Animal Fat in Fabric Softener
Animal fat, particularly sheep and horse fat, is the ingredient in fabric softeners like Downy that make your clothes incredibly soft. The fat molecules, also known as dehydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride, coat fabric to give it a super soft feel. You may be surprised to know most fabric softeners available today contain this animal ingredient, and so do dryer sheets. Try this vegan fabric softener instead and these vegan dryer sheets.
Animal Fat in Toothpaste
Glycerine is a common ingredient in toothpaste. It’s the backbone of animal fat. Glycerine can also be plant-based, however, animal-based glycerine is used in most toothpaste. Though most toothpaste brands (like Colgate and Crest) are not vegan there are a variety of brands that are vegan. For vegan toothpaste, try Dr. Bronner’s peppermint toothpaste or Bite toothpaste bits.
Animal Fat in Plastic Bags
Animal fat is also an ingredient in plastic grocