Beauty Without Cruelty feels that those who help animals often use words without realising their true meaning. Knowing exactly what they imply and what their beliefs are will avoid the confusion that often arises.

Animalia: The biological kingdom animal includes all living things or multicellular animals – all creatures ranging from insects to sea sponges.

Animal Rights
: Acknowledges that all living creatures other than humans are sentient beings (one that has the faculty of sensation and perception or the ability to feel physically and emotionally) and upholds their rights. Each and every creature, wild or domesticated, has a right to live without being exploited or killed for any reason whatsoever.

Animal Welfare
: Covers all animals and birds, domesticated and wild. They are rescued if injured or sick, and given medical aid, food and shelter. Welfare measures include improving conditions under which animals are exploited but not getting the exploitation entirely abolished.

Mercy Killing
: Euthanasia or putting animals to sleep when very sick or injured. Thus animal welfare often turns into animal farewell.

Animal Lover:
Doesn’t indicate any thing specific. Usually dog and cat “owners” fall in this category because they feed goats, pigs, chickens and cows to their pets. And, they themselves probably love eating chicken and eggs! Animal lovers could even be those who go for “joy-rides” on camels and elephants, visit zoos, enjoy entertainment such as horse racing and animals performing in circuses. False pride of being a great animal lover and being self-centred makes them choose not to notice/mind and deliberately overlook the hidden cruelty and exploitation meted out to innocent creatures other than their own pets.

Humane Slaughter
: A term used to salve the consciences of butchers and flesh-eaters who claim that killing is humane because the animals are first stunned. It is not painless since the animal is slaughtered nevertheless and the moment of death is that which is painful.

Wild Life
: Creatures that live in the wild, including oceans. It can cover the eco-systems including plants where the wild life live.

Species: A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of interbreeding.

Protected: Wild life that is legally safe-guarded. Some people care about and want to help only those wild species that are protected.

Prey: An animal hunted for food by a carnivorous animal.

Carnivorous Wild Life: A predator – e.g. tiger, crocodile, raptor. Some zoos feed carnivores living animals such as a donkey, horse, ox, calf, goat, poultry, guinea pig, rabbit, and mice, by releasing the creature in the predator’s enclosure. The animal can not run away and is terrified because it knows it will be killed whenever the predator chooses to do so.

Live Bait: A living animal, considered prey (food) is used to deliberately lure a carnivorous animal in order to trap or capture it. For example, a dog is used to lure a leopard. It is unethical and illegal to do so.

: Livestock enclosure like kraal. Used for canned hunting of animal by animal like chitals hunted by cheetahs, both having being released inside the same boma.

Pest: Unwanted creatures (from insects and rodents, to wild boar and nilgai – even monkeys and peacocks) that are perceived to be detrimental to humans and therefore be eliminated – if not eliminated, controlled, reduced in number, or at the least repelled.

: Wild life species that is declared a nuisance, pest or harmful to humans, crops, farm animals, or is a carrier of diseases, and can therefore be killed outside forest areas when they venture into human settlements.

Wild Life Bounty Hunter:
A person hired to locate and shoot/kill pests/vermin for a monetary reward.

: Killing or hunting with the aim of controlling the wild animal or bird population. Killing or culling is part of the plan in sustainable use of wild life too. (Supported by Conservationists, but objected to by Compassionate Conservationists.)

: To take care of wild life and forests as a whole. Keeping balance of nature in mind, culling of animals is acceptable. A person who believes in this principle is a conservationist.

Cull/Conservation/Management Hunting: Shooting wild life in order to control their numbers.

Carrying Capacity: The maximum number of animals that a specific area can support without causing habitat degradation.

Compassionate Conservation: A term that has been coined recently, the basic points of which are not to harm or kill, individuals matter, inclusivity, and peaceful co-existence.

Ecology and Environment: Both ecology and environment relate to organisms and their interactions in their natural environment covering biology, geography and earth-science. Eco-friendly and environment-friendly people are those who are concerned about the environment and would like to protect it from being polluted and so on. Quite often biodegradable and eco-friendly products are not animal-friendly because they could contain animal derived substances. An environmentalist would believe in recycling; for example users of slaughterhouse “by-products” present themselves as environmentalists for the waste prevented. Also a person who uses a process that saves energy and lessens carbon emission could claim to be manufacturing a “green” product even if it contains animal ingredients.

