Both words “vegan” and “cruelty free” are communicational particles which had taken root in the soil of one part of the world and then spread everywhere, thus, as well as other such particles, contributing to the formation of a common tongue, so to speak. We all use this linguistic network in one way or another. However, sometimes a phenomenon covered by a set of letters is not exactly clear which can potentially lead to all kinds of misunderstanding. So, today we’ll say a few words about why the case of “vegan” and “cruelty free” is a striking example of such misleading state of things, or rather, state of thoughts.
Let’s get it started with definitions. In the beauty care and cosmetics industry, if a product is vegan, this means that none of its ingredients are animal-derived or contain animal by-products. Sometimes animal ingredients are easy to spot, and sometimes they’re like the devil in disguise. But as they say, the rose by any other name will smell like rose, and lanolin, by any other name will remain wool grease. Same story is with squalene which is a shark liver oil, with carmine - beetles, and so on. Thus, for the product to be called vegan it has to be totally free of compounds originated with any kind of a life being, instead containing only plant-based ingredients.
And now let’s shift the ground with the meaning of “cruelty free”. The thing is, this word is often supposed to imply that no animal suffered at any stage of the product or development and production. However, this statement is only half truth. When a product is labeled as cruelty free this means not being tested on animals, but not necessarily means not engaging animals to the product manufacturing product hence causing its death or suffering.
At the first sight it seems like regardless of which one of these communicational particles is present on a packaging it will automatically mean one has almost entered Green Piece by buying the product. Reality, as usual, is slightly more complicated. Let’s take products infused with snail mucin for instance: considering their origin, this is not the most ethically conscious way of getting yourself a blemish-free skin, still as far as it has not been tested on animals during its production it is still can be considered free of cruelty.
To that end, opting for a product that is both vegan and cruelty free, would be a perfect approach to make sure you do no harm to nature, direct and indirect.
Where to check (if it's possible)
A big issue with vegan and cruelty-free is that none of these terms is officially recognized so basically companies can use it as shining halos striving to win their clients’ hearts while staying devils in disguise…But hey, we, as a community, can’t help falling in love with nature protection, smart consumption and other beautiful phenomenons of nowadays. So despite all the confusion with their use, we just need to keep the meaning in mind to avoid being misled.
Luckily, trustworthy organizations that help companies get cruelty-free certifications already exist as well as the ways to tell brands that are truly pro-nature from the ones just faking it. But this is a topic for the next article. See you, our beautiful lash ladies!