Hi there! I have been wanting to write a post that starts from the bottom since I know a lot of my readers are new to the vegan & cruelty-free product lifestyle. Many people associate animal testing with bunnies and mice, but sadly there are cats and dogs that are also used for testing. These animals are often raised in testing environments and have never even seen the outdoors. This is a practice that is required in many countries but severely outdated with all of our advances in science. Of course, at some point in time, an ingredient has been tested on an animal, but there is no reason to continue testing and there are many companies that support this. Here I will touch on what a company means when they say their products are cruelty-free and vegan.
What does cruelty-free mean?
Cruelty-free means that a company does not test their products on animals. There are many symbols and wording that indicate this on product packaging so you can see if the company is cruelty-free. Unfortunately, there are a lot of loop holes here when a company slaps “cruelty-free” on their labels because the term is not heavily regulated. Just because the packaging says cruelty-free does not mean that it truly is. What am I talking about? See here:
- That company may have hired a third-party to test for them so they can keep the cruelty-free label.
- That company may have tested each individual ingredient on animals but not the final product.
- That company may be cruelty-free but they are owned by a parent company that tests on animals.
- That company may test when required by law. (i.e. if they use certain ingredients that require testing or sell in a market that requires testing, like China.)
You’re probably thinking, “What! How will I ever know then?” and the honest answer is: research. We cruelty-free bloggers hope that we can be a guide for you towards honest brands and products because a lot of us have done extensive research on the topic. However, the only true way for you to really know is to ask the company yourself.
What does vegan mean?
Vegan means that the product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients in its formula. Yes, beauty products, household products, perfumes, toothpaste, etc. all can contain animal ingredients such as fat, bones, excrements, oils, etc. (Refer to my Ingredient Chart for a common list) I am sure you are disgusted, I was. BUT there are SO many amazing brands out there that utilize plant-based and synthetic ingredients which are just as effective, if not better. When a company says that they are vegan & cruelty-free, they are 100% fighting animal cruelty, in my opinion.
Now again, it is hard to find out which companies and products are truly vegan but a little bit of research can go a long way. Many companies will list on their websites under “FAQs” their vegan options. You will be surprised at how many drugstore brands have vegan products! Knowing the different ingredients to look out for also helps, although you may need to clarify with the company if that ingredient is synthetic or animal-derived.
Some companies can say they are vegan and yet still test on animals (which blows my mind) so it is always best to reach out to a company you are questioning directly to get clarification. Those that are proud of what they do will be happy to respond. I am always so impressed with companies when they take their time to email me back and answer all of my questions. It truly makes me a more positive and supportive consumer.
I challenge all of my readers that are thinking about taking the leap to replace a used up item with a new cruelty-free item instead. This is how I started and it helped me slowly make the transition. Stop purchasing from companies that test on animals when possible, the practice is completely outdated and unnecessary. Start purchasing from companies that are making a conscious effort to do good in the world. I promise you will feel so much better that you did! Get started using my cruelty-free product checklist here!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org