Cruelty-Free Resource Guide

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF has used the law to make groundbreaking advances for animals by fighting cruelty on factory farms and in laboratories. Billions of animals are slaughtered, tortured, maimed, and abused each year as standard practice in industrial agriculture and laboratories. Because of this, ALDF works hard to establish better laws for animals, stronger sentences for animal abusers, and education programs across the nation. Cruelty-free food and shopping choices help support our legal mission to protect animals. One of the best ways we can all join together to stop the abuse of animals is to simply not purchase products or support industries that abuse animals. So from the cupcakes in the office kitchen to the meals at animal law conferences, all ALDF events are cruelty-free.

Healthy and Humane


Egg- and dairy-free cupcakes are healthful and humane.

Animal agriculture—by the sheer numbers—is the leading cause of animal cruelty. As indicated by the 2014 IPCC assessment from the United Nations, our agricultural practices are one of the leading factors contributing to climate change. Driving ecologically responsible automobiles is important, but a plant-based diet is an even more effective way to reduce our carbon footprint. Most of the grain grown in the U.S. isn’t for human consumption, but for animals raised as food. At ALDF, we know how important it is to bridge the divide between environmentalism and animal advocacy: choosing a plant-based diet is an action everyone can take to help the planet and help animals.

Plant proteins also provide the healthiest diet. Animal-based diets mean higher cholesterol levels, food-poisoning incidents, and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Many top athletes thrive on a plant-based diet high in energy-rich antioxidants. Plant-based diets are better for animals, for our own health, and better for our planet.

Plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods are readily available these days, as consumers become more aware of animal suffering. Cruelty-free clothes are also available for the conscious consumer, in lieu of animal-based materials like leather, wool, cashmere, silk, or fur. Animal advocates can even choose personal and household products that have never been tested on animals (and options for cruelty-free products are increasing every year, thanks in part to ALDF’s innovative work with institutions like the Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing). Finally, instead of supporting activities that exploit animals, like marine theme parks, zoos, circuses, or rodeos, we encourage animal advocates to enjoy cruelty-free entertainment.

Plant-Based Kitchens

Establishing a plant-based kitchen is fun and easy. Many of the items you are already eating are cruelty-free: vegetables, fruits, vegan (no egg) pastas, beans, tofu, tempeh and seitan, just to name a few. Along with the obvious healthier alternatives, a plant-based—or “vegan”—diet can include guilty pleasures like pizza (with Daiya cheese), French fries, ice-cream, candy, and sweets. So, instead of purchasing products that are animal-based, try these plant-based foods as a tasty and healthier alternative:


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Cruelty-Free Cooking

Visit ALDF’s Pinterest boards for recipes and more! Here are a few cookbooks we love:

Dining Out

  • Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Mediterranean restaurants often serve plant-based dishes, and many American, Mexican, and Italian-style restaurants do too.
  • Look up the menu prior to visiting.
  • Explain that you specifically don’t eat meat, eggs, fish, milk or butter; this is simplest.
  • Use the helpful applications listed below to search for veg-friendly eateries near you.


Unfortunately, some household products are not cruelty-free and contain animal products or were cruelly tested upon animals. Often items like makeup, hairspray, toothpaste, detergents, and shampoos have been tested on animals, while soap, candles, and glue may come from animal products.

Nowadays, plant-based alternatives are available in most grocery stores. Companies like Tarte, Too Faced, and other companies produce cruelty-free cosmetics, and green household products. Buying cruelty-free products is a great way to protect animals as a consumer.


More Resources

Some smartphone apps can make this process easier:

  • Animal Free provides a dictionary of animal products, alternatives, as well as a barcode scanner to see if a product is vegan. Click here for Android.
  • Cruelty Free helps users find cruelty-free household and personal products. Click here for Android.
  • Happy Cow provides options for local vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants. Click here for Android.
  • Trader Joe’s offers a list of its vegan products.
  • VeganXpress is a convenient database of vegan options at many fast-food and chain restaurants.
  • Vegan List has over 20,000 listings of plant-based food, candy, beer, wine, and liquor.
  • Vegify is an android-friendly app and is a helpful source for plant-based recipes.

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