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Making the Kind Choice

You guys, I hate to tell you this, but there’s some real creepy stuff lurking in your home and beauty products.

Not only that, but a lot of popular home and beauty products are tested on animals OR one or more of the ingredients found in that product have, at one time, been tested on animals.

Do you really think that the product you’re putting in your hair is somehow safer or better after it was squirted in the eyes of some terrified bunny rabbit or beagle who has never seen the light of day or known kindness?

Before you panic know that:

1. You are not a bad person for not knowing. But, now you know. Willful ignorance is silly, so it’s time to switch to cruelty-free product. We’re not all in a financial position to buy all new products, so don’t beat yourself up over the fact you may have to transition slowly rather than toss and replace everything in your house.

2.You’re in luck. Buying cruelty-free and vegan products has never been easier.

So, let’s get started.

Initially, reviewing the material content of your clothing and the ingredient list of your household and beauty products might seem like a daunting task.  Often times, particularly with household products, you might be unsure of whether a particular ingredient is derived from animals or tested on animals because you may have never heard of it and there might not be any clear information on the label or packaging.

Luckily, there are organizations that exist to help make your choices as a conscious consumer easier – essentially, these organizations have done the dirty work and products bearing their logo are certified vegan *AND/OR* cruelty free. It’s important to note that there is a distinction between certified vegan products and cruelty free products. 


A product that is vegan contains NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS WHATSOEVER.  Also, a truly vegan product has never been tested on animals; not only has the final product not been tested on animals, but all of the individual components of the product have never been tested on animals either.

A product that is “cruelty-free” has never been tested on animals; however, it is not necessarily the case that these “cruelty-free” products are vegan {free from animal-derived ingredients}.  For example, a particular beauty product that has not been tested on animals still might contain animal products like honey or animal derived lactic-acid, both of which are not vegan.

Cruelty Free shopping

With the cruelty-free vs vegan distinction in mind, the most notable organization that certifies cosmetic products as “cruelty-free” is the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC).  This coalition is comprised of nine animal protection groups who, together, have established clearly defined standards corporations must abide by in order to carry their internationally recognized “Leaping Bunny” logo.


Products bearing the leaping bunny logo {above} are certified cruelty-free. so when you’re shopping for cosmetics or household items you can rest assured that no ingredient has ever been tested on animals. These products may or may not be vegan- so you should still read the list of ingredients. Check out their website for more information, including a list of companies that carry their logo.

Vegan Shopping

In the same vein, products labeled with “The Vegan Society” Trademark are 100% vegan.  Founded in 1944, the mission of The Vegan Society is to make veganism mainstream. They are working toward this goal through various international programs and initiatives. Businesses can register to use The Vegan Society Trademark if they pass a set of standards outlined on their website. Essentially, the development, manufacturing, and final product must never have involved, at any point, the use of animal products, animal testing, or GMO’s.



What if there is no Vegan Society or Leaping Bunny logo?

The first course of action is to contact the company in question. The best way is through e-mail so that you have a written record of their response. Be direct.

Ask questions like:

  • Do you ever test any of your products on animals?
  • Have any of the ingredients used in your products ever been tested on animals by third parties or developers?
  • Do your products contain ingredients derived from animals?
  • You can also  inquire about specific ingredients, as some ingredients can be synthetic OR derived from both plants and animals. The labeling may be unclear

If they are initially unclear or vague in their response, ask for clarification. They may intentionally be trying to be vague  because they understand that the rate of conscious consumers is only increasing – it could be damaging to them as a business if consumers know they test all or some of their products on animals (all the more reason to urge them to STOP ANIMAL TESTING!).

The fact that more and more people care to know about the products they are using is good news!! Unfortunately, this also makes room for businesses to exploit this fact with clever marketing.  Terms like “All Natural”, “Natural Ingredients”, “Fresh,” etc., are not regulated. They are meaningless terms that one might associate with cruelty-free , organic, or vegan products..They also sound nice, I suppose. They are intentionally used for that purpose – to mislead the consumer into believing they are making a conscious purchase when, in reality, it’s just a guise.  There is zero guarantee that the product is cruelty-free or vegan unless they are certified through an organization like The Vegan Society and Leaping Bunny. Always ask if you are unsure.

It’s also helpful to familiarize yourself with  animal derived ingredients commonly used in cosmetics, household items etc. PETA is a good resource for this.

Again, this seems daunting, but it really is easy once you’re familiar with brands to avoid and brands to buy. It will only continue to become easier as more of us are waking up to the cruel realities of animal testing and to the fact that we can use high-quality products that contain zero animal-derived ingredients!





Violet's Veg*n e-comics December 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Straight forward, down to earth, common sense advice for the conscientious shopper. Thank you 😀

Carmen Mandel January 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm

It is very important to know ingredients and sources. Advertisers go to great extents to mislead about the cruel truth. Thank you for sharing all these good resources.

Caroline August 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

Looking forward to new posts!


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