how to vegan
Questions I frequently get from the incredible humans considering a vegan lifestyle
You can do this! Even if if feels impossible.
~ xo Christie
〰 〰 〰 Books & Resources to Check Out 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Cowspiracy (on Netflix) 〰 the environmental impact
Forks Over Knives (on Netflix) 〰 the health impact
Speciesism 〰 a powerful ethical perspective
How Not to Die by Dr. Gregger
The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell & 〰 the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted
Proteinaholic 〰 curious about protein?
〰 〰 〰 Vegan vs. Vegetarian 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
I totally get where people can be confused as to why you should choose to leave out ALL animal products.
Vegans choose to eat only plants. So nothing that has come from an animal source (including all meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, and other man-made ingredients coming from animal sources such as most (some of the following can come from plant sources as well) collagens, gelatin, food dies such as red#4, vitamin D3, etc.). Vegans also choose to live without supporting the animal industry in it's other forms (ex. cosmetics, leather, wool, silk, etc.)
A vegan diet is free of cruelty.
While a vegetarian diet is still just as much of a loaded gun as the meat industry... actually, in my opinion, it is more harmful and more cruel than an omnivorous lifestyle.
"Dairy"... rather, "mammal milk," as it should be called... still supports torture via it's industry (which also happens to be the catalyst for all cow-related industries, which we'll get to in a second). Buy purchasing mammal milk products, you are supporting the following:
— It supports the rape, torture, and killing of cows. For a cow to produce milk, it must be lactating, just as all mammals do (including humans). Therefore, the female cow is continually raped by humans (which is just as uncomfortable for her as it is for a human to encounter rape. Imagine yourself in her shoes.) to ensure she is pregnant and can produce milk. If you call yourself a feminist, or someone who is against rape, for that matter, you should not be consuming dairy.
— The killing of baby male cows (the veal industry)... who are ripped from their mothers (who weep for them just as any mom would for weeks... while then being raped to do it all over again or sent to the meat industry to be killed).
— It supports the skinning/leather industry.
— And it also supports environmental degradation, world hunger, and don't even get me started on the science behind dairy's health. (more below)
The egg industry is just as cruel.
Male chicks are ground up in machines while still alive (only female's produce eggs) or suffocated in bags/buckets and other harsh ways (not that killing another being is ever EVER ethical. They want to live just as you do. It's not fair to determine someone else's life like that.). Eggs also support the enslavement of chickens that have been genetically engineered to produce more eggs a year than is healthy for their bodies to sustain. They are ultimately slaughtered and sold as chicken meat, which you also support. This also does not include any of the health repercussions of eggs (cholesterol, animal protein, etc.) or the environmental degradation/world hunger issues. (more below)
What about ethically raised dairy/eggs? (more below)
Here are some more resources to check out:
〰 〰 〰 How to eat out with friends 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
To be honest, I've NEVER been in a restaurant that I haven't been able to eat in.
I think people have this idea that veganism is a super complicated thing. But really, it's not. You're just eating plants... the base of everything omnivores eat anyhow. Name a restaurant you've been in that doesn't have a single vegetable in the kitchen, a piece of fruit somewhere, or some version of rice or pasta on the menu. Because omnivores eat plant foods too! Even steakhouses have sides of baked potatoes and veggies.
Usually what I'll do, is if I'm really worried about it, I'll check out the menu first and see what will be written when I get there. I don't do this so much anymore since I'm pretty used it to, but in the begining stages this was really helpful.
I look for items that are mostly plants first, like pastas, salads, pizza, rice and veggie dishes, etc. (sometimes there's even a little "vegetarian section" on the menu too!). Then I let the waiter know I eat a plants-only diet (feel free to say you have allergies if you find that makes it go down easier. Sometimes they take it more "seriously" if you do.. ha-ha) and I ask them to remove the cheese/eggs if I've seen those as part of the dish on the menu.
Worst comes to worst, if I don't see a single thing, I'll look to the side dishes and order rice or baked potato or steamed veggies or something like that and I'll order a bunch of them.
