We’ve all experienced this moment. You're confidently biting into a morsel of food that you thought was vegan. One of your friends points out that it actually contains an animal-derived ingredient that you weren't aware of.
The ensuing feelings of guilt sting as you realize that you just accidentally consumed something that goes against your principles. Food brands should be more transparent when it comes to the ingredients in their products, right? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case.
So it helps to keep oneself informed and updated on these things. To help you along, we’ve put together a list of surprisingly non-vegan products that you probably thought were vegan.
Most of the crisps available out there are actually non-vegan. This includes Doritos, Lay’s, Tostitos and more. If you look at the ingredients list of most corn or potato crisps you’ll find that they contain whey, skim milk, cultured cream, and other animal ingredients.
A lot of mainstream cereal brands like Special K include milk as one of their main ingredients. Meanwhile, whole-wheat and organic cereals usually contain fewer ingredients and no animal-based ones. Make sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing any cereal, just to be on the safe side.
French fries can be non-vegan when cooked in animal lard oil, which is how McDonald’s French fries are made. The good news is that some French fries are cooked in plant-based oils like peanut, coconut or vegetable oil.
It's best to ask the restaurant what type of oil they cook their French fries in before placing your order.
A lot of dried fruit and fruit snacks are highly processed and contain ingredients like gelatin. Gelatin is a protein reduction of animal body parts such as ligaments, tendons, skin, and bones. Obviously not something you want to put into your body.
To get real vegan fruit snacks, be sure to purchase them from a local fruit producing farm or organic food shop. That way, you’ll get a fruit snack that’s made with real fruit without the excess sugar and animal ingredients found in mainstream versions.
Surprisingly, a lot of bread isn’t vegan because they contain a little-known ingredient called casein. This is what's utilized to “hold” the bread together.
As an alternative, opt for Ezekiel bread because it’s organic and doesn’t contain any animal products.
While Polaroid cameras look cute and cool, they’re not vegan. The film they use contains gelatin, which as we’ve mentioned is made from animal bones and other body parts.
This goes for all types of photographic film as well. The good news is that we no longer have to use film in cameras thanks to the invention of digital cameras.
Tattoo ink is another surprisingly non-vegan item. That's because most tattoo ink contains charcoal that’s made from burnt up animal bones.
However, you can find vegan-friendly tattoo parlous that use vegan ink. Or you can ask your tattoo artist to source a vegan ink for you.
The manufacturing process of alcohol products often involves a lot of animal ingredients.
In fact, most wine, beer, and spirits are filtered using a composite of fish gills, gelatin, and even egg. This is especially prevalent during the clarification stage of the manufacturing process.
Luckily, there are plenty of high quality vegan alcoholic beverages for you to choose from. You can find them listed on the Barnivore website or go to vegan.com. The former site has a database of over 40, 000 vegan wines, spirits and beers from producers around the world.
Vegans with green fingers also face a struggle; plant soil is oftentimes non-vegan.
Most plant soil contains animal excrement, ground up animal remains and even blood. The same goes for fertilizers.
Alternatively, you can buy seeds and look for vegan soil and fertilizers. Or you can try the “veganic farming” method which doesn't utilize any manure or artificial fertilizers.
In a Nutshell
As you can see, animal ingredients are everywhere, even in places where you’d least expect to find them. So it’s no use beating yourself up over accidental consumption of these and other products.
Just make sure to check the ingredients list on the food items that you buy. And don’t be shy to inquire about food ingredients when eating out.
At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as a perfect vegan. We’re all just doing our best to reduce and eliminate animal cruelty in the world and that's all you can ask for.
Keep supporting brands that are clearly marked as “vegan and cruelty-free”. Support veganic farms and charities that work against animals testing and research. And support online stores like Leafy Souls that support vegan artisans from around the world.
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