We’ve compiled a list of all the most awesome, extraordinary, fantastical, whimsical, cruelty-free gifts! Not to brag or anything, but this is the best gift guide out there this year. My dog told me that and I believe everything she says.
If you’re not on the cruelty-free train yet, we’re here to reach out a hand and pull you onboard with other animal lovers who are shopping a little more carefully.
What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?
The term “cruelty-free” indicates that a product isn’t tested on animals during any stage of manufacturing, including “mice, fish, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, farm animals, birds, cats, dogs, mini-pigs, and non-human primates (monkeys, and in some countries, chimpanzees),” according to Humane Society International.
Because world governments move slow as molasses when it comes to putting policies in place, there unfortunately aren’t any set standards or regulations yet for a company to be able to slap a cruelty-free statement on their packaging.
A good starting point is to look for products with the Leaping Bunny logo; their website, along with Cruelty Free Kitty, also do a great job of listing ethical companies to shop with. For the purposes of this list, cruelty-free also indicates that these products contain no animal parts.
Wait, Animal Testing Still Exists?
It’s awful, but yes, animal testing is still a thing, though now there’s the added challenge of companies being deceitful about how they do it. A company or product may state they don’t test on animals, when in reality they’re hiring a third party to do the testing, or the ingredients are tested on animals, but not their final product.
The US and EU have made it illegal to test on animals for things like beauty products, but if the manufacturing is done in another country, ingredients are bought in another country, or the products are sold in Mainland China (where it is required to test on animals), then the company is still involved in animal testing.
What Does Animal Testing Involve?
In the context of this list, “animal testing” refers to the use of living animals in procedures that test the effectiveness and safety of products. It can include, among other things:
- Forced inhalation
- Chemical exposure to skin
- Short or prolonged periods of physical restraint
- Ear-notching or tail clipping for identification
12 Cruelty-Free Brands To Support
Now that we’ve totally bummed you out, how about some good news? YES PLEASE! The good news is that quality, cruelty-free companies and products are becoming more and more popular and easy to find each year. We’ve stacked up a list of some of our favorite cruelty-free, vegan, or Leaping Bunny-certified products here:
1. LUSH Cosmetics
LUSH is the bomb at creating whimsical bath bombs, bubble bars, lotions, and so, so much more. Their animal testing policies are even stricter than Leaping Bunny certifications, so feel free to shop their entire store with a clean conscience.
2) Immaculate Vegan, Ashoka Paris Raphaël Vegan Leather Backpack
Ashoka Paris is a French company run by animal lovers. All of their products are vegan, environmentally-friendly, and made in Italy. They have approval from Cruelty Free Kitty for their ethical sourcing, and to top it off, they donate part of their profits to animal rights groups.
The downside—they’re a bit pricey if you’re on a tight budget, and unless you can read French, you might have some trouble on their website. But don’t worry, we got you! To solve both of those problems, you can purchase their products from Immaculate Vegan, a site that curates fashion brands that have strict ethical (to both humans and animals), environmental, and aesthetic standards. Their large selection means a wider range of budget-friendly options.
BUY HERE, $285 from Immaculate Vegan
3) Vegan Cuts Snack & Beauty Boxes
All of Vegan Cuts subscription boxes are 100% vegan, 100% cruelty-free, and 100% amazing! You can expect carefully selected, quality ingredients, and sales from each box go toward helping animal sanctuaries across the U.S.
4) Flat Bonnie Stuffed Animals—Great For Kids!
Flat Bonnie plushies are handmade in the U.S. using only animal-friendly products, and a portion of their sales go to animal rescues.
BUY HERE, $24 from Etsy
5) Lonely Kids Club, Cecil Hoodie
This exact statement is on their website, and we’re all about it: “The only time animals come to contact with our products are when our dogs use them as blankets and/or beds. Once we dressed them in the jumpers for a photoshoot but they looked very content.” They’re cruelty free, use sustainable materials, ethical labor practices, recycled inks and cardboard, and part of their proceeds go to charity. The cherry on top is their sloth mascots!
Are your friends cool, but not the I-gotta-spend-$43-on-them kinda cool? They have budget-friendly accessories too!
BUY HERE, $43.60 from Lonely Kids Club
6) EcoRight, Simple Tote Bag “The Beagles”
EcoRight is cruelty-free, always uses conscious materials, sustainable processes and ethical manufacturing, and part of their proceeds go back to helping animals and the planet. You can read all about them here. They have all kinds of fun totes and bags like this here “The Beagles” tote that’s made of 100% cotton.
BUY HERE, $12 from EcoRight
7) A To Z Candles, Mr. Jingles Snowman
A to Z Candles are Leaping Bunny-approved, so you know their standards are high (unlike your dating standards back in high school). Their candles are made from 100% USA-grown soy wax, and each purchase helps rescue farm animals. We’re really digging this Mr. Jingles candle because once you’re done burning the candle, you can use him as a drinking glass!
8) Crazy Cat Lady, Fair-Trade Teas With Infuser
The Crazy Cat Lady is crazy about ethics. This brand is Leaping Bunny-approved, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainably-sourced, and a whole slew of other good stuff that you can read about here. This Pawpermint and Chamomeow tea set with a BPA-free tea infuser is just the cat’s pajamas!
9) Australia Zoo, Symbolically Adopt A Wombat
For the person who has everything, you can symbolically adopt a wombat and other endangered species through the Australia Zoo. That’s Steve Irwin’s zoo! Ok, this one isn’t really a “brand” in the typical sense, but it’s still technically cruelty-free and just straight up cool.
Adopting an animal helps to fund animal conservation through the zoo; you can check out the details here and browse other “adoptable” critters! We chose wombats because they poop in cube shapes, and we think that’s just magical.
BUY HERE, $50+ via the Australia Zoo
10) Meow Meow Tweet, Personal Care Items
We’re starting to notice a cat theme trend on this list that was not intentional, but we all have a little crazy cat lady in us, I guess. Meow Meow Tweet offers vegan, cruelty-free, low-waste, handmade personal care items for everyone with overly delightful packaging! It’s a great place to find budget friendly gifts.
SHOP HERE, $10–$25 from Meow Meow Tweet
11) Heroine New York City, The Dream Cremes Nail Lacquer
Treat yourself to a set of perfectly pastel polishes. They’re cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny-approved, and 5-free, meaning they’re free of toxic chemicals found in other polishes. They donate part of their net profits to The Beagle Freedom Project, which is dedicated to stop animal testing. We’re kinda obsessed with their Dream Creme set!
BUY HERE, $10 each from Heroine New York City
Each monthly box comes with 2 innovative toys, 2 full-size bags of all-natural treats, and a tasty chew. Every month is a brand new theme, and it’s totally customizable to get the most joy out of you and your pup. The toys are technically tested on the office dogs, but we think they rather enjoy it.
SIGN UP HERE and your first box for $15, with a FREE extra toy in every remaining box in your chosen plan.
That should just about round off your Christmas list after you’ve ordered that air fryer for Aunt Liz, the Legos for Uncle Ned’s kid and finished grocery shopping for those ninja bread cookie ingredients!