If that's not an option then I chat with the waiter and I let them know I see they have "xyz" veggies listed in other meals so, I know you have them in the back, can you just throw them on a plate or something?
Sometimes I eat before I go if I know a skimpy side salad is all that will be available. But I don't mind, because I'm there to be with friends, and not for the food.
Quite honestly, I never mind what I'm eating anymore because I view it as fuel and helping my body feel it's best.
That's my one and only concern.
For awkward social situations:
(like meetings/business/anything you feel others may judge you of if you're "the picky one" ordering)
I have never done this but, I've heard of people calling a restaurant ahead and letting them know they're on a strict "doctors only diet" (usually for those trying to escape disease on a vegan lifestyle where every meal counts— like diabetes, heart problems, etc.) and asking if they can make their own food ahead of time, bring it over to the restaurant to keep in the back, and then upon arrival to the restaurant with their colleagues and friends, ask the waiter for "the usual" or something (a code word... lol) like that, and they plate it for you and charge you for the lowest priced item on the menu. No one questions anything! And from what I've heard, restaurants get weird phone calls like this all the time! Nothing to worry about! Your secret is safe with them!
〰 〰 〰 Friendships 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
There's a few things I can say about dealing with friends when it comes to your own lifestyle changes:
1. I always always always let my friends know that I can literally eat anywhere. Don't worry about me. I'll worry about me. So don't feel like we have to go somewhere special for me... and please don't not-invite me just because of it. I'm fine, trust me. I made the choice. I'm aware. You worry about you.
2. You have to loose the idea of letting others "judge" you based on what you eat. It's literally JUST food. Why does someone else care about what you're chewing up to fuel your body with? It really shouldn't bother them. For a long time, I was so self conscious of others thinking I was "a pain in the ass" when it comes to food and that really bothered me. I felt like all eyes were on me. But then I just went... It's MY life! It doesn't affect them. Why do they care? And if they do, I don't really want friends who judge me on something so small. There is more to me than the food I put in my mouth. There is more to me than the word "vegan." It is not my identity. I want friends who like me for ME and quite honestly, who aren't so small minded to judge another person like that. Even if it wasn't me they were judging. It's wrong.
3. And that's just it, it's JUST food. The thing we use to fuel our bodies with. Yet society has given us a twisted view of how it's culturally significant. Which I'm not taking anything away from because culture is BEAUTIFUL. But at the end of the day, no one is making you eat anything you don't want to. It's your body. Once we separate the cultural idea that food needs to have more significance than it does, it makes it easier to choose things we enjoy and that align with our ethics. Family gatherings and meals with friends are about being with the people, enjoying the relationships, and enjoying the food. But it doesn't need to be any "sort of food" for the community connection to be significant. No one can taste what's going into your mouth but YOU. Swap a family fave dish for a vegan version and plop it next to theirs (& share!).
〰 〰 〰 Parents 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
I think a really important thing with your parents, is explaining what the lifestyle is all about (really, everything) and why you're really passionate about it. Show them movies, have them read books, and a long weekend chat with them about it. Calmly. And explain to them just how passionate you are about it. Even if they're hesitant. Explain that it would mean a lot to you that they just hear your view point, in full, and then they can make their decision.
Keep in mind, your parents only have objections because they care for and love you.
They are just trying to look out for you.
If they let you know that they will not "allow" you to do it ...
based on convenience:
〰 I'm sure there are some meals you you make all your own (breakfasts/lunches/snacks/etc.) as of right now and you can easily make vegan swaps for those! EVERY MEAL COUNTS!!! Maybe change the milk in your cereal, or swap out chicken in your sandwich for tempeh.
