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General info

What to avoid when buying vegan gifts 

Natural-Experience-Selection

Veganism is a lifestyle that strays away from all animal products, it’s not just a diet choice. This means that sometimes you have to reconsider everyday objects, and research if they are appropriate gifts for a vegan friend. We know it’s hard to be on top of everything, so here are a few things that you might want to avoid when you’re buying presents for your vegan loved ones: 

Clothing & jewelry

Leather

This one should be obvious, but it’s important to remember that leather isn’t just used in jackets and bags – it can also be found in shoes, wallets, belts, and basically anywhere else you would expect to see fabric. So before getting that fancy jacket for your vegan friend this holiday season, check the material!

TIP: If you’re buying jeans or pants, always check that they don’t have a leather patch on the back with their brand name. It’s really unfortunate that some manufacturers like Levi’s or Wrangler decide to make jeans —a fully vegan piece of clothing, made of cotton— unavailable for vegans because of the patches they add. 

leather on jeans

Silk

It’s no secret that silk comes from the silkworm larvae. However, what most people don’t know is that the worms die after they have finished making your favorite piece of clothing. Their cocoons are removed, boiled and used to create silk fibers. 

Wool 

One of the biggest misconceptions about wool is that it can actually be harvested without harming sheep. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as sheep are some of the most abused animals in food production (second only to chickens). They are typically bred for their wool, and are often subjected to mutilation and fleece-pulling. 

TIP: Cashmere also comes from animals (goats instead of sheep), so it is not a vegan alternative. Try to find options made of cotton!

Pearls

Did you know that pearls are not vegan? It’s true! Natural and cultured pearls are both taken from oyster shells.

Animal Glue

Shoes are a little bit of a gray area because, aside from knowing if they’re made of leather or not, it’s a little hard to know if they are vegan. The main problem with shoes is… glue. Believe it or not, the glue used to stick shoe soles is many times derived from animals.

TIP: World of Vegan has a whole guide on shoes and where to get them. 


Bedding 

Giving a vegan friend down pillows and comforters can seem like a great idea, but 

it’s not. Sure, geese aren’t actually killed in the process of obtaining their feathers, but it is never cruelty free. In order to get the best quality down you can imagine, they are plucked and suffer through the entire process.  

TIP: Synthetic bedding can be even more comfortable than down bedding, and in most cases it’s cheaper! Many companies have eco-friendly options that don’t harm the environment. 


Beauty products 

Many types of beauty products contain animal products. If you’re buying makeup or skincare for a vegan friend, make sure you check the label and look for both “vegan” and “cruelty free”, or search for the brand name on PETA’s database.

TIP: Brands can sometimes sneak animal products into their formulas! You can use this handy list that we compiled to double-check the ingredients on the back of the packaging. 

vegan makeup

Wine

You might think that wines are a safe gift, especially if you’re going over for dinner or drinks. However, some wines and beers are clarified with fish bladders, bone marrow, casein, and gelatin! 

TIP: You can search this database to check if the wine you want to buy is vegan-friendly. 


Remember, this is by no means an exhaustive list of vegan-unfriendly clothing products. Rather, this is meant as a guide to help you be a responsible and compassionate gift giver. The good thing is that at Ntdf.* we offer curated products that are all ethical and vegan! You can shop for your vegan friends with a peace of mind 🌿

General info

5 Tips to Make Vegan Travel Easier 

5 Tips to Make Vegan Travel Easier 

If you are a vegan traveler, you know how hard it can be to find products, restaurants, and shops that fit your lifestyle. It becomes even harder if you travel with people who aren’t vegan! We have gathered 5 tips that will make your travels easier and far less stressful. 

  1. One of the most challenging things about being a vegan on the go is finding places to eat. This can be especially difficult when you’re in an unfamiliar part of the world, and don’t speak the language! Even if you’re in an otherwise vegan-friendly city, you may find yourself in an area with few options. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to plan for this and find food wherever you go: 

  • HappyCow is a community-driven app that allows users to search for vegan-friendly restaurants in their area. The app includes more than 60,000 restaurants worldwide and is accessible in 21 languages. With HappyCow, you can also rate and review places you’ve visited, so others may benefit from your experience.


