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Vegan Life

February 24, 2021 - The Vegan Authority

What is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan

What is the difference between cruelty-free and vegan
Animal testing, not vegan© Photabulous!

Vegans strive to live a cruelty free life wherever possible, not just by eating only plant-based foods. 

Those who choose to follow a vegan lifestyle, try to apply the same food-consumption ethics to what they wear and other products they consume.

But not all vegan products are cruelty-free and some product claims in the marketplace can be confusing and purposely deceptive.

  • cruelty-free = no animal testing 
  • vegan = no animal ingredients or by-products 

Can something be cruelty-free and vegan? 

YES. This means that the product was not tested on animals AND it does not contain any animal ingredients and by-products. 

Can something be cruelty-free but not vegan? 

YES, this means that the product was not tested on animals BUT it does contain some animal ingredients and/or by-products. A product might be endorsed by PETA as not tested on animals, but contain animal derived products such as milk, honey or carmine (the red dye that is extracted by crushing the cochineal scale insect). 

Can something be vegan but not cruelty-free? 

NO - in the strictest sense. Even if a product is free of animal based products it is not truly vegan if animals were exploited in any way in the development or manufacturing process. 

Some products may be completely vegan or void of any animal based elements, but either the final product or some of its ingredients have been tested on animals.


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