Vegan vs Cruelty Free: Learning the Differences

At PiperWai, we're proud to have hyper-informed, conscious consumers. They hold us to a high standard and make sure our health and wellness mission includes every body, including animals. Part of the PiperWai philosophy is to always be a vegan and cruelty free deodorant, with certifications from Leaping Bunny and Vegan Action. We are all big animal lovers at team PiperWai, and do not see a need to use animal products or test on animals – especially when all our ingredients are food grade. When people are looking for a deodorant that’s safe to put on their bodies, they often consider how the product also affects animals and the environment. 

If your considering the differences between vegan and cruelty-free deodorant, they have two separate definitions, but with the same goal: to protect animals from unnecessary harm. We’ll break it down for you.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty-free products do not test on animals in any way. This includes the ingredients the company sources, as well as the finished product. With the uptick in natural products on the market, there is a bigger selection of cruelty-free products available to consumers.

Companies like ours have proven that it is possible to provide a high-quality product without hurting animals. In fact, there should be no reason for animal testing in the cosmetics industry. The European Union is already many steps ahead of us in the United States, banning cosmetics with animal-tested ingredients in 2013. In 2004, the E.U. banned animal testing in the final cosmetics product. Within nine years, they upped their standards to a zero-tolerance policy on animal testing.

Every country is different with its animal-testing laws, however. While the European Union is leading the way for cruelty-free cosmetics, China is the last country that requires companies to go through animal testing on cosmetics. These laws my not be in place forever, though. China, which has the largest cosmetics market in the world, is putting new rules and training in place, due to demand for more cruelty-free options.  

Within the past few years, more pressure has been put on companies to go cruelty free. In the United States, a lab called MatTek has engineered a way to do cosmetic testing using isolated human cells. This makes it possible to create an environment that mimics human skin, so cosmetics can be tested safely and humanely before they reach the market. As mentioned before, with the natural-deodorant boom, it is now easier to avoid testing with ingredients that are 100 percent natural and safe on the body.


Anything that’s vegan does not contain any product from animals. This can be meat, dairy, eggs, gelatin and more. There are many reasons people choose to go vegan, from health reasons to ethical ones. The lifestyle is especially popular with animal lovers, who do not want their consumer actions to result in harm on animals, many of which are housed in uncomfortable, crowded environments until slaughter.

One misconception about veganism is that it’s limited to food. There are many non-food products out there that contain animal products. Some products like soaps, shampoos and even deodorants incorporate dairy, beeswax and honey in their ingredients.

Recently, there have been a few health trends that are focused on using animal-derived ingredients. Collagen is a great example of this. The protein is sourced from animal skin and connective tissue, which can be misleading if it is not marketed properly.  

The key to knowing whether your food or product is vegan or not is to read the labels. Take a peek at the ingredients list before you purchase the item to make sure no animal products are used. Careful, however, because there are certain ingredients that may look OK, but have animal byproduct in them. One great example is casein, which is a protein that is found in dairy and is used often in protein powders.

Read the Labels

The best way to know whether or not if your deodorant (or any product, for that matter) is 100 percent vegan and/or cruelty free is to look at the label. If a food item isn’t explicitly labeled vegan, read the ingredients carefully and know which ingredients in particular are hands off. For cruelty-free products, there is usually a logo on the packaging that identifies the product as cruelty free. Not all logos are created equal, however. There are a few that are trusted, while others fall into a gray area. Always be on the lookout for a Leaping Bunny certification or the PETA bunny seal. Both of these logos indicate that the product has gone through inspection and that every aspect of the product and its ingredients are cruelty free. While the Leaping Bunny program requires multiple inspections, the PETA bunny trusts the integrity of its customers and asks them to complete a questionnaire and sign a cruelty-free statement to be certified.

Everything else gets a little more muddled. There are no strict policies about putting “No animal testing” or “cruelty free” on labels. These products are not monitored the same way Leaping Bunny and PETA monitors products. Because of this, there is a chance the ingredients used in these products were tested on animals, even if the completed product was not.

To be 100 percent sure the product you're buying is cruelty free, always look for the Leaping Bunny logo. The company even has an app available for those times where you're just not sure. 

PiperWai is a vegan and cruelty-free deodorant that is Leaping Bunny certified, as well as certified vegan. To find out more about our ingredients or to buy the jar or stick, visit