  • Allmenus is another helpful way to find local restaurants with vegan options. Allmenus allows users to search for restaurants by cuisine and location, as well as by dietary preferences.

  • If all else fails, pack your own food! Especially when it comes to snacks, you can just take your favorite vegan cookies with you. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

  1. Always carry your own toiletries, just in case you’re not in an area where you can get things easily. The good thing is that vegan options tend to be better for travel, especially shampoo and conditioner bars. We have a special travel kit so you don’t have to worry about container sizes, and they include all of our favorite products! 


  1. Remember to do your research! A great thing to do before you travel anywhere is googling “vegan” and the name of the place you’re going to: “vegan [insert city or country name here]”. This can lead you to blogs and message boards where people have posted about their experiences in that destination.

    You can also read about vegan restaurants, shops, and grocery stores, so you know what’s available when you arrive. It’s great to go to other places and learn more about local vegan products and shops. You might learn new things and try new food!


  1. Try to find accommodation with kitchens so you can cook your own food. This allows you to control what you eat and also saves money on eating out all the time. The easiest option is to stay in an Airbnb apartment, but you can also stay at a hostel with a communal kitchen! Just make sure that you wash up after yourself and choose hostels with good ratings when it comes to facilities and cleanliness.
  2. Always call your airline 72hs earlier to ask for vegan meals. Some airlines have the option of selecting special meals on their websites, which you can do by logging in. Just remember not to leave it till the last minute! 


If you’re reading this, you’re probably either planning a trip or have just arrived in a different country for your own vacation. We want to wish you a happy and safe trip, and we hope these tips were useful! If you want to find ethically sourced vegan products, our website is dedicated to making veganism easier and giving you access to all the lifestyle products you might need. Check out our shop, and especially our traveler bundles!

General info

How can we stop animal testing?

How can we stop animal testing?

Animals are being used in experiments every day—and it’s up to us to stop them. So you’re against animal testing, and you do everything you can to buy cruelty-free products. The problem is that, even though there are a lot of people who are conscious of this issue, many companies still test on animals! Why is that? Well, maybe we just need to be a little more active. 

Make your voice heard.

You might not be able to get 100% of the companies out there to stop testing on animals, but you can start with your own industry or your favorite local brands. 

The first step is to call the company and politely ask them not to test on animals and ask them what they are doing about it. They may not be willing to change their practices right away, but they will remember your call and hopefully look into changing their policies. 

Another way to enact change is to contact your local representatives and let them know you want laws passed in your area banning animal testing. You can find your representative by entering your zip code on this website. 

Know your labels.

A lot of people don’t realize that just because a product says “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. That’s right: Companies can lie about this! Look for products with a certification from PETA or Leaping Bunny. 

Talk to others about why they should stop using products tested on animals.

Spread the word on social media and other platforms.

Share your views with other people. 

Many companies monitor what people are saying about them, so it’s always a good move to share your views on social media. It’s a great catalyst for change, since it can help the spread of information and the viralization of content. 

A great example of this is “Save Ralph”, a video created by The Humane Society of the United States, depicting a bunny (voiced by Taika Waititi) who is a victim of testing. The video went viral and created a lot of awareness around the topic: 

Talk to your friends about animal testing and encourage them to boycott products that test on animals. If enough people take a stand, companies will have no choice but to change their ways.

Vote with your wallet.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to stop animal testing is to boycott companies that do it. If a company tests on animals and you don’t buy their products or use their services, then they are losing money because of it. That’s why it’s important to research which brands test on animals and don’t give them your business if they’re still doing it! PETA has a searchable database that you can use to double-check that the products you’re buying don’t test on animals, or you can also get curated products from nottodiefor.us that are all vegan & cruelty-free. 

Sign (or even create) petitions.

There are often petitions going around against animal testing. Find them, sign them, and share them with your friends. When companies see that consumers are passionate about an issue, they listen. 

If you’re feeling more motivated, start a petition! All it takes is an online account (like Change.org) and a little bit of information about the issue at hand.

Donate money to animal rights organizations or volunteer. 

Volunteering at an organization is one of the easiest ways to offer direct help. It’s also helpful to keep in touch with other people who share your ideals, and it will help you avoid falling victim to compassion fatigue. 

