravy
  • Classico Pasta Sauces (Roasted Garlic and Spicy Red Pepper)
  • Dona Maria Mole
  • El Paso Enchilada Sauce
  • El Paso Enchilada Sauce
  • Girard’s Champagne Dressing
  • Girard’s Italian Dressing
  • Girard’s Original French Dressing
  • Girard’s Raspberry Dressing
  • Gravy Master Seasoning & Brown Sauce
  • Heinz Ketchup
  • Hunt’s Manwich Sauce
  • Kame Marinades (Red Chili)
  • Kame Marinades (Sweet Teriyaki)
  • Kame Marinades (Thai Coconut)
  • Kame Marinades (Wasabi with Ginger)
  • Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Crumbs
  • Knorr Red Bell Pepper Pesto Sauce Mix
  • Kraft Balsamic Dressing
  • Kraft Catalina Dressing
  • Kraft Classic Italian Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Kraft Creamy Italian Dressing
  • Kraft Fat Free Italian Dressing
  • Kraft French Dressing
  • Kraft French Fries Seasoning
  • Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce
  • Kraft Shake ‘N Bake Seasoned Coating Mix Crispy Chicken Nuggets
  • Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Onion Mushroom)
  • Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Onion)
  • Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Vegetable)
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Chicken
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Italian Herb Chicken
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Oriental Chicken
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Pot Roast
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Southwest Style Chicken
  • McCormick Bag’n Season Swiss Steak
  • McCormick French Onion Dip Mix
  • McCormick Hunter Sauce Blend
  • McCormick Mesquite Chicken Seasoning
  • McCormick Ranch Dip Mix
  • McCormick Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning
  • McCormick Skillet Paste Sweet & Sour Chicken
  • McCormick Skillet Paste Thick & Spicy BBQ Pork
  • McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
  • McCormick Spring Onion Dip Mix
  • McCormick Stir Fry Chicken Seasoning Blend
  • McCormick Vegetable Dip Mix
  • Newman’s Light Balsamic Dressing
  • Newman’s Light Italian Dressing
  • Newman’s Light Raspberry and Walnut Dressing
  • Newman’s Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing
  • Newman’s Red Wine Vinaigrette and Olive Oil Dressing
  • Newman’s Regular Balsamic Dressing
  • NOH Chinese Lemon Chicken Sauce Mix
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams
  • Peanut Butter & Co. The Heat Is On
  • Pepperidge Farms Cubed Herb Seasoned Stuffing
  • Prego Mushroom Pasta Sauce
  • Ragu Pizza Sauce
  • Smucker’s Goober Grape Peanut Butter
  • Smucker’s Marshmallow Icecream Topping

Baked Goods

  • Arnold’s Carb-Counting Multi-Grain Bread
  • Arnold’s Jewish Rye Bread
  • Arnold’s Potato Sandwich Rolls
  • Arnold’s Sesame Sandwich Rolls
  • Arnold’s Stone Ground Whole Wheat Bread
  • Arnold’s Wheat Sandwich Rolls
  • Baker’s Inn Hearty Potato with Grain
  • Baker’s Inn Raisin Wheat
  • Cobblestone Mill Hoagie Rolls
  • Cobblestone Mill Jewish Rye Bread
  • Cobblestone Mill Kaiser Rolls
  • Cobblestone Mill Onion Rolls
  • Cobblestone Mill Party Rolls
  • Cobblestone Mill Pumpernickel Bread
  • Cobblestone Mill White Sub Rolls
  • Cobblestone Mill Whole Wheat Bread
  • Dutch Country Soft Potato
  • Dutch Country Whole Wheat
  • Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Apple)
  • Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Cherry)
  • Krispy Kreme Fruit Pies (Peach)
  • Little Debbie Cake Donuts
  • Pepperidge Farm Dark Pumpernickel Bread
  • Pepperidge Farm Rye and Pumpernickel Swirl Bread
  • Sunbeam Bread
  • Thomas New York Style Bagels (Blueberry)
  • Thomas New York Style Bagels (Cinnamon Swirl)
  • Thomas New York Style Bagels (Everything)
  • Thomas New York Style Bagels (Plain)
  • Thomas Toaster Bagels (Cinnamon Raisin)
  • Thomas Toaster Bagels (Plain)
  • Weight Watchers Fork Split English Muffins

 

