A reader commented recently on one of my posts "It´s great that it is cruelty free, but is it also paraben free?" and I thought to myself that this was a very strange question, since "cruelty" is not really an ingredient. How can one compare animal cruelty with parabens? It seemed to me, that she did not understand what cruelty free means.

At other times I see people are misunderstanding the word vegan and randomly use it instead of cruelty-free and the other way around. So I asked my husband today, if he understands the difference between a cruelty free lipstick vs. a vegan lipstick and he quite frankly shook his that got me thinking that apparently the difference seems not that clear to everybody and I wanted to clear it up!


Cruelty free means simply that the product (or its ingredients) have not been TESTED ON ANIMALS. Personally I would prefer, if we would not choose the term "cruelty free" but rather "not tested on animals" like they do in Europe. This would definitely clear things up. I have had another occasion where a women was very upset with me that I bought a leather bag and told me that this is definitely not cruelty free. While I have to admit that I can not exclude that in the produce of leather animal-cruelty has been done- the term "cruelty free" does really only apply to the "testing of cosmetic on animals". Just because you buy cruelty free, does not mean that you are vegan! 


Vegan on the other hand means that the product does not contain animal or animal derived ingredients (like honey, beeswax, lanolin, collagen, albumen, carmine, cholesterol, gelatin). Red lipsticks for example often contain carmine which is basically a "crushed beetle". Yack!


Bottom line is that a brand can be cruelty free (no animal testing!) but still not vegan (use animal derived products). The opposite is also true: a brand could be vegan but not cruelty free. 

It is up to you if you choose to support only cruelty free brands, or cruelty free brands that are also vegan. Personally I support only cruelty free brands, but I am not vegan.

Have you downloaded the App "Go Cruelty Free" yet? Try it out! It helps you shopping cruelty free the easy way and IT IS FREE!