Unfortunately, we don’t all have the time or energy to call companies or to organize protests. If you have some spare income, you can always donate to animal rights groups. Ethical Elephant has a very detailed list of organizations that fight against animal testing. Check it out! 

At the end of the day, we can use our power as consumers to support companies that don’t test on animals. The good news is that more and more companies are realizing they can still make money while being ethical! 

At Not to Die For* we want to make vegan and cruelty-free products easily accessible to anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle. Check out our shop and purchase with peace of mind 🌱

General info

How to Shop Cruelty-Free; Alternatives to Products That Use Animal Testing

One of the most effective ways to stop animal testing is with your spending power. By choosing cruelty-free products, you can help drive the demand for products that don’t rely on these outdated and barbaric practices. 

These tips will help you ensure that you’re purchasing cruelty-free products as gifts—or for yourself.

Reach Out to Retailers and Producers Directly

If you’re unsure that a product is not tested on animals or a producer or retailer has not explicitly expressed that the product is cruelty-free, the easiest and most effective way to find out is to simply contact them directly.

A quick email or social media post should be met with a concrete answer, and if they try to talk around the issue, it may mean that animals have been harmed in the products testing.

Investigate New or Unfamiliar Ingredients

While you may have vetted a product’s ingredients already and know that it is cruelty-free, sometimes formulas change, and new or unfamiliar ingredients may require further research. 

When you discover a new ingredient on product labels, get online and find the producer or third-party retailer to ensure that it is not tested on animals.

What to Do When You See Conflicting Information

This can be confusing and very frustrating, and untrustworthy vendors may make claims to be cruelty-free that they actually cannot back up. If you see conflicting information, it’s best to contact the seller or producer directly for proof that the product was never tested on animals. 
As retailers understand the importance of getting a cruelty-free certification, consumers can be heard by only choosing platforms that do their diligence to only carry these products and conduct their own research. Transparency from retailers about their products is the first step. Visit Not to Die For to shop 100% cruelty-free. We are happy to share our commitment to this cause, as well as detailed steps we take to avoid testing on animals. 

General info

What is Greenwashing?

Over the past twenty years, people have developed an increasing interest in taking care of the environment, and big companies have definitely caught on. Even if you’ve never heard the term before, you’re probably aware of what “greenwashing” is, because almost every brand is using it in their marketing. Whether it is to try to convince you to buy their product, or trying to make you believe a brand isn’t bad for the environment, brands bait customers with “green” claims all the time. 

So, what exactly is greenwashing? It’s when a company spends more time and money marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than on minimizing their environmental impact. Environmentalist Jay Westerveld coined the term in 1986, a time when most consumers received their news primarily from television and radio, so they couldn’t fact-check claims as easily as we can!

How to avoid greenwashing

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to fact-check any claims that companies make. Here’s 7 ways to spot greenwashing in advertising: 

1. False claims 

This is especially relevant when it comes to “recyclable” products. Many products label themselves as recyclable and even have an icon that proves its recyclability. However, not all local recycling operations are the same, and your local sorting facility may not be able to handle many “recyclable” materials. 

A great example is when McDonald’s announced it was going to get rid of plastic straws in its restaurants, and offer paper straws instead. The following year, it was revealed the straws weren’t actually recyclable, which made the change pointless. 

On the same vein, most materials are biodegradable. Claiming a product is biodegradable is pointless! On top of that, a product being biodegradable does not mean it will not harm the environment.

2. Vague language and ‘green’ buzzwords

Packages will have labels that mean nothing but sound good. Phrases such as “eco”, “sustainable” and “green” are commonly used by companies to make the business appear environmentally friendly — but these words don’t have an actual scientific meaning. 

If a company cannot actually explain in concrete terms how a product is friendly to the environment, then they are probably greenwashing. It’s also important to keep in mind that an eco-friendly product doesn’t mean the manufacturing process or the sourcing of raw materials aren’t harmful to the environment. 

3. Company ownership 

This might seem excessive to some people, but it just goes to show how far companies will go to sell “green” products. Many times smaller companies are bought up by big conglomerates —which tend to have a high environmental impact— to target unknowing clients. 

