After veganising your diet the next step is to fill your world with cruelty-free clothing, groceries, shoes, cosmetics and other household products that are kind to animals and yourself. In this way you use your consumer power to change the world. So what does ‘cruelty-free’ really mean? The obvious answer would be those products that have caused no suffering or death to animals. However, that is not how the label is used. Yes, it is applied to products that have not been tested on animals: the organisations strenuously investigate companies to ensure they do not test their final products, or ingredients that went into making that product, on animals. But unfortunately they do not require that the products are vegan.
This can prove to be very confusing, especially for new vegans. So please keep in mind that the true definition of ‘cruelty-free’ means that both boxes would need to be ticked: that the product has not been tested on animals and you have checked that all of the ingredients are vegan.
The Leaping Bunny list does not provide information about the composition of ingredients. Because ingredient information is available—and required by law— we know that conscientious consumers can read labels to discover whether products are vegan or not. For this reason, Leaping Bunny chooses to focus its resources on validating information that is not readily available to consumers, such as animal testing claims. Many Leaping Bunny companies are committed to manufacturing natural and vegan products; however, the Leaping Bunny Program can only certify the animal testing component of this process.
Source: The Leaping Bunny FAQ
Although the work these companies do is extremely valuable, whether the approved products that make it onto their approved lists are vegan or not seems to be a non-issue for them. Their lack of concern is troubling.
Choose Cruelty Free prohibit the following animal ingredients:
— Derived from an animal killed specifically for the extraction of that ingredient.
— Forcibly extracted from a live animal in a manner that occasioned pain or discomfort.
— Derived from any wildlife.
— That are by-products of the fur industry.
— That are slaughterhouse by-products of a commercially significant value.
Source: Choose Cruelty Free List
These criteria leave the door wide open for products obtained in a so-called ‘humane’ manner and are speciesist in that they afford wildlife and fur animals a higher level of protection than the vast majority of exploited animals who are farm animals.
Some of the more common non-vegan ingredients that make their way into the approved products include: glycerine, dairy byproducts, bees wax, silk, and carmine.
Here are a few guides and mobile apps to use while you are shopping. For the sake of all animals everywhere please keep these guides with you and use them in conjunction with the other extensive resources offered by Elated to check that your homes are truly ‘cruelty-free’.
Check out these great links:
Thank you for caring about animals. By standing firm in your beliefs to live ethical and compassionate lives you are changing the world for the better!