〰 I think it's good to look into the meals/ingredients you already love that are already vegan by default. For example, do you love pasta? Good! Maybe you love potatoes? Eat your heart out! Rather than trying to make the things you loved "before" and trying to veganize them... stick to the stuff you already love in the begining. Because realistically, it's not going to be "the same" ... the kick is, in a few months time when your tastebuds change, you won't really care about the difference in taste, or better yet, you won't be able to taste a difference at all! (...me for example, I rarely have "faux" meat anymore, and when I get it out at restaurants, I have to check myself every. single. time. I literally am SHOOK that it's plants!)
〰 Ask them for a budget and do your own groceries. It's VERY easy to do vegan foods inexpensively and you don't really need much recipes to get going. I think a lot of people have this "vegan" things complicated. Were not swapping everything out for Whole Foods gourmet tofu meals. Stock up on rice, beans, bananas and fruits, leafy greens, salsa or your fave dressings/spices, and a couple healthy fats and you're good to go! Nothing complicated. That's what I did.
And recipe wise, I kind of just started putting things in my blender, or boiling/steaming things and putting spices and sauces on them. And they usually come out pretty banging! I've still to this day never looked at a vegan recipe (lol)... honestly! There are heaps of helpful resources on youtube for simple recipes as well.
Let them know that it shouldn't, in theory, cost them much money, since you can most likely use most of the things they already buy and make.... maybe take the rice out of their curry dish and add a veggie or two on top. Maybe make your side of the pizza without cheese. Etc. (ore on price/expenses below)
〰 It might take a bit of coordinating on your side at first, but it becomes really simple once you get the hang of it.
based on price:
〰 let them know that vegan foods are actually the cheapest foods on the planet! My grocery bill in college was always around 30% cheaper than my omnivore friends. The idea that veganism is expensive is a myth!
〰 Stock up on essentials like rice, beans, bananas, potatoes, and veggies but stay away from processed snacks and fancy juices, they are what adds up. Find a grocery store that has cheap produce and gains, and voila!
〰 Stay away from pricey grocery stores until you get the hang of it. Typically trendy farmers markets and Whole Foods and places like that are pricier. Explain to your parents that you don't need fancy things, your grocery store has plenty of great options. And that's not what veganism is about, despite what it's old stereotype was!
based on health reasons:
〰 Show them documentaries and present them with the science. It will be hard for them to believe their child presenting them with complex information, just based on their bias that you're younger than them and are their child. (see my book/docu recs at the top of the page)
〰 Explain that there is not a single nutrient needed by the human body that is not in plants, that is in animal products.
〰 B12 will come up. It is a myth that it comes from animal products. It is a nutrient found in the soil. The animals humans eat either get this nutrient from the soil they eat from or it is injected/supplemented into them. Humans used to get it from the soil as well, but now in 2018, our soils are so depleted and we over wash our fruit/veggies that we do not get enough of it. ALL humans should take a B-12 supplement, as most omnivores also have a deficiency but are not aware of it because they're convinced animal products are healthy.
I take THIS supplement.
Additionally, I include lots of nutritional yeast. So there is noooo worry about deficiency.
(In 2017, I did become deficient for a while when I forgot to take my pill and was too cheap to buy nutritional yeast (lol) and developed anxiety and numb arms/legs easily. It is NOT something to take lightly but if you are taking it every few days, or a couple times a week, you'll be fine!)
based on weight problems/eating disordered past:
This was the case for me, kind of. I went vegan when I went into recovery. I knew I wanted to get healthy, and that this time I was going to do it RIGHT. I had done heaps of in depth scientific research on health, and concluded that veganism was worth a go, despite my previous ideas that it made people "weak".
Here's the thing, this one is on YOU. Explain to them why you want to do this. From all angles. Calmly.
And try your best not to sound absolutely crazy. Present un-biases & educated scientific date, books, studies, etc. Try to show them how excited you are about this, that you know things need to change, and that this is the direction you feel comfortable with. Tell them that a vegan lifestyle is NOT A DIET. And it does not mean that you will be under-eating.
You are just changing the type of food you'll be eating. It is not restrictive. There are alternatives to things and you're excited to try them. And then it is up to YOU to show them that you can do this. Every day, every single day, you will show up and open yourself up to the challenge of restoring your body the beautiful energy & nutrients that it needs. You'll work towards either eating enough or living in balance, depending on where you are at. Be upfront with yourself.
