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How To Find Out If Products Are Cruelty Free and Vegan

How To Find Out If Products Are Cruelty Free and Vegan
Lately there’s been a lot of buzz about people realizing that products labeled “cruelty free” aren’t actually so. It’s been covered by Glamour and the New York Times. With the rise of popularity of these products, a lot of brands are throwing on the label just to make a quick buck. “Cruelty free” is now a marketing term for a lot of brands instead of the ethical stance that it should be.

Did you know that the FDA doesn’t actually regulate the use of these phrases? What one company calls “cruelty free” can mean that their product isn’t tested on animals at any step and neither are their ingredients. Yet what another company calls “cruelty free” can mean that only the finished product isn’t tested on animals, but it was during the production and/or contains ingredients that have been. This is why it’s so important to educate yourself on what it means to use animal friendly products. There are third-party companies that verify this information, like Leaping Bunny, but I think it’s always good to find out for yourself.

While Logical Harmony covers both cruelty free and vegan products, I have to be honest about the fact that I only use vegan products. I cover cruelty free products because I realize that not everyone is ready to live a vegan lifestyle. I want to create an open dialogue with my readers and make everyone feel included. I also think that everyone has to start somewhere and buying cruelty free is better than nothing. However, with this becoming a hot issue, I do want to make sure that people realize cruelty free just means there was no animal testing. These products often contain animal ingredients that an animal did have to die for. They are by no means actually free from cruelty to animals.

In this post, I’ll show you How To Find Out If Products Are Animal Friendly. This is something that I do with everything I use. Not only are my cosmetics, hair care products and household cleaning products vegan, but so are my toothbrush and razor. It takes a little extra work, but knowing that your products are truly animal friendly is well worth it. I go through all of these steps with everything I use. I think it’s really important to be educated about what you are using and to be able to stand behind the products and brands you use.

Don’t trust other sources. The most important thing that I have learned about finding out of if a product is animal friendly or not is that you can’t trust word of mouth information. A lot of people and blogs don’t verify the information that they are sharing with others. I found this out the hard way when I read on several blogs that Milani was a vegan cosmetics brand. I passed that information along to a couple of other people and bought some of their products without reading the ingredients. Then I contacted Milani and found out that only some of their products are vegan. I felt horrible for passing on false information to others and I learned my lesson then and there. There is also a hair care company that I was reading was cruelty free on several cruelty free and vegan blogs. When I e-mailed them, they replied saying that they currently were not and had never been cruelty free. The point is that people can be misled and don’t always bother to find out the truth for themselves. I urge you all to find out the truth for yourself.

Contact the company yourself. Because “cruelty free” and “vegan” have become marketable terms, companies are usually more than happy to answer questions you have about their products and their stance. They often have a FAQ page with a statement about animal testing and/or their use of animal ingredients. This is a great first step, but they are often not thorough answers. For every product that I use and recommend, I get confirmation from the company about their status. E-mail them and be as specific and direct as possible. I prefer e-mail because then I have an answer in writing.

Ask about their stance on animal testing. When I ask about animal testing, I ask the company if their product has been tested on animals at any point during the production and if it contains any ingredients that have been tested on animals by themselves or a third-party. It’s important to break down your question and be as specific as possible. This forces them to break down their answer and be as specific as possible in return. If their product is truly cruelty free, the company will have no problem telling you that the product was never tested at any point and they don’t buy ingredients that have been tested. If they can’t answer part of your question or give you an unclear response, ask for clarification. I consider a confusing response to be a way of trying to not admit that they aren’t truly cruelty free.

Ask about animal ingredients and animal derived ingredients. Simply asking if their products are vegan isn’t enough as not everyone knows what this means. Instead, ask if their products contain any animal ingredients or animal derived ingredients. I often include a small list of ingredients that can be animal derived as well so that it’s clear what I am asking about.

Ask about the source of the possible animal ingredients. A lot of ingredients, such as glycerin, can come from a plant or animal source. If you are asking about a specific product that contains these types of ingredients, be sure to name them. This is the best way to get a clear answer.

Ask for permission to reprint their reply. A company who is being honest and upfront with you about if their products are tested on animals and what the products contain will have no problem with this. I explain that I want to let my blog readers know the stance of the company. It’s nothing but good publicity for them! If they aren’t okay with it, then I always reconsider if it’s a company that I want to trust and support.

If anything the company says seems suspicious to you, then it’s your call about whether to trust them or not. I’ve dealt with a handful of shady companies. One I e-mailed three different times and ended up with three different answers. Another replied to my e-mail saying that they were too busy to answer my request and to try at a later date. Many companies simply do not even respond. When these factors come up, I just assume that the company doesn’t want to have it in writing that they aren’t animal friendly and I no longer wish to support or endorse them.

This is my process for the products that I use and endorse. I cannot guarantee that other cruelty free and/or vegan blogs do their own research. In fact, I started being so thorough once I realized that most do not. I can only vouch for the information that I provide to you on Logical Harmony.

Do you do your own research into your favorite products? If not, are you going to start?

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21 Comments

  • Reply Elizabeth Friday - October 16, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Hi!
    What about PΓΌr cosmetics. Some of their foundations are listed as vegan and the company claims to be cruelty free.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - December 27, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I’ve reached out to them several times and, unfortunately, haven’t received a response.