Community: A collective term used to describe an assemblage of plants and animals living together.

Cover: As Brood Cover (grasses), Escape Cover (thickets), Nesting Cover, Roosting Cover, Winter Cover, and so on in forest areas.

Organic: Any thing derived from an animal or plant organism is termed organic. It is a process and may even be eco-friendly. For example, organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals being raised on organic feed, given no antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. and are said to receive kindness, culminating in so-called humane slaughter. Some times organic is defined as produce that has no toxic impact on people and the environment.

Natural Farming: Synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, nor genetic modified organisms are used. Farmers coat the seeds with materials like cow dung and ash (bio-stimulants), and plant a variety of crops in circles with minimal disturbance to the soil. Basically the soil is improved and thus productivity of diverse crops of different duration grown. It is therefore called ATM (Any Time Money) farming! And the productivity matches that of conventional farming.

Residue Free Farming: The practices used fall in-between organic and conventional/chemical-based/intensive farming/agriculture practices. Despite stating “residue free” it does not mean the produce is free of pesticide traces, however, the level is below that which causes harm to humans. Residue Free Farming utilises farmyard manure, drip irrigation, mulches for weed management, biocides and bio-fertilizers. Neem oil, garlic extract, water soluble chemical fertilisers like organophosphate used against larvae on leafy vegetables, and insect neurotoxin against sucking insects are sprayed to protect the crops. The bottom line is the appropriate gap (number of days vary for crops) between spraying and harvesting so that pesticide traces are minimised.

Animal Product: Any thing and every thing that is derived from the body of any creature of land, sea or air. Commonly known are flesh, skin, fat, blood, milk, eggs, and honey. Not only edible items, but others, as well as those that are processed remain of animal origin and are therefore animal derived products i.e. of animal origin.

Animal Body Parts: Pelt, Fur, Hair, Mane, Wool, Skin, Scales, Shell, Head, Skull, Eyes, Bones, Skeleton, Flesh, Fat, Blood, Organs, Tongue, Heart, Kidney, Liver, Lung, Nails, Claws, Horns, Antlers, Teeth, Fangs, Tusks, Trunk, Tails, Humps, Limbs, Paws, Hooves, Wings, Feathers, Beaks, Tufts, Crests, Combs, Fins, Gills, Flippers, Antennae, Feelers, Tentacles, Organs, Secretions.

Faux/Fake/Simulated/Synthetic: A man-made product that resembles or imitates a natural one; or an animal origin product that is made to resemble the original animal product. For example, simulated fur vs. real fur; faux leather vs. genuine leather; and synthetic/art silk vs. pure silk. An imitation item is not always non-animal in origin, like cow hide embossed to look like crocodile leather or artificial pearls coated with fish scales.

Wild Life Habitat:
A place where wild life are found. Forests provide a natural home for different species of wild life, plants and micro-organisms.

Biodiversity/Biological Diversity: Different species and organisms of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms which form a natural, balanced and healthy environment.

Climate Change: Major disastrous changes in weather conditions worldwide. Global warming is due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a result of deforestation and generating power, pollution, etc – in short, because of over-consumptive lifestyles.

Deforestation: The purposeful clearing of forests.

Reforestation: Planting new trees in an area where they were cut down – it can help climate change and restore biodiversity to some extent.

Rewilding/Relocation of Wild Life: Releasing wild life back into their natural habitat.

Translocation of Species/Wild Life: Capture, transport and release of wild life species from one location to another.

Biophilia: Living close to nature without interfering with wild life and allowing them to naturally thrive in their own wild life habitats. In accordance with this concept, several tourism companies have pledged to promote wild life friendly tourism that does not include any wild life entertainment: animal abuse like baiting wild life, elephant rides, dolphin shows, selfies with animals, visits of zoos, etc.

Sustainable Use of Wild Life: To utilise wild life products to the extent that they are still there to continue using. Such consumption is some times termed wise use. Proponents of this concept believe people have a right to derive economic and other benefits from wild species and that killing or culling is necessary.