Refrigerated and Frozen Foods

  • Anne’s Flat Dumplings
  • Athens Phyllo Dough
  • Athens Phyllo Mini Shells
  • Aunt Jemima Syrup Dunk’ers Cinnamon French Toast sticks
  • Calaro Guacamole
  • Edy’s No-Sugar Bars
  • Edy’s Whole Fruit Bars
  • Food Lion French Fries
  • Food Lion Hash Browns
  • Food Lion Restaurant Fries
  • Food Lion Seasoned Curly Fries
  • Food Lion Shoe String Fries
  • Food Lion Steak Fries
  • General Mills Italian-Style Vegetables
  • General Mills Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
  • Krusteaz New French Toast Sticks (Cinnamon)
  • Krusteaz New French Toast Sticks (Original)
  • Lender’s Bagels (Cinnamon Raisin)
  • Lender’s Bagels (Onion)
  • Lender’s Bagels (Plain)
  • Luigi’s Italian Ice
  • Marie Callender Frozen Fruit Pies and Cobblers
  • Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade Bars
  • Mrs. Smith’s Cherry Crumb Pie Slices
  • Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Pie Crust
  • Mrs. Smith’s Dutch Apple Crumb Pie Slices
  • Mrs. Smith’s Peach Pie Slices
  • Ore-Ida French Fries
  • Ore-Ida Tater Tots
  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells
  • Pillsbury Cornbread Twists
  • Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Pillsbury Turnover (Apple)
  • Pillsbury Turnover (Cherry)
  • Pinata Flour Tortillas
  • Simply Potatoes Diced Potato with Onion
  • Simply Potatoes New Potato Wedges
  • Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
  • Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
  • Smart Beat Super Light Margarine
  • Smart Squeeze Fat-Free Margarine
  • Smuckers Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly
  • Smuckers Uncrustables Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam
  • SuperPretzel Baked Soft Pretzels

 

Baking

  • Aunt Jemima Coffee Cake Mix
  • Aunt Jemima Whole Wheat Pancake/Waffle Mix
  • Betty Crocker Bisquick
  • Blue Bonnet Light Margarine
  • Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening
  • Crisco Original Cooking Spray
  • Crisco Zero Grams Trans Fat Per Serving All-Vegetable Shortening
  • Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Chocolate)
  • Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Classic Vanilla)
  • Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (French Vanilla)
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • Hodgson Mill Bran Muffin Mix
  • Hodgson Mill Caraway Rye Bread Mix
  • Hodgson Mill White Bread Mix
  • Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Gingerbread Mix
  • Jell-O Instant Pudding (Pistachio)
  • Jello-O Instant Pudding (Banana Creme)
  • Jello-O Instant Pudding (Chocolate)
  • Jello-O Instant Pudding (Lemon)
  • Jello-O Instant Pudding (Vanilla)
  • Keebler Ready Crust Pie Crusts (Graham Cracker)
  • Keebler Ready Crust Pie Crusts (Shortbread)
  • Martha White Pizza Crust Mix
  • Pillsbury Treat Toppers Chocolate
  • Pillsbury Treat Toppers Vanilla
  • Reduced Fat Bisquick
  • Royal Pudding & Pie Filling
  • Smart Balance Light Margarine
  • Tropical Source Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Uncle Ben’s Cinnamon and Raisin Rice Pudding Mix

 