  • Reply Sarah Monday - June 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Greetings,
    Based on your research and knowledge, do you know if Amway is a sustainable company that offers products Cruelty Free and Vegan? Thank you for sharing your Light with the world and contributing to a more conscious reality πŸ™‚

    • Reply Tashina Combs Wednesday - August 12, 2015 at 8:08 am

      Hi Sarah,

      Sadly, Amway is on the Brands to Avoid list. This is because they state that they do test on animals when required by law. I hope this helps!

  • Reply shami Tuesday - May 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Do you know if Drybar is Vegan or if any specific products from them are?

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - August 9, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Shami,

      They have a lot of vegan options! Your best bet is to ask their customer service team about the specific items that you’re interested in. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Julie Sunday - December 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Isn’t Milani now a cruelty free brand with some vegan options? I thought that they lost their Leaping Bunny status but just got it back this year

    • Reply Tashina Combs Sunday - March 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Julie,

      Milani is again a cruelty free brand with vegan options! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Teresa Sunday - November 16, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I have just started on my research on cruelty free products and felt a bit lost on how to go about it… and then I came across your blog.
    I want to tell you how grateful I am to you for all your work, research and sharing. I have read so much valuable information already and I am touched. This is really how we create a loving connected world. Opening up, learning, being responsible for our actions and sharing with others who are also opening up. Thank you and many blessings.

    • Reply Tashina Combs Wednesday - December 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much, Teresa! I am so glad that Logical Harmony has been a helpful resource for you. Thank you for taking the time to read LH. I truly appreciate it. <3

  • Reply Pamela Kaczynski Sunday - June 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    All I wear is Wet-N- wild lipstick because I read they are animal friendly. Is this true??

    • Reply Tashina Combs Thursday - June 26, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Pamela!

      Wet’n’Wild is cruelty free with vegan options! πŸ™‚

  • Reply alanoudsultan Friday - January 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    this is the usual question when I email a company ” are you cruelty free? have the products been tested on animals at any point during the production? I’m vegan and I oppose animal testing in the cosmetics field’ some companies never reply..they’re so rude!!

  • Reply Margaret Friday - December 14, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Hello
    Just came across your website today and, so far, have found it a great source of information on cruelty-free products. Shockingly, I didn’t know about the “China SYndrome” regarding animal testing. I guess I was becoming too lax in my research and misplaced trust in companies. I shall, henceforth, look for vegan products where possible (despite the fact I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but the animal testing on cosmetics, etc, is an important consideration to me; and yes, I do get my hypocrisy!)

    Thank you so much for sharing your research and information in this blog (which I hope to have time to delve into further!)

  • Reply Deborah Tuesday - May 1, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I just wanted to thank you for being another resource in my quest to be completely cruelty-free, and not just that, but becoming a reliable source to my subscribers for choosing cruelty-free products. This is an amazing website, which I’ll be sure to share on any video I make, talking about animal testing-free products. Thank you!

    • Reply admin Sunday - May 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Thank you so much for this comment, Deborah. It means a lot to me that you appreciate what I’ve been doing with Logical Harmony. Readers like you keep me inspired!

  • Reply Christine Thursday - January 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Thank you for posting this, especially after our twitter conversation the other day. It really helps me to know the exact steps to take when finding out more about the brands I use (and have been using). I agree with what you said above about becoming more informed consumers. I think that we have to be informed about everything whether it’s something we’re eating, or something we’re putting on our bodies because it’s obvious that other companies aren’t going to do the work for us. How sad because I’m sure if more companies were HONEST about their practices it would probably benefit them in the long run.

    • Reply alanoudsultan Friday - January 10, 2014 at 12:48 am

      I have been buying only cruelty free products for about a year now, It has been very difficult, I buy most of them online, because there aren’t many cruelty free here in Saudi Arabia, and I’ve been devastated when MAC entered China and stopped being cruelty free TT_TT

  • Reply Amanda Thursday - January 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I decided to go cruelty free a couple of months ago and I’ve been researching all the products I use online, unforunately researching online has been SO CONFUSING. I keep reading so many different things, I don’t know what’s true. I’ve compiled a list of companies I know I can trust…but as far as new products I’m trying…I think I will definitely resort to verifing by email only after reading this post. It’s so frustrating that we can’t even trust the “cruelty free” label on a product. It’s not right companies can claim whatever they want just to sell the product…the FDA needs to step up, do their job and regulate!!!

    • Reply Tashina Thursday - January 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Online research is really confusing! You’ll find 5 resources telling you yes and 5 telling you no. It makes it really difficult to trust anyone!! That’s why I started e-mailing. If you want, you can send me a list of companies and I can e-mail them and follow up with you. I e-mail several a day, so it’s not like it’s adding to my workload at all. πŸ™‚

      This reminds me of when people found out that the use of “light” for food isn’t regulated either. It can just mean light in color, not in calories. It sucks that we can’t depend on the FDA or these companies to be honest, but it also forces us to become more educated consumers.

    • Reply d kessans Thursday - July 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Amanda,
      I was confused too so I got a list from PETA. Very informative.

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