GOING VEGAN WILL NOT KEEP YOU UNDER WEIGHT NOR WILL IS GUARANTEE ANY CERTAIN TYPE OF BODY. It will not. You need to be honest with yourself and you have to want to get better. Then it is up to YOU to do the work and move forward. To show them your best self. To become your best self. It's scary as hell. But I promise you, it's so flipping beautiful on the other side, babe.
So, are you up for the challenge? Are you going to prove them wrong? Are you ready to change your life? I believe in you.
Go out there and go get 'em, girl. You can do this. You are strong. You are capable. You are changing. You are growing.
〰 〰 〰 But I Live Outside America & I Cannot Access Vegan Options 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
I totally get that! I am INCREDIBLY lucky to live in a country that has entrepreneurs embracing the vegan lifestyle switch. And I know that so many people don't have access to the same foods I do. However, it might shock you to learn that you don't need any fancy veggie burgers, tofu, or vegan cheese. I actually very VERY rarely eat those products! Unless I'm going out for dinner or my mom happens to have brought some home.
Vegan foods are in everything we eat, even omnivorous diets. Foods like rice, beans, bananas, pasta, potatoes, and greens are pretty much available wherever you go. (for the most part, I know that there are still large parts of the world that don't have access to food easily... but chances are if you are reading this and have access to the internet, you have access to rice and beans too. Social media has really made veganism look like something fancier than it really is. I'm sure you're already eating french fries and vegetables.
Sure, some veggie and fruit intensive diets might not be cheap wherever it is that you live. But rice, beans, and potatoes are some of the cheapest foods on the planet! It's all about stocking up on the things in your budget and that are affordable in your country. If you live in a country with daily access to the internet, I'd think the chances of not having anything available are slim. It's all about your choice and whether or not you choose to make it. It's up to you to look into the foods and budget available to you.
It might be more difficult when eating out or at family/friend events, sure. But I believe that no one forces you to eat anything you don't want. You can always bring your own food (perhaps share some veggie goodness with friends/fam!) or eat before you go (feel free to read the "friends" section above for more). And keep in mind that EVERY meal counts. If you have the option to have a vegan meal one day, take it! Even if there's a situation later in the day where you cannot. If you have any more questions, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can try my best to answer anything you'd like!
🌎 A few amazing resources for info from other countries ::
🇲🇽 Mexico ::
〰 Rawvana -she lives in America but I've been following Rawvana for years and she's frequently in Mexico with her friends from Mexico! Definitely a good one to follow and stumble onto her friends Mexican accounts who can show ya more of how they live! https://www.youtube.com/user/rawvanaeng
🇧🇷 Brazil ::
If you know of a blog/video/resource for countries outside of North America, the EU, and Australia PLEASE let me know!
Shoot me an email and i'll add them here!! 💛
〰 〰 〰 Cheese 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Love cheese? Does "I would go vegan but... I love cheese" sounds like you?
... Mic can say it better than I can! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hE6lhQu7k4
〰 〰 〰 Nutritional & Scientific Wellness Resources 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Obviously, I'm not a doctor. But the following people are! Check out their books!
〰 How Not to Die by Dr. Gregger
〰 The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell & 〰 the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted
(on both youtube's & Dr. Gregger's site, you can easily search for a topic you are curious about)
〰 〰 〰 Diabetes 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Two incredible resources for those with T1 and T2, please dive into Robby's youtube content ::
〰 T2 resource — Please watch "Forks Over Knives" documentary (on Netflix)
Good news! T2 can be completely cured and reversed on a plant based diet! Without giving up any of your favorite foods!
〰 〰 〰 Protein 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
This is an easy one.
Yet it seems to be everyone's first question.
