How Is Cruelty-Free Different From Vegan?

Both the words carry different meanings but a same intent.

Explore in this Article

  1. What Is A Vegan Product?
  2. What is a cruelty-free product?
  3. So what is the best option to buy?

If you are a label reader, you might have read the words cruelty-free and vegan in many products these days. Both the words tell us that the product is animal-friendly and is made consciously, and if you are a conscious buyer, you would want to buy the product right away. But before buying, do you ever wonder what the difference between these two words is? What makes a product vegan or cruelty-free? No?

Well, then let’s get right into it.

What Is A Vegan Product?

The term vegan in a product means that the product doesn’t have any animal-derived ingredients. But they may still be tested on animals.

Common animal-derived ingredients are:

  • Honey, beeswax, gelatin, yogurt, & animal by-products like lanolin (wool grease), squalene (shark liver oil), ambergris (whale vomit), and placenta (sheep organs).
  • Elastin- extracted from the muscles, ligaments, and heart valves of cows and is often used in anti-wrinkle products.
  • Keratin- derived from hooves, feathers, animal hair and horns, and is usually added to shampoos to strengthen hair.
  • Carmine- made from the bodies of crushed beetles.
  • Lanolin- made from sheep sebum (sheep produce it to protect their wool) and moisturizes and protects the skin.

What is a cruelty-free product?

Crueltyfree means none of the ingredients or sub-ingredients of the product was tested on animals. 

Animal testing is done by applying the ingredients to the animal’s skin, pouring it into the animal’s eyes, or inserting it into the animal’s body.

The words vegan and cruelty-free are often used interchangeably. However, it might get confusing to know that a product could be vegan but not cruelty-free or could be cruelty-free but not vegan. So the best way to know if the product is cruelty-free or vegan is by looking for a trusted certification mark. 

Vegan products would generally have a Vegan Society or a Vegan Action certificate.

And cruelty-free products would have a leaping bunny mark, PETA, & Choose Cruelty Free.

So what is the best option to buy?

The best thing is to buy products that are both vegan and cruelty-free. It is not harder to find such products, as companies are responding to the rise in demand and are striving to provide us with the best animal-free products.

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