This is also a problem with cruelty-free products. For example, most of the products The Body Shop makes are cruelty-free, but it’s owned by L’Oreal, a company that tests on animals. You can easily check which companies are cruelty-free on PETA’s searchable database. Cruelty-Free Kitty has also compiled a list of all cruelty free brands which are owned by companies who test on animals.

4. The “best-in-class” boasts

This one is probably one of the easiest tactics to spot. It consists of promoting a harmful product as a “better” alternative. These are eco-friendly claims on products that are environmentally destructive, like green pesticides. 

5. Made-up certifications

Since consumers are not aware of how many different certifying agencies there are, any company could potentially make up a “cruelty-free” logo. There are three main legitimate certifications that use bunnies: Leaping Bunny, PETA, and Choose Cruelty-Free (in Australia). 

In the United States, the Leaping Bunny certification is probably the most reliable.

6. No proof

Companies may claim “made with recycled materials” or “eco-friendly ingredients” without any verification from reliable sources about these claims. 

7. Irrelevant claims

This is an attempt to make up arguments to sell a product. One example is when products claim to be “CFC-free”. This is completely irrelevant, since CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) have been banned for over 30 years. 

At Not to Die For* we are very passionate about keeping our products locally sourced and free of useless waste. Check out our lifestyle products in our shop

General info

Products you didn’t know weren’t vegan

Animal products (or byproducts) are present in so many products and food that we’re not aware of, and we might even be consuming things without even realizing that we’re breaking our own morals. 

Tattoo ink

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks about what goes into the dye in people’s skin. The dyes used for tattoo making are made from burnt animal bones! Of course, there are vegan options, you just have to make sure to ask your tattoo artist for confirmation. 

Plastic bags

Apart from being terrible for the environment, plastic bags contain slipping agents made from animal fat to reduce static in the material. Tote bags are a lot more eco-friendly and definitely vegan! 

Toothpaste

Most drugstore brands of toothpaste such as Colgate, Crest, and Oral-B contain glycerin, to help stop it from drying out. This glycerin is usually taken from animal fats! A great alternative is Davids, a high-quality organic and vegan toothpaste. 

vegan toothpaste

Sweets & Chewing Gum

Many sweets, candy, and chocolate often contain gelatine. Gelatine is produced from various animal parts, including the skin. Sometimes you can also find stearic acid, which is derived from animal fat! You should also know that all sweets (and all other food and drinks) that are bright red could contain carmine, which comes from crushed beetles. 

Shampoo and conditioner

Both of these might contain lecithin, which is taken from animal sources or dairy. There are plenty of vegan alternatives available if you are looking for some. Our favourites are from Revival, and you can get them here

  • Paintballs

Who would have thought that balls of paint wouldn’t be vegan? Most paintballs contain gelatin! 

Wine and Beer 

Making wine and beer might seem pretty straightforward, but it’s actually a very elaborate process. Some wines and beers are clarified with fish bladders, bone marrow, casein, and gelatin. You can learn if your favorite alcohol is vegan over here.

vegan alcohol

“Sustainable” toothbrushes

Sustainability is a double-edged sword, and it sometimes allows manufacturers to use animal products to make them more easily biodegradable. This is why many “sustainable” toothbrushes use bristles made out of pig hairs. If you’re looking for vegan-friendly options, we have our very own bamboo toothbrushes! 

Playing cards

This one might be surprising to many people! Cards are sometimes coated with stearic acid to make them smoother and reduce static, so they can ‘fan’ easier.

Candles

It won’t be surprising to many people that candles may contain beeswax. Once again, it’s seen as more eco-friendly than paraffin, but it’s also very harmful to bees! Soy wax candles are the best alternative for both the environment and the animals. You can check out our all-natural vegan candles over here.

vegan candle

Sugar

Sugar might not come as a surprise to most weathered vegans, but starters might not be aware of how controversial sugar is. In some countries (including the US) white sugar is filtered using bone char, which comes from animal bones. 

