What is the difference between cruelty free and vegan?

Thankfully, nowadays, people are becoming more and more concerned with what they are putting on the skin, and how the product was created, what it was created with and how humanely (if there is such a thing) products can be developed.

But it is still so hard to tell what is cruelty free, vegan or just straight up pro animal testing without looking things up on the internet. Even then, its a minefield to know what sites are telling the truth and if it is accurate for your country.

What is Cruelty Free?

Firstly, it is important to note that not all cruelty free products mean cruelty free. The company may not test on animals, but some of the ingredient can include animal products, which is very far from cruelty free. Meaning that an ingredient was made by the death of an animal.

If a product is cruelty free, it means that there has been no animal testing by any means in the production line for that specific product. However you should be made aware that this does not mean that third parties do not test their ingredients on animals before passing it on to be made in to a cruelty free product. For example, in China, it is required by law to test a product on animals before being sold to humans. This has caused a huge debate in the media recently as Nars have decided to sell their products in China. Nars, who have always been cruelty free, and plan to stick by it, have made the decision to expand their market, which in turn, means that their products must now be tested on animals. Far from cruelty free I think you’ll agree.

Sometimes, the easiest way to know whether a product is totally cruelty free, is to go direct to the source and ask. You can contact their PR company via twitter, drop them and email or phone. If they answer with a strong yes, then obviously great. If they answer in any other way, then it is best to stay clear, if cruelty free is truly what you are after.

What is Vegan?

A vegan product means that the product does not use any animal product whatsoever. This include shark oils, squirrel hair, whale poop (yes, you heard me, its found in perfumes!) parasitic beetle (to colour lipsticks) shark oil, honey, beeswax and lanolin – which by the way, if you didnt know, is the greasy build up on ships wool that is then bottled and put in to makeup removers and moisturisers…..delicious!

It is also worth noting that just because a product does not contain animal ingredients, it shouldn’t be assumed that it is not testing on animals. These are not mutually exclusive and companies are not legally required to note any of the above of their packaging.

Further Reading

There are many websites with fairly accurate lists of what products are cruelty free and which ones are vegan. Some are listed below:

www.crueltyfreekitty.com
www.logicalharmony.net
www.peta.org
www.ethicalelephant.com