Least Concern: Category used for a wild species that has a widespread and abundant population.

Near Threatened:
A species that is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.

Vulnerable: A species whose population has declined by 30 to 50%.

Endangered: Particular species of wild life whose numbers have fallen by 50 to 70% and are close to becoming extinct within 20 years or 5 generations. Some people show great concern for these species lest they become extinct. Some species are termed Critically Endangered because their population has already declined between 80 to 90%.

Extinct in the Wild: Few specimens of particular species living in captivity and outside their established range.

Extinct: If no one sees and reports a particular creature in the wild for 50 years, the specie is declared extinct.

Endemic species: A native species living within a restricted geographic area and not occurring anywhere else.

Alien species: A species becomes alien/non-native if it is found in an area outside its natural distribution having been introduced by humans intentionally or unintentionally.

Invasive species: When alien species cause significant harm to the new environment, they are known as invasive species. Even within India species may be invasive in certain regions.

Exotic species: An alien species becomes exotic species related to the place in which it is and if it is rare and coveted.

Captive Animals: Wild animals kept restricted in zoos or elsewhere like elephants exploited for joy-rides or used for religious purposes in temples. They could even be bred in captivity.

: Animal jails. These institutions promote so-called research, education and conservation of wild creatures.

: Underwater prisons, similar to zoos.

: Entertainment for which animals are subjected to hunger, fear and torture to perform, or are exhibited.

Blood Sports: Animal hunting, (deer) stalking, fishing, coursing, baiting, fighting, wrestling, tossing, pulling and all other games or events that result in bloodshed, injury or death of any living creature.

Angling: Sport fishing for pleasure, pastime and recreation with a fish hook fitted to a reel, using a bait or lure.

Catch and Release Fishing: An extreme cruelty in which the struggling injured fish that has been hooked is photographed and put back into the water to suffer and eventually die.

: A natural or man-made wild animal habitat for either observing wild animals, or hunting them, depending on the law.

Safari Hunting: Legal shooting in a wild animal habitat or environment.

Game: Wild life targeted to be hunted – typically, a mature male of a popular species of collectable interest.

Trophy Hunting: Shooting/Killing wild life or “game” for their body parts which are displayed as trophies, and/or to generate revenue.

Sport/Recreational Hunting: Shooting animals for fun.

Canned Hunting: Animals kept in confined areas to ensure that the hunter will kill. The animals are cornered and can’t run away or escape.

: Preparing, stuffing and mounting the heads, skins, etc. of game/animals for display, e.g. hunting trophies or museum displays.

Poaching and Smuggling
: Illegally hunting, snaring or trapping wild life in protected areas and clandestinely transporting for sale (usually out of the country) that which is poached: alive or dead.

Seizure and Confiscation
: Government taking possession of living creatures or body parts by force, based on right of law.

Migratory Birds: Those birds that fly hundreds or even thousands of kilometres back and forth to breed and escape harsh winters using their own flyways or established air-routes for their seasonal movements.

Bird Watching: Also called birding is going on a trek into a forest area and observing and appreciating birds in their natural surroundings.

Bird Racing:
A bird race is a one-day event which involves people identifying as many bird species as possible in a particular area.

Pigeon Racing:
Releasing specially trained pigeons to return home from one end of the country to another. Similarly carrier pigeons were used for delivering messages during war.

Bird Fights:
Making specially fed and trained roosters to fight each other.

Animal Fights
: Training and forcing two of a species fight each other. For example, rams, buffaloes and dogs.

Animal Sacrifice:
Beheading an animal or bird such as a goat or chicken in the name of religion or as a ritual for a festival. Killing an animal is no sacrifice, but murder.

Domestic Animals
: Species of animals that have been bred and tamed to live with humans. For example, dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, birds and others.

Stray/Feral Animals: Domesticated species like dogs and cats living without human supervision or control.

Working Animals: Usually domesticated animals trained to perform tasks like beasts of burden – draft animals such as oxen, donkeys, mules, horses & ponies. Also, camels & monkeys pulling loads, camels, ponies & elephants giving “joy-rides”, logging elephants, temple elephants, carrier pigeons, hunting dogs & eagles, guide dogs, guard dogs, sniffer dogs & mice/rats, Police & Military dogs (trackers, sniffers, guards/security), horses, ponies & mules, animals trained to entertain (as in circuses and for competitions) and so on.

