What is the Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty Free

The main difference between vegan and cruelty free is that vegan means that a product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal by-products while cruelty free means that the manufacturing process of a product does not involve harming or killing any animals or testing on animals.

Vegan and cruelty free are two labels that indicate the level of animal involvement in a product. However, the line between the two labels is sometimes a little blurry. There are no strict regulations for these labels since there are no FDA definitions for them, so the difference may sometimes vary from product to product. Nevertheless, vegan label describes the ingredients in a product while cruelty free label describes the production process.

Key Areas Covered

1. What Does Vegan Mean
     – Definition, Features
2. What Does Cruelty Free Mean
     – Definition, Features
3. What is the Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty Free
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Cruelty Free, VeganDifference Between Vegan and Cruelty Free - Comparison Summary (1)

What Does Vegan Mean

The vegan label can be seen in products that do not contain any animal ingredients.  This means that vegan products do not have any animal-derived ingredients. Moreover, the term vegan actually describes the ingredients in the product, not the production process.Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty Free

It’s also important to note that vegan products also do not contain any animal-by products, which often includes ingredients like honey, beeswax, gelatin, lanolin (wool grease), squalene (shark liver oil), ambergris (whale vomit) and placenta (sheep organs). However, we cannot say with a guarantee that no animals were harmed in manufacturing vegan products. Sometimes, vegan products may be tested on animals, which of course goes against the spirit of veganism.

What Does Cruelty Free Mean

The label cruelty free is an indication of the production process. This label indicates that the production or manufacture of a certain product does not involve killing or harming animals, or testing on animals. In other words, cruelty free products and their basic ingredients do not involve testing on animals at any stage during their manufacture. You can find this label in various products such as food items, cosmetics, and other personal care items. 

Moreover, different organizations and institutions use different logos to indicate that a product is cruelty free.

  • Leaping Bunny label by Human Cosmetic Standard
  • Choose Cruelty-Free (applies to cosmetics, hygiene and home products, and medicines)
  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
  • IHTN Rabbit

Main Difference - Vegan vs Cruelty Free

Although cruelty-free products are not tested on animals, they may still contain animal ingredients or by-products. This raises the question of whether these products are really cruelty-free.

Difference Between Vegan and Cruelty Free

Definition

Vegan indicates that a product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal by-products while cruelty-free indicates that the manufacturing process of a product does not involve harming or killing any animals or testing on animals.

Ingredients vs Process

The label vegan describes the ingredients in a product while cruelty-free label describes the production process.

Nature

Although cruelty-free products are not tested on animals, they may still contain animal ingredients or by-products. Similarly, vegan products may sometimes be tested on animals.

Conclusion

Vegan indicates that a product does not contain any animal ingredients or animal by-products while cruelty-free indicates that product manufacture does not involve harming or killing any animals or testing on animals. In brief, the vegan label describes the ingredients in a product while cruelty-free label describes the production process. Hence, this is the main difference between vegan and cruelty free.

Reference:

1. “Cruelty-Free.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Dec. 2019, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “1343429” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Cruelty Free” By Waqararif – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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