Are cosmetics which are tested on animals considered vegan even if they only contain plant-based ingredients?

1 Answer 1


In my understanding they are not considered to be vegan.

Vegans, in general, try to avoid the exploitation of animals for human ends.

Testing of animals is considered to be exploitation and harmful to animals. It's not in the letter or spirit of veganism, as it's defined for example by The Vegan Society, to buy or use those products, and if they are labelled "vegan" then you should complain to the manufacturer.

See for example The Vegan Society's shopping advice page where they explain what their trademark shows:

Vegans also avoid using animals for shoes, clothing, household products, toiletries and cosmetics. Be sure to read labels carefully, or look for our Vegan Trademark. This internationally-recognised symbol shows that a product does not contain animal products and has not been tested on animals.

  • It's more complex then it looks anyway - a certain brand might not have done their own testing, but rely on similar preparations and/or the constituent chemicals having been tested in the past etc etc... Apr 7, 2017 at 10:54
  • @rackandboneman you're right, when you get right down to it, veganism is aspirational - hardly any product can be completely 100% harmless to all animals
    – Zanna
    Apr 7, 2017 at 11:06
  • @rackandboneman I cannot see what reasonable objection there would be to taking advantage of tests that have already been done if the company didn't support performing those tests and doesn't plan on performing similar tests in the future.
    – Alex Hall
    Apr 7, 2017 at 15:50
  • Even the most trivial ingredients have probably been tested at some time - probably not by their current marketer/producer though. Apr 7, 2017 at 15:57
  • I am sure that in veganism as you practice it, this is the case, and I am sure that some specific organization also agrees with you, but I am also certain that this answer cannot represent the only perspective out there. The question is clearly complicated enough to admit a variety of perspectives. There are undoubtedly vegans for whom the criteria is "does not contain animal products." For instance, the production of vegetables involves things like tilling soil which will kill some insects and earthworms unless done with extreme care, but vegetables are usually considered vegan.
    – Obie 2.0
    Dec 10, 2022 at 5:18

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