Farm Animals: Livestock, cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs and so on. Bred and raised with the aim to exploit and eventually slaughter them for their meat.

: Need not be produce of the land, but body-parts of livestock or wild animals specially bred for this purpose.

Intensive/Factory Farming of Animals:
High concentration of livestock such as cattle, poultry, fish, specially bred to be exploited and killed for commercial gain. For example, battery cages for poultry.

Sterilization: Surgical removal of reproductive organs. A female animal is neutered or spayed when her uterus and ovaries are surgically removed. A male animal is neutered or castrated when his testicles are taken out. Colloquially both are referred to as fixing or de-sexing.

Artificial Insemination:
Male semen is forcefully collected and deliberately introduced into a female vagina or oviduct to make the animal pregnant; for example, a milch animal.

Animals are often crossed with plants for biotechnology research and its commercial implementation.

Genetic engineering involves inserting a gene from one species (plant, bacterium, animal) into another.

GM Animals:
Animals whose genetic make-up has been altered (playing God in labs) in order to develop a new strain that would adapt to human greed that aims to extract the maximum possible from animals.

GM Vegetables:
Crops that are genetically modified could very well be non-vegetarian. Moreover, genetically modified organism (GMO) crops are engineered to produce harmful pesticides in themselves.

Living animals such as rabbits, dogs, cats, monkeys, mice and guinea pigs, are housed in laboratories and experimented upon. It involves inflicting ailments upon the animals and then trying to cure them with newly developed medicines or surgical procedures. Such research and experimentation results in needless suffering and is far from scientific.

Testing on Animals:
Finished products such as cosmetics and household goods, are tested on animals in labs for toxicity to check how they might affect humans. Chemical ingredients could also be tested separately.

Taking of living organs (cells, tissues, eyes, etc.) within the same species as in organ donations from human to human.

Xenotransplantation: Taking a living organ from one species and transplanting it to another, like from pigs to humans or baboons to humans. The donor (animal) is killed, whereas the donee (human) suffers and eventually dies.

Chemical/Synthetic/Lab-produced: Such labels do not rule out the presence of animal substances (the origin of each and every thing is animal, plant or mineral), or the substances produced via chemical reactions being tested upon animals.

Lab-grown Meat: It is 100% real meat or non-vegetarian, and is also known by other names such as Cultured Meat, Clean Meat, Shmeat, Cell-based Meat, Vat-grown Meat, Test-tube Meat, Hydroponic Meat, In-vitro Meat, Vitro Meat, Victimless Meat, Synthetic Meat, Slaughter-free Meat and more. Flesh is taken from living animals such as cows, bulls, chickens, fish, pigs, goats, sheep, by means of a biopsy. It is grown in Petri dishes using fetal calf serum (blood extracted by puncturing the heart of an unborn calf in a pregnant cow) and is falsely marked clean and vegan to attract vegetarians. Even if the protein is derived from fermented plants, the basic ingredient utilised is GM yeast which is produced using heme-protein or rennin obtained from the stomachs of unweaned calves. Iron salt is used as flavouring and egg albumin as a binding agent. Last but not least, the so-called meat is tested on animals.

Carnism is essentially the opposite of veganism. (Carn means flesh.) Carnists think that eating animals is normal. They don’t even wonder as to why they eat only some species or for that matter even why they eat carcasses.

Meat-eating animal. A hypercarnivore eats more than 70% meat, whereas a mesocarnivore’s diet consists of 50-70% meat.

Paleolith: A person who eats what prehistoric humans ate. A paleo diet consists of consuming things that a man of that time would have hunted or gathered like flesh of animals, birds and fish, fruits, nuts, roots and vegetables.


Piscivore/Pescetarian: An animal, bird or human that eats fish but no other flesh.

An animal or bird that consumes both flesh and plant foods.

Flexitarian: A person who occasionally consumes flesh or is on a semi-vegetarian diet.

Climatarian: A person who chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment because thus lowering his/her carbon footprint. Locally grown seasonal fruits & vegetables, and fewer foods that are water intensive are consumed. Surprisingly meat, but not that which comes from factory farms is also eaten by some.

