The Basics

Being vegan and/or cruelty-free extends beyond your diet and into every aspect of your life. Obviously, the cruel treatment animals recieve at factory farms is an easy reason to go vegan. But being vegan in your everyday life can be a bit more difficult so we have created these guides for living a cruelty-free life. Products made from animal by-products such as leather and down are no brainers, but there are a few other sneaky elements that creep their way into your life. From your cosmetics and medication to your clothes and home decor, companies are really slick at using animal products (because they are readily accessible, traditional, and cheap) to create their products. 

Animal Testing and Products in Cosmetics

Not only are animals used for testing in cosmetics, there are also sneaky animal products that are part of the ingredients list. True vegans don’t purchase any food or products that have even touched an animal or an insect in any way. We won’t go into the gorey details of animal-testing, we all know its bad, but below is a list of 10 common animal products you didn’t know were animal products that are used in cosmetics. For the details, see the this post by our friends at One Green Planet:

  1. Cochineal Dye (also listed as carmine)
  2. Guanine
  3. Tallow
  4. Gelatin (also commonly found in foods like chewing gum)
  5.  Lanolin
  6. Squaline
  7. Ambergris
  8. Collagen
  9. Estrogen
  10. Retinol
Look for “The Bunnies You Can Trust” when shopping for cosmetics:

Animal Products in Home Decor

Avoiding leather and suede, are obvious choices when choosing to design vegan in your home. There are vegan alternatives to leather couches by using synthetics which look and feel just like real leather. 

Secondary to leather you obviously want to avoid goose down. Goose down is commonly used in pillows and comforters. While it may seem like a stretch that using feathers is cruel, each feather has its own blood supply and nerve ending. That means each time a feather is plucked from a goose, it feels it. Every. Single. One. and they ARE plucked alive (because a dead goose can’t produce more feathers). Yikes.

Less obvious animal products are wool and silk. There are infinite amounts of synthetic alternatives to animal products; some of which are actually cheaper. So why aren’t we using them more? Tradition maybe. Cost possibly. Either way, make your choice and vote with your $$$ to end you support of animal cruelty. 

Animal Products in Apparel

With mass-production low-cost stores like TopShop and Zara offering cruelty-free fashion alongside trusted brands like Vans, it is easier than ever to get clothing made without harming any animals. One obvious material that is widely available is cotton and more frequently than ever synthetic leathers look, smell, and feel like the real thing. 

Here are 5 common animal products to look for in apparel:

  • Down (used in coats and parkas)
  • Furs
  • Leather
  • Silk
  • Wool

Not only are these products harmful to animals, they are harmful to the environment as well due to the chemical processes used to clean and prepare the materials for use.