Are you ready for it? .... There. Is. Protein. In. Every. Plant. Food. even fruits! The amounts vary by food, sure, but it's there. Every plant food has protein, carbs, and fat in it. The macro proportions vary, yes, but they're there.
For some reason the meat and dairy industry has a really done a good job marketing the magical "protein" word, to the point where people believe it's importance is higher than it really is. Did you know that there has never... I repeat... NEVER been a single recorded case of a "protein deficiency" on it's own. That's because humans really don't need that much of it. The only instances where a person (usually in a country facing starvation) has had said "deficiency" is when they are also in a state of under-eating. When they are not eating adequate calories to sustain their body (another popular marketed thing these days... if you're an adult on a diet consisting of less than 2,000 calories, beware (depending on the person obviously, but for the most part).
If you are eating enough calories to sustain your body's healthy functions, you are getting enough protein.
If you're still worried, try adding some beans into your diet. Or peas. Or a vegan protein powder if you'd really like to.
What about "complete" proteins? :
Also a myth! This was scientifically disputed decades ago and yet I STILL learned about it in nutrition courses at the university level!
"But I need protein for energy" :
This phrase is sold to us by marketing experts as well (see a theme here?). Our bodies can and will use protein as an energy source, but only once our carbohydrate stores are depleted. Our bodies then turn said protein into carbohydrates and into energy. Thus, your body can obtain energy from all three macro nutrients. If your body needs energy, it needs calories. Calories = energy. Not protein. A lot of people give veganism a go and say "I felt too weak" which is simply because they were not eating enough calories. And then when they "ate chicken to feel energy" it's because their body was hungry. Calories are more dense in animal foods.
Coming from a standard American diet, the quantities of vegan food have to be much larger (woohoo! more food!) because calories are diluted in plant foods. Calories are very concentrated and condensed in calorie rich animal foods. The key to energy or feeling your best, is making sure you are eating enough calories of the right kind to sustain your body. But if you still feel like you need it, have a vegan protein source!
If you want to know more from a more credible source than myself, please read 'Proteinaholic' by Dr. Garth Davis.
Or watch these videos: "I Thought We Required Animal Protein" and :
〰 〰 〰 Muscles & Other Fitness 💪 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Read above for protein requirements information.
If you're curious about fitness and building muscle on a vegan diet, check out the following social media accounts ::
My Favourite fitness resources ::
Vegan Bodybuilders ::
〰 〰 〰 The Environment 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Please watch the movie Cowspiracy (on netflix) the following infographic is from the documentary
animal agriculture's environmental impact
〰 〰 〰 The Animals 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
To know more about the ethics behind the vegan movement & the cruelty in the animal agriculture industry, check out the following resources.
〰 Documentary :: Speciesism (it's a wee bit old but it's one of my faves!)
〰 Documentary :: Earthlings (on youtube!)
〰 Activist :: James Aspey
〰 Youtube creator :: Joey Carbstrong
〰 video :: about the animal holocaust (so good!)
〰 video :: best speech you'll ever hear (Gary Yourofsky)
〰 video :: 101 reasons to go vegan (I haven't seen this but I've heard good things!)
〰 〰 〰 Recipes & Food 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Okay, I'm the wrong person to ask about this. I am embarrassed to admit that I've really never once followed a vegan recipe on my own 🙈 I'm not kidding! Unless my mom needed help making something she was whipping up, I've literally never made any vegan recipe for myself. I'm lazy. What can I say? I literally throw things in a blender/bowl/pot and hope for the best. (LOL)
BUT the following resources are incredible!
〰 Healthy vegan food (web & app!) :: Forks Over Knives
〰 Cookbook (my fam's fave!) :: Oh She Glows
〰 Youtube & cookbook (the goddess, Lauren Toyota!) :: Hot For Food
〰 Simple recipes :: Minimalist Baker
〰 〰 〰 Food Ingredients to Look Out For 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
Some of the non-vegan ingredients I see used frequently!
〰 "Natural flavors"
— Can mean animal, vegetable or mineral source. Most often in the health food industry, it means an animal source, especially in cosmetics (ie. animal elastin, animal glands, fat, protein, oil).