Herbivore: An animal or bird that consumes plants only.

Insectivore: An animal or bird that eats insects.

Entomophage: A person who eats insects. (Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects. In Greek éntomon is insect and to eat is phagein which is how the word entomophagy was derived.)

Non-vegetarian: A person who eats flesh of any creature. In India it is mandatory for non-veg packaged foods that contain “whole or part of any animal including birds, fresh water or marine animals or eggs or product of any animal origin, but not including milk or milk products, as an ingredient” be declared by affixing a non-veg symbol consisting of a brown colour filled triangle inside a square with brown outline, on the package.

: A person who does not consume flesh or eggs of any creature.

If milk is consumed, the person is a lacto-vegetarian or “pure” vegetarian in India. (Logically a “pure” vegetarian should be a vegan.) It is mandatory for lacto-vegetarian packaged foods to be declared by affixing a veg symbol consisting of a green colour filled circle inside a square with green outline, on the package.

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians are those who consume eggs in addition to milk – egg consumption puts them in the non-veg category.

Ovo-vegetarians (colloquially called eggetarians) are those who consume eggs only (no milk products) are also non-veg. However, those to consume caviar and fish roe are not even ovo-vegetarians but non-vegetarians. Caviar and fish roe are never ever found floating in the sea. These eggs are taken from inside the body of very large fish such as sturgeon long before they are laid. The fish is clubbed on its head and while it is still alive, its belly is split open to remove the eggs and its flesh is also consumed.

A person who consciously and consistently does not eat, use or gain from any animal derived substances whatsoever – no meat, fish, egg, milk, honey, silk, leather, fur, feathers, pearls, corals, shells, shellac, etc. A vegan life style is not based on self-denial but on a deep rooted philosophy that has reverence for each and every form of life.

A person who eats uncooked foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts only.

Atkins Diet: A low-carb diet that includes non-veg food.
Ketogenic Diet: Similar to Atkins, used to lose weight and adapted to suit both non-vegetarians and vegetarians.
Blood Type Diet: List of foods that are supposed to match the individual’s blood type recommended to be only consumed can include non-vegetarian ones.
Mediterranean Diet: Avoids meat but does not eliminate it.
Raw Food Diet: Similar to Fruitarian, and consists of uncooked foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
Plant based Diet: Similar to Vegan, if interpreted right it is just that – plant derived foods, nothing else.

Religious terms pertaining to Slaughter and Meat:
Hallal: the word is used for any object or action which is permissible to use or engage in according to Islamic law. In case of meat, the animal slaughtered must be in good health before killing, it must be fully conscious at the time of killing and its blood is not to be consumed. The opposite of Hallal is Haram meaning sinful, unlawful or prohibited – pork, blood ad alcohol fall in this category.
Jhatka: method of slaughter used by Hindus and Sikhs consisting of beheading the animal in one blow.
Kosher: meaning fit or proper and when applied to food items it means suitable for consumption by the Jewish community. For the animal to be kosher it needs to have split hooves and chew its cud like cows, lambs and goats. Non-kosher animals include pigs, horses, camels and rabbits. Kosher fowl include chicken, turkey, goose and certain ducks. All carnivorous animals and fowl and the blood of all animals and fowl and any products or derivatives of these are prohibited. In addition, the animals need to be slaughtered in a specific way. A water creature is kosher only if it has fins and scales, whereas all reptiles, amphibians, worms and insects (except locust) are not considered as kosher animals. Terefah is the opposite of Kosher – forbidden, not fit, and not proper. Meat of animals such as pig, horse, camel and rabbit is not permitted. Meat and dairy are not allowed to be mixed. Due to the ambiguity over the source of gelatine it could fall into this category but it’s not always so.

Pareve: Also a Jewish term for foods that do not contain any dairy or meat. It is a misconception that foods marked pareve are vegan because eggs from kosher fowl are also pareve, as are fish, as well as honey.