Clothes

  • Animal glue: Aside from the obvious leather and suede, a lot of shoes use animal-derived glue. This is a lot trickier to avoid, but there are some options out there if you do some research.
  • Wool: Many people might be confused about why it is an unethical product – don’t sheep need shearing? Most sheep shearers are paid in correlation to how quickly they work and sheep are often brutally manhandled. 
  • Silk: This luxury fabric is made from a type of caterpillar of the moth Bombyx Mori, commonly known as a silkworm.
  • Leather patches on jeans: Denim should be fine, right? Even jeans, that are made predominantly from cotton, can be ruined by an unnecessary leather patch on the waistband.
  • Buttons and decoration made from bone or horn: Many high end clothes (usually coats) have buttons made from horn or shell. They can easily be overlooked and are very unlikely to be mentioned on any label, so the only way to be safe is to ask the manufacturer!

Bedding 

The down, which is the layer of fine feathers under a bird’s outer feathers, is commonly used in both pillows and duvets. Synthetic products are many times just as luxurious —and are often cheaper— as well as being better for people with allergies. 

Razors

Most expensive razors have a ‘moisture strip’ to make shaving more comfortable, but these often use glycerin from animal fat! Our favorite option is Hanni’s weighted razor:

It’s also important to have retailers you trust and who can introduce you to new vegan products! At Not to Die For we want to help you find vegan and eco-friendly alternatives. Check out our shop to learn more about our products and bundles!

General info Vegan beginner

14 Tips for Vegan Beginners

14 Tips for Vegan Beginners

We know that going vegan can be hard, especially for people who don’t really know where to start! We want to be there for you, and provide you with more information to make your vegan journey as smooth as possible, which is why we have a whole section of our blog dedicated to vegan beginners! For now, let us give you a couple of tips that we’ve learned along the way: 

  1. Start with a good attitude and an open mind.

If you think of veganism as a punishment, you will never actually get into it! It’s important to start off with the right attitude: open to trying new things and ready to step back up if you ever slip. 

  1. Get blood work done

so you know what to supplement. You will probably need a B12 supplement (it’s most commonly found in meat products), but you won’t know if you need anything else unless you get blood work done. You can check out this comprehensive guide by the International Vegan Association that will help you figure out what you need to supplement! 

  1. Stock your pantry.

Something that helps a lot of vegan beginners is stocking up on plenty of vegan snacks so that you always have food available when you’re hungry. Most slip-ups happen as a result of cravings and impatience! Having some Annie’s Vegan Mac and Cheese might save you from eating something you’ll later regret. Here’s a list of some easy to access snacks that are vegan! 

  1. Plan your meals.

Once you’re a seasoned vegan this won’t be necessary! The thing is, when you’re just getting started, this will give you some structure so you don’t freak out.  Even just writing down a rough idea of what you’re going to eat is helpful. You can even buy everything you need at the beginning of each week and do some meal prep! 

  1. Find a vegan support group

Going vegan is not always easy, and it helps to have someone who can answer your questions and motivate you when you’re losing steam. The thing is, not everyone has that person in their lives! It’s very important to actively seek new people who share your lifestyle and who can relate to your struggles. You can start off by going to vegan events, volunteering at animal sanctuaries, and connecting with people on social media. You can find an active community and resources on our Instagram!

  1. Veganize your recipes.

Nowadays, in most places, it’s extremely easy to find substitutes for products derived from animals! Be it meat, eggs, or cheese, you can definitely use your old recipes and just switch the animal products for vegan replacements. 

  1. Use HappyCow or Google Maps to find vegan places to eat

HappyCow is an app dedicated to curating vegan-friendly places based on any location. It works similar to Google Maps, but it’s specifically made for vegan people. You can also use regular Google Maps! Just type “vegan restaurants near me” and Google will try to find vegan-friendly restaurants in your area.

  1. Give yourself extra time to cook.  

At the beginning, you should be gentle with yourself! You are changing your entire lifestyle and you’re definitely going to take a little bit longer to cook. You should also make sure your pantry stays stocked with plenty of pasta, beans, whole grains, and vegan friendly-sauces. This way you can make a meal without that much hassle if you’re not feeling like cooking.

  1. Watch a documentary when you lose motivation.

Losing motivation doesn’t come from weakness or lack of ideals. We live in a world of consumerism, which means we are constantly surrounded by products that might make us slip up. Whether it is a pair of leather shoes or your favorite meal from when you were a kid, something might make you want to give up your goals. When this happens, it may help to watch some documentaries to remind yourself why you started this in the first place. Here are some recommendations: What The Health, Cowspiracy, and Earthlings.