— This one really gets me because it's in EVERYTHING!
— Example: Heinz mustard (and most mustards) contain "beef bone broth" which can be labeled as "natural flavors"
— It can be meat derived, egg, dairy, etc. and more than not, it is.
— It makes me so mad, I genuinely think this shouldn't be legal. Regardless of dietary preferences, we should have the right to know what we put into our bodies without a cryptic term.
— Don't be afraid to contact a company and ask them what their label means, or give the product you're curious about, a quick google before purchasing.
〰 "Natural source" (same as above)
〰 Vitamin D3 (derived from sheep almost always)
〰 Whey (form of dairy)
〰 Casein (calcium caseinate) (form of dairy)
〰 Glycerine (unless marked from a vegetable source)
〰 Gelatin (derived from animal bones & such)
〰 White Sugar (often refined through animal bone)
〰 Lanolin (unless marked from a vegetable source)
〰 Bee pollen
〰 Boar bristles
〰 Food dyes :: Red#4, Blue#1, Blue#2, Green#3, Red#40, Red#3, Yellow#5, Yellow #6
— Honestly just stay away from foods that need chemical dyes. Choose foods that dye with beets, spinach, different berries, etc.
〰 Fatty acids (Monoglycerides and diglyceride, etc.)
〰 "Lactose-free" (≠ DOES NOT mean dairy free)
— Make sure the label also states "vegan." Look out for "non-dairy" creamers, ice-creams, and veggie cheese slices. Double check the label.)
There are many more but these ones I see a lot!
Double check ingredients, look for "vegan" written on it, or stick to good 'ole fruit and veg!
〰 〰 〰 Health & Beauty: What's With Cruelty Free vs Vegan? & Other things 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰 〰
One of the biggest things that I didn't understand in the begining of my journey, is that companies CAN receive "cruelty free" clearance when the same product includes animal derived ingredients. How? I don't know. The use of animal ingredients IS cruelty, but it's just how it is. Make sure the label has both the official "cruelty free" logo and the official vegan logo certification.
A COMPANY CAN VIRTUALLY WRITE ANYTHING THEY WANT ON THEIR BOTTLE, AS LONG AS IT IS WORDED CORRECTLY.
Just because a bottle says "cruelty free" or "final product not tested on animals" or whatever rendition of the words it has in it's fine print, does not mean it is actually cruelty free.
There is not enough regulation around this issue. A company might not have done the animal testing themselves, they may have hired out a testing agency or purchased ingredients that were tested on by animals. And as long as they word it correctly, while it's pretty deceptive in my eyes, it's still technically true. The regulations to avoid this just aren't there yet, unfortunately.
I NEVER completely trust a product unless it has the following official seals (or is small batch or contains solely natural ingredients (i.e. if you're buying a skin oil and the only ingredients are literally a few plant oils (with no other fillers) mixed together, I'm sure you're fine)
A COMPANY CAN BE TRULY CRUELTY FREE WITHOUT THE SEALS BUT TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS OR REACH OUT TO THEM/READ A BLOG POST BY SOMEONE WHO HAS.
Some companies are shady, and marketing a product in such a way is legal, as long as it is worded correctly.
cruelty free logos
VEGAN & cruelty free logos
graphic via Cruelty Free Kitty ::
read her article about fake CF logos on products HERE
Ethical Elephant ::
comparing CF logos HERE
More resources & info on labels :
Websites to check out:
Animal ingredients to look out for (that I see relatively often):
There are more i'm sure. I usually google ingredients I can't pronounce before I buy.
〰 Glycerine (unless marked from a vegetable source)
〰 Gelatin (derived from animal bones & such)
〰 Lanolin (unless marked from a vegetable source)
〰 Boar bristles
〰 Hyaluronic Acid [double check the source. It can come from connective tissues of animals (mostly roosters)]
〰 Luna Sponge (an animal found in the sea and facing extinction. use other sponges)