Meat of different Species:
Ovines: sheep
Caprines: goats
Mutton: meat of sheep and goat (in India only)
Lamb: young sheep and goat (in India only)
Hoggett: meat of sheep
Chevon: meat of goat
Kid: meat of young goat
Suillines: pigs, hog and wild boar
Pork, Ham, Bacon, Loin, Sausage and Gammon: meat of pig, hog and wild boar
Bovines: cattle
Beef: meat of cattle
Veal: meat of calf
Carabeef: meat of buffalo
Weishi: meat of Mithun
Lapin and Lapan: meat of rabbit
Squab: meat of pigeon
Volaise: meat of ostrich
Jumping Chicken: frogs’ legs
Game: meat of hunted wild life
Venison and Humble:
meat of deer and elk
Pullet: meat of young fowl
Poultry: meat of fowl such as chicken, duck, turkey, geese, guinea fowl, japans quail, etc. are all called by their names, e.g. chicken and turkey

Fish: similarly meat of marine animals is called by their names, e.g. pomfret and prawns

Labels on Foods (displayed in addition to ingredients):
Clean labeling: For example “No artificial colours or flavours”, “No additives or preservatives” or “Retort technology – preserving without preservatives” claims printed on packages. (Retorting processes both food and packages consisting of glass, metal can, plastic or flexible retort pouches, thermally together so that the packages are sterile.)

Free from …….. : This is for and those snackers who want to eat without feeling guilty and health conscious snackers for who taste is no longer the only consideration, stressing on naturalness and healthy ingredients. (A study by Mintel identified 5 unique groups of snackers – emotional, indulgent, conscious, committed and uncaring.)

Labels on Cosmetic Products (skin, hair, face & personal care, and treatment range of items including toiletries like soaps, shampoos & toothpastes):

Animal-Friendly: ambiguous wording. How can a product be a ‘friend’ to animals?
Biodegradable: ambiguous wording. Refers to packaging (disintegrating naturally) not to contents.
Care for Nature: ambiguous wording. How can this relate to a product?
Chemical-Free: no lab produced substances utilised, but ingredients utilised can be of animal origin – similar to Organic below.
Cruelty-Free: may be oblivious to the fact that killing animals is cruel. (Beware of ‘Cruelty-Free’ pledges.)
Earth & Plant Based: earth can cover animal derived substances.
Natural: indicates not synthetic or lab-produced, but can be of animal origin.
No Animal Fat: can contain other animal derived substances.
Residue Free: in-between conventional and organically farmed produce.

Organic: can contain plant and animal substances – similar to Chemical-Free above.
Organically Pure/Certified Organic: can contain organic plant and animal substances.
Artisanal Foods: products made by hand in small batches, with traditional production techniques instead of automation, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients which could be of animal origin.

Pure/Genuine: unadulterated ingredients which can be of animal, mineral or plant origin.
Eco-Friendly and Environmentally-Friendly: users of slaughterhouse "by-products" present themselves as such for the waste prevented.
Green: can contain plant and animal substances. Could have been manufactured using a process that saves energy and lessens carbon emission.

Herbal: indicates the presence of herbs, but not the absence of animal-origin or chemical ingredients. It is a misconception that herbal products are always free of animal ingredients and therefore harmless.

Recycled/Recyclable: refers to packaging, not to contents that may or may not have been recycled; and can contain animal substances.
Vegan: containing no animal derived substances.
Vegetarian: containing no flesh, fat, etc but could contain derivatives of milk, honey, shellac and maybe egg.
Against Animal Testing/No Animal Testing: policy statements that do not confirm the product has not been tested on animals, and can contain animal substances if ingredients not clearly listed.
Dermatologist Tested/Allergy Tested/Clinically Proven: ambiguous wording. Could have been tested on animals and can contain animal substances. (Clinical trials are studies or research that accesses new products or treatments on human health.)

Safe: likely to have been tested on animals and can contain animal substances.
No Declaration or Vegan or Green Veg Symbol affixed on product: must be containing animal substances and could have been tested on animals. BWC feels if people pledge not to purchase or use soaps, toothpastes, cosmetics, perfumes, detergents, cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners, agarbattis, candles, adhesives, brushes, crockery and all other consumer products that do not carry the green veg symbol because they could contain hidden animal ingredients, manufacturers will make an effort to change – after all it is a matter of demand and supply, and veg consumers have enough collective power.

Page last updated on 09/04/24