Various products including shampoos are labelled as "vegan" or "vegan-friendly". Does this exclude their containing ingredients tested on animals?

(I have read this question and answer and am aware that those who describe themselves as vegan do not use products that were tested on animals, but my question is different. It is about labelling practice.)

  • To me, what that question and answer indicate is that the person who wrote it and a particular vegan organization—the Vegan Society—do not view products tested on animals as vegan. They don't necessarily represent what every single vegan person thinks. Do note that the original definition of veganism, as defined by that same Vegan Society, only mentioned avoiding animal products and food and animal commodities.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 10, 2022 at 5:24
  • @Obie2.0 - The original definition of the word "veganism" by Donald Watson and the Vegan Society was that "Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose". That covers more than just farming and butchering. You could post a question to Meta if you wanted. Dec 10, 2022 at 16:22
  • I believe that what I gave was their original definition from their first manifesto in 1944, as indicated on the appropriate Wikipedia page, and the quote that you gave represents a modification of their stated position dating from 1988 or thereabouts. Regardless, my primary point is independent of that, and is that the position of any one group, even the Society that originally coined the term, does not and cannot represent the only perspective—as the answer to this question amply demonstrates.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:27
  • Yes they have changed the wording over the years. Have you got a detailed source? I strongly doubt their orientation has for a single moment been compatible with the notion of the acceptability of, say, vivisection or "Lethal Dose 50" for medical or cosmetics research etc. Can you point to a person who describes themselves as vegan and who supports vivisection? Dec 10, 2022 at 16:32
  • It seems to me that the question is more "Can you point to a person who describes themself as vegan and believes that a product whose research and development involved testing on animals could be vegan, independent of whether its production and use is ethical"? And I could respond in the affirmative to that question, quite trivially....
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 10, 2022 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


The Humane Society of the United States has produced an infographic showing the meaning of labels related to animal products and animal testing on cosmetics items specifically:

enter image description here

Source: Humane Society of the United States.

In short, no, vegan labelling only indicates that a product does not contain animal-based ingredients, and does not guarantee that it was not tested on animals.

  • 2
    Thanks, even if the answer is disappointing. At least the leaping bunny badge awarded by Cruelty Free International gives the guarantee I need. This is strange because the product that occasioned my question was a bottle of Garnier shampoo. Its labelling says it's vegan, but all it says about animal testing is that since 1989 Garnier has been "committed to a world without animal testing". That doesn't in itself mean the company doesn't sell products that were tested on animals. And the bottle doesn't carry the LB logo either. Yet Garnier does have LB certification and seems fine on this score. Dec 9, 2022 at 17:16

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