Cruelty Free VS Vegan

Cruelty Free VS Vegan – What’s the difference?



When I first decided to make the transition to become Cruelty Free, I genuinely assumed if a brand was certified as Vegan then that would mean it does not involve animals – at all, right? Wrong. Bizarrely, just because a brand is certified as Vegan does not mean that its’ products are not tested on animals. Crazy! To me that defeats the whole idea of being Vegan in the first place if the products then go on to be tested on animals! And on the other side there are brands that while they claim to be Cruelty Free also sell their products in China or only state that their products are not tested on animals… but do not mention their ingredients or third party involvement.


So! What is the difference and how can we be sure?

It is not always clear what is Cruelty Free or Vegan, so here is a rough guideline on what these actually mean:

Cruelty FreeCruelty Free

– products are not tested on animals – at all. Not just the finished products, but the ingredients or any third party involvement. Also, if a brand sells its’ products in a country where animal testing is required by law (such as China) then the brand as a whole is not Cruelty Free.


– products are 100% free of any animal ingredients or ingredients that are derived from animals. These brands will find alternatives instead, such a Glycerine. However, a brand that is Vegan Certified is not neccesarily Cruelty Free.



Basically, they are completely different concepts. Brands that are Cruelty Free are not necessarily Vegan, and vise versa. On the whole, brands tend to be pretty proud if they have received certification for being either of these and will display their certified logo on their website and products. Not always though, so I tend to look in their “about” pages and they will usually clarify their status there. If I find I am having to hunt a little too hard to find some sort of clarification, then I start to become suspicious and doubtful. There is also the Parent Company situation for some brands, but that is a whole issue in itself that is down to personal opinion – I have a full discussion post on this – Where To Draw The Line?


Cruelty Free


The main and ultimate mission of Belles’ Bunnies is to highlight cosmetic animal testing and create awareness of just how many brands are still testing on animals. The Cruelty Free Brand List on Belles’ Bunnies is constantly updated, which hopefully makes the whole process of shopping a lot easier! Overall, an official certification such as Leaping Bunny or PETA is a clear way to ensure a brand is Cruelty Free, and in my experience brands that are genuinely Cruelty Free are proud and display this for all to see!



Download the Cruelty Free UK Brand List!

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As a former hair salon owner and turning to work with animals, I have combined both passions and created Belles Bunnies - Cruelty Free Cosmetics - to help anyone looking to go Cruelty Free! Guides & advice, brand & product reviews, cruelty free brand lists and much more!

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