Veganism by its very definition is avoiding all animal products in personal use, from food to clothing to cosmetics. With so many tricky ingredients out there, it makes no sense to me to continue using an ingredient that clearly is derived from animal sources and contributes to the suffering of innocent creatures. Animals are not ours to use.
Lanolin has long been used in cosmetics for its moisturising properties on the skin. Commonly found in body lotions & creams and lip balms, lanolin is extracted from the wool of sheep- or more specifically from oil glands.
Extracting lanolin does not harm sheep. However by continuing to use it, you are supporting the wool industry which DOES harm sheep. While sheep are not directly killed in the process of extracting lanolin or being sheared for their wool, the cruelties of the industry are still rampant- shearers are more concerned with meeting quotas than ensuring the safety of the animals so many sheep find their skin being cut, clipped and ripped off in the process. Then you have issues of mulesing (cutting chunks of flesh from the sheep’s backsides and legs to prevent insects damaging the wool), live transportation and finally the discarding of animals once they reach a certain age and can no longer produce quality wool. The wool industry is not cruelty free!
There are many ingredients out there that have similar, if not better, moisturising properties for dry skin and chapped lips. Coconut oil, shea and coca butter, olive oils, hemp and grapeseed oil and aloe vera. There is even vegetable based lanonlin now. There really is no excuse.