Staples

  • Betty Crocker Hash Brown
  • Campbell’s Franco-American Mushroom Gravy
  • Campbell’s canned mushroom gravy
  • Del Monte White Corn Cream Style
  • Green Giant Cream Style Sweet Corn
  • Healthy Choice Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Hormel Chili
  • Hunt’s Manwich Sauce
  • Knorr Red Bell Pepper Pesto Sauce Mix
  • Kraft “It’s Pasta Anytime” Spaghetti with Marinara
  • Kraft French Fries Seasoning
  • Kraft Shake ‘N Bake (Original Chicken Coating Mix, Original Pork Coating Mix, and Hot/Spicy Coating Mix)
  • Kraft Taco Bell Soft Taco Dinner
  • Kraft Taco Bell Taco Dinner
  • Lipton Recipe Soup and Dip Mix (Vegetable, Onion Mushroom, and Onion)
  • Manischewitz Sweet Potato Pancake Mix
  • McCormick Fajitas Seasoning Mix
  • McCormick Original, Hot, and Mild Chili Seasoning Mix
  • McCormick Pasta Salad Vinaigrette Dressing Blend
  • McCormick Sloppy Joe Seasoning
  • McCormick Spaghetti Sauce Mix
  • Near East Spanish Rice Pilaf and Toasted Almond Rice Pilaf
  • Near East Toasted Pine Nut Couscous and Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Cousous
  • Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
  • Old El Paso Fat-Free Refried Beans
  • Old El Paso No-Fuss Fajita Dinner Kit
  • Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
  • Old El Paso Taco Shells
  • Progresso Soups (Lentil, Hearty Tomato, and Tomato Basil)
  • San Giorgio Pastas (Angel Hair, Elbow Macaroni, Rigatoni, Rotelle, and Spaghetti)
  • Swanson Vegetable Broth
  • Thai Kitchen Noodle Bowls (Thai Peanut and Roasted Garlic)
  • Uncle Ben’s Rice Pilaf, Oriental Fried Rice, Mexican Fiesta, Long Grain Rice, Wild Rice, Lemon & Herb, and Spanish Rice
  • Washington Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Zatarain’s Ready to Serve Jambalaya Rice
  • Zatarain’s Red Beans & Rice, Black Beans & Rice, Black-Eyed Peas & Rice, Jambalaya, Gumbo Mix With Rice, and Dirty Rice Mix

Alternatives to Animal Testing: Or, Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Research

FAQ – Animal Testing and Alternatives to Animal Testing

As one would imagine, in today’s technologically advanced world, in which science has made monstrous steps in many promising directions, that many alternatives would exist to animal testing. This assumption is absolutely true. Many alternatives exist to the use of live animals in research (vivisection). Here are some alternatives to animals currently used:

  • “Synthetic skin,” called Corrositex
  • Computer modeling
  • Improved statistical design
  • The Murine Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA)

Providing proof for this truth is that one of the top educational institutions in the world – Johns Hopkins – has a center devoted entirely to developing and promoting alternatives to animal testing – The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing. It also managers Altweb, an on-line resource to “…serve as a gateway to alternatives news, information, and resources on the Internet and beyond [regarding alternatives to animal testing].”

More information from these resources is found below.

Another resource that exists to prove the viability and relevance of using non-animal testing methods is Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME). Located in England , FRAME seeks to promote a moderate, but nonetheless determined, approach, by encouraging a realistic consideration of the ethical and scientific issues involved and the widest possible adoption of the Three Rs.

R efinement: minimize suffering and distress

R eduction: minimize number of animals used

R eplacement: avoid the use of living animals

 

FAQs on Animal Testing and Alternatives to Animal Testing

 

How are laboratory animals used?

: Laboratory animals most commonly are used in three main areas: biomedical research, product safety testing, and education. Biomedical researchers use animals in their efforts to understand the workings of the body and the processes of disease and health, and to develop new vaccines and treatments for various diseases. This sort of research isn’t solely for the benefit of human health; it is aimed at developing new veterinary techniques as well.

Industry uses animals to test the safety and effectiveness of a wide range of consumer products, including drugs, cosmetics, household cleaning products, pesticides, industrial chemicals, and more.

Educators–from elementary school all the way up through graduate programs–use animals as part of the teaching process. Educational uses include dissecting earthworms or frogs in biology class, as well as advanced training in surgical techniques for veterinary and medical students.

Scientists also study animals to learn more about a given species, its biology and behavior. They may study animals as models of psychological or social behaviors. They may learn from the special skills or abilities of an animal as well. For example, Navy researchers have studied dolphin echolocation–their built-in biological sonar system–to improve the human-made sonar systems used on board ships.

In all these cases, if the animals are kept in captivity, or if they are subjected to pain or distress that is not a natural part of their environment, we are interested in finding alternative approaches to help replace the use of animals, reduce the number of animals used, or lessen any pain or distress suffered by the animals.

What does “alternatives to animal testing” mean?

: Alternative methods fall into three broad categories. These are called the 3 Rs: Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement. Replacement is what most people think of when you say “alternatives to animal testing”: the animals are replaced, either by methods that don’t involve animals at all (absolute replacement) or by those that use only the cells or tissues of animals (relative replacement). Many replacement alternatives involve these in vitro (“in glass”) techniques, where the studies are done with cells or tissues in culture. If the cells come from human beings, it’s absolute replacement. If they come from animals, it’s relative replacement–the method doesn’t require a living animal in the laboratory, but often the cells or tissues come from animals killed for that purpose.