  1. Rethink how you do your grocery shopping:

Veganism doesn’t have to be expensive, as many people say! Many typical vegan foods —like grains, beans, and nuts— are cheap, and they usually store well if you buy them in bulk. Going vegan is also a perfect excuse to start using all kinds of vegetables that you never regularly ate before. Many “beginner” vegans start trying out more vegetables and different ways to cook them. See this as an opportunity to give new vegetables a chance!

  1. Pack food with you!

It’s really important to take food with you when you leave your house. It’s not that you’ll get hungrier as a vegan, it’s just that on the off-chance that if you miss a meal, your options as a vegan are more limited.

  1. Don’t Assume Vegan Food Products Are Healthier

Vegan cookies aren’t necessarily any better than regular cookies! Processed vegan foods often contain saturated fats from palm oil and coconut oil. Even though cutting animal byproducts is better for overall health, vegan junk food can still make you gain weight!

  1. Make a list with your go-to vegan meals.

It’s not that hard to learn a few easy, affordable meals that you can cook quickly. Even though it’s great to experiment when you first go vegan, it’s also important to avoid getting overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy or not; it could be fried rice, pasta, a quick sandwich, whatever you want! 

  1. Have empathy towards our fellow humans.

Not everybody is at the same place in their life and, unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world in which it’s not possible for everyone to be a 100% purist vegan. Being a “vegan police” makes veganism seem hard and unpleasant when it’s not. This policing can make people turn away from a vegan lifestyle. Instead, win people over with action! Bring some vegan food over or tell them about your favorite vegan brands and events. Let’s also be compassionate towards our fellow humans when “perfection” isn’t achieved.  

We hope these were helpful! Our website is dedicated to making veganism easier and giving you access to all the lifestyle products you might need to start your vegan journey. Check out our shop

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Ethical Vegans vs Plant-Based: Key Differences

Ethical Vegans vs Plant-Based: Key Differences

The key difference between ethical vegans and people on plant-based diets is the ideology behind it. While vegans avoid using animal products in every aspect of their lives, those who carry out plant-based diets usually just focus on the food aspect. 

People have different aims when they switch to plant-based diets; for health reasons, environmental, spirituality, making a stance against animal cruelty, among others. Let’s explore the three main reasons why someone would eliminate meat and animal by-products from their diets.  

Plant-Based Diets

The Healthy Vegan 

The fact that a vegan diet improves overall health is not a new fact. Many people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease, high cholesterol, and several other ailments might transition to a plant-based diet for its health benefits. 

Apart from trying to fix a problem, many people will switch diets to prevent future health problems. A vegan diet has been proven to reduce the risk of some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes. 

Some people who are focusing on weight loss might try out a vegan diet, although it’s important to clarify that a plant-based diet does not equal a low-calorie intake. Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy! You can still eat vegan cookies, chips, and other vegan junk food, which can be high in calories and low in nutrients.

The Environmental Vegan 

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) - Filmaffinity

If you haven’t watched documentaries like “Cowspiracy” or done research on greenhouse gas emissions, you might not be aware of just how damaging cattle is to the environment. 

Because cattle are ruminants, they produce methane when they process food. Methane is a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and it’s released via cow belches and flatulence. These emissions absorb radiation from the sun and can trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

Another big problem that comes with livestock production is habitat loss. In the Amazon, 80% of deforestation comes from cattle ranches

And, of course, it goes without saying that there is an artificial increase in animals that results in higher water waste. Not only does livestock need water to survive, but water is also used to grow their food source. “Raising animals for food introduces a major extra step of waste relative to the efficiency of us just eating the plant foods directly,” says David L. Katz, co-author of How to Eat. “If you just eat the plants, you cut out the middleman.”

The Spiritual Vegan 

When we think about the benefits of a vegan diet, we often connect these to the health of our bodies. However, many people are certain that veganism also has benefits for our mind and soul.

These views go way back! Many Eastern cultural and religious practices, such as Hinduism, promote a vegetarian lifestyle. Nowadays, there are contemporary Western views that have taken these principles and adapted them, but they also consider a plant-based diet as a holistic lifestyle

According to spiritual vegans, this diet is the most compassionate one and it’s consistent with leading a life of nonviolence, which gives you good karma. A plant-based diet is not only concerned with animal welfare, health, and environmental benefits but also reduced aggression and spiritual benefits.

The Ethical Vegan 

Veganism is defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude —as far as is possible and practicable— all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty from their lifestyle. It goes much deeper than just the food you eat or a desire to help the environment: it looks at the relationship between humans and other animals and tries to stop any sort of harm that can come to them. 

This, of course, encompasses a larger number of issues that go far beyond just diet. Some of the other aspects that ethical vegans take into account are:

  • Avoiding animal skins, such as leather, in clothing. 
  • Fighting against vivisection and animal experimentation in cosmetic product development. 
  • Stopping animal cruelty in sports, including dogfighting and cockfighting, hunting and fishing, bullfighting, rodeos, and dog and horse races. 
  • Avoiding any animal by-products used in cosmetic products, such as beeswax or lanolin.

It’s very likely that a lot of the people going plant-based for health or environmental reasons care about animals, but they differ from ethical vegans because they don’t necessarily cut out animal products from their diets. Some people even argue that Ethical Vegans should be the only ones who can call themselves “vegan”, but that is a question of semantics and usually causes more division than actual good. 

If you want to learn more about veganism and how you can start transitioning into a plant-based diet (we know it can be very overwhelming!) you can check out our vegan resources. To find curated vegan & cruelty-free lifestyle items (and avoid spending time reading labels) browse our Not to Die For marketplace!

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Vegan vs. Cruelty-Free: What’s the Difference?

Vegan vs. Cruelty-Free: What’s the Difference?

We love encouraging people to change their habits and to start paying attention to the ingredients and certifications certain brands may or may not have. The terms “Vegan” and “Cruelty-Free” might seem interchangeable, but they actually mean two different things, even if both of them are related to the protection of animals. 

The lines between both terms can be a little blurred, especially since there is no official FDA regulation for either of them. This can also lead to false claims and misleading marketing, which is why we need to be as knowledgeable as possible to avoid misinformation! 

  • Cruelty-free means that the products (and the ingredients that were used in the product) were not tested on animals at any stage during their development. 
  • Vegan means that the products contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products. It’s common to find animal derived components like beeswax, squalene (shark liver oil) or lanolin (wool wax) in cosmetics. 

The Criteria

While Vegan products are easier to sort (they either include animal by-products or not), Cruelty-Free products are a little bit trickier, especially because there are many steps in the process of manufacturing a product. 

According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, a database that compiles Cruelty-Free brands, these are the criteria for a brand to be considered for certification: 

  • Finished Products: their finished products are not tested on animals by the company or any other company.
  • Ingredients: their ingredients are not tested on animals by the company or any other company.
  • Suppliers: their suppliers do not test ingredients, raw materials, or finished products on animals.
  • Third Parties: no third party is testing the finished products or ingredients on their behalf.

If you’re in doubt, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a very simple and searchable database! You can type in the name of a brand to double-check if they’re actually cruelty-free.

But how can we make sure that they aren’t lying? 

You should be careful when it comes to Cruelty-Free claims. Since there is no FDA regulation, brands have realized that they can trick customers into thinking their products are Cruelty-Free when they aren’t. Many fake logos have been making rounds lately! It’s important to know which are the official certifications (via Ethical Pixie). The following logos are credible and backed up by large organizations that protect animals: 

Cassandra Bankson, medical aesthetician and vegan advocate, constantly talks about the concept of “Turning and Learning”, which means that we need to know what the ingredient list actually includes, instead of blindly trusting claims and labels.

Even when a product claims to be vegan, it’s very easy to just turn the product around, read the ingredients, and double-check that fact. PETA has an article that lists all the ingredients that are derived from animals. Some of them might even surprise you! Did you know that most red dyes used in makeup are usually derived from crushed beetles? 

At Not to Die For* we strive to make vegan and cruelty-free products accessible to everyone who wants to improve their lifestyle while taking care of animals (and minimizing their carbon footprint!). Check out our shop and purchase with peace of mind.

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