Unfortunately, replacement isn’t always an option. Some important kinds of testing just can’t be done without animals, at least at this time. In these cases, researchers still can work to reduce the number of animals used in a given study. With careful experimental design and sophisticated statistical techniques, it is often possible to use far fewer animals and still get valid results.

Finally, for those animals that do undergo testing, scientists may refine their methods to lessen or eliminate pain, distress, or suffering and to make the animals more comfortable.

British researchers W. Russell and R. Burch formulated this notion of the 3 Rs in their 1959 book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique, which argues that humane science is also the best science.

What kinds of alternatives are there?

One example of a replacement alternative is no longer considered an alternative–it has become the norm. Not too many years ago, if a woman wanted to find out if she was pregnant, she’d have to get a laboratory test that involved killing a rabbit. Now, she can buy a small kit over-the-counter that tests her urine for certain chemicals–the rabbits have been replaced.

Regulatory agencies in the United States and in Europe recently approved another sort of replacement test. This involves the use of a “synthetic skin,” called Corrositex, which can be used in place of animals to test chemicals for skin corrositivity–that is, to see whether a substance will corrode or burn the skin.

Computer modeling

Improved statistical design

The Murine Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA)

Computer modeling also can replace certain kinds of animal use, particularly in education. High school biology classes, for example, might practice dissection on a computer model rather than on real, live frogs. Even medical schools are beginning to develop “virtual reality” devices for students to practice on. You can find an example of a “Virtual Frog Dissection Kit”. Plastic models and realistic manikins also can take the place of live animals for some educational purposes.

People can replace animals in some kinds of research. Skin sensitivity testing of cosmetics increasingly draws on human volunteers. Human clinical studies and epidemiological studies (looking at the occurrence and distribution of diseases in various populations of people) can reveal a great deal about the processes of health and disease.

Improved statistical design represents one form of reduction alternative. With sophisticated, low cost statistical packages available for the computer these days, investigators can get the most out of the data generated by each animal they use and so need fewer animals altogether.

Another type of reduction method involves sharing research animals. If one researcher is studying rat brain tissue, for example, when it comes time to kill the rat, he may allow other researchers to use the kidneys, liver, or other parts of the animal for their own studies. Re-designing studies to collect as much information as possible from the same set of animals can also reduce animal usage. This kind of sharing can be particularly effective in reducing the number of animals used within a given institution.

The Murine Local Lymph Node Assay (LLNA), another newly accepted test used in product safety assessment, also is an example of a reduction alternative. This test, which determines the potential of chemicals to cause allergic skin reactions, requires use far fewer animals than the old method.

Refinement covers anything that serves to reduce the animals’ pain and distress or to enhance their well-being. These alternatives may come in a great variety of forms. Giving an animal appropriate medication for pain is one example of a refinement alternative. The LLNA, mentioned above, serves as an example of refinement as well as reduction, because it is less painful than the previous method.

Techniques that are less invasive to the animal also may constitute refinement. For example, researchers can use such modern medical technologies as ultrasound or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to look at what is happening inside an animal without cutting into it.

Refinement also includes such things as giving animals bigger cages, offering them appropriate toys to play with so they won’t get bored, and allowing them to have companions of their own kind (if that is a natural condition for the species).

The boundaries between these categories of alternatives aren’t always clear-cut. For example, some alternative methods involve using lower organisms in place of species higher on the evolutionary scale. Such studies may use plants, microorganisms, invertebrate animals, or even early-stage vertebrates (e.g., chicken eggs) rather than vertebrate animals. Similarly, using frogs instead of mammals, or mice instead non-human primates, also may be considered alternative methods. However, depending on the nature of the study and the particular organisms involved–and on one’s perspective regarding “lower” versus “higher” animals–such alternative methods may be viewed variously as replacement, reduction, or refinement techniques.

For more examples of alternative methods, see the Fund for Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) web site and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Also check the “Alternative Methodologies” chapter of the Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) book, Essentials for Animal Research: A Primer for Research Personnel.

Why do some scientists say there are no alternatives to animal testing?

: In general, they are thinking only of replacement alternatives. Many scientists feel that animal testing cannot be replaced completely by non-animal methods, particularly in biomedical research. They say we simply do not yet understand the complexities of the body well enough to be able to design suitable non-animal alternatives. But if you talk about the 3Rs–reduction and refinement, as well as replacement–most would agree that alternatives are possible.

What can I do if I am opposed to dissecting animals at school?

: Some countries and several states in the U.S. have laws or regulations that allow students to choose alternatives to dissection without penalty. Some schools have similar policies. Check to see what the policies are in your area.

A number of organizations offer support and materials to students who object to dissection or who wish to establish a student choice policy. These include the Humane Society of the United States and InterNICHE

What kinds of alternatives are there for the classroom?

: A variety of alternatives to dissection are available, including computer simulations, 3-D models, films, and interactive videos. Even medical schools are beginning to develop “virtual reality” devices for students to practice on.

What are some arguments against testing on animals?

: Arguments against animal testing may question the morality, the necessity, or the validity of these studies–that is, whether we have the right to perform such tests, whether we need such tests, and whether the tests actually tell us anything useful.

Animal rights advocates argue that sentient animals have a right to their own life; they are not ours to do with as we please. In its broadest form, this argues against using animals or animal products in any way–that means maintaining a vegetarian diet, not wearing leather or fur, and, at its most extreme, not even keeping animals as pets.

A more moderate animal protection or animal welfare viewpoint is concerned more with our responsibility toward animals, that we have a moral obligation not to cause them unnecessary pain and distress. This stance does not necessarily argue against all animal testing.

Arguments against the need for animal testing may take at least a couple of forms. Some may consider the object of the testing to be trivial. Is it worth blinding rabbits so we can have a new kind of mascara? Another argument is that we don’t need to use animals–we can use non-animal alternatives or computer simulations or test on human volunteers.

Another form of objection argues that we can’t rely on the results of animal tests anyway. Humans are different from other animals, so the results of animal testing may not apply to us. Just because one species reacts to a given drug or chemical in a particular way doesn’t necessarily mean another species will respond the same way. Furthermore, the argument goes, animals kept in unnatural conditions, or animals in pain or distress, aren’t going to give accurate or consistent results anyway.

Altweb doesn’t object to animal testing per se; rather, we advocate the development and use of alternative methods whenever possible. By this we mean methods that reduce animal use or refine methods to make them less painful or stressful to the animal, as well as replacement methods. We do not believe that all animal use can be replaced with non-animal alternatives in the immediate future. Our web site exists to speed the development and use of new alternative methods by providing a clearinghouse of information and resources to scientists, industry, and the public.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) web site provides some statistics on pain and distress in laboratory animals.

What are the benefits to people from animal testing? What discoveries have been made using animals?

: Countless medical treatments, techniques, and technologies have come about, at least in part, through animal experimentation. The development of immunization against such diseases as polio, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis all involved research on animals, as did the discovery of insulin and the study of diabetes. Animal research also has played a part in the development of organ transplantation, hip replacement, chemotherapy, cardiac pacemakers, coronary bypass surgery, ongoing efforts to understand and treat AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

Not everyone agrees, however, on the extent to which animal research was essential to all these discoveries, nor the extent to which is it necessary for future medical progress. The American Anti-Vivisectionist Society, for example, contends that “results derived from animal experiments have had a very minimal effect on the dramatic rise in life expectancy in the 20th century.”

The organizations represented by Altweb, while accepting the value of animal research, work to promote the development and use of alternative methods whenever possible.

Are there any benefits to animals?

: Animal research has played a role in many advances in veterinary medicine, including the development of vaccines for rabies, parvovirus, and distemper. Various devices and treatments developed through animal research–such as pacemakers, hip replacement, diabetes treatments, dental care, and chemotherapy–are used in veterinary as well as human medicine. Some animal research is aimed at developing alternatives to animal use, so that fewer animals will be needed in the future.

Not all research is conducted on laboratory animals. Pet owners looking for the best or newest treatment for their ailing dog or cat may agree to take part in a clinical study–similar to the human clinical trials that test the effectiveness of different drugs or treatment methods on people with pre-existing conditions or diseases.

Research on such matters as nutrition, housing requirements, or social behavior can help improve living conditions for captive and domestic animals. Some kinds of animal research may contribute to habitat restoration and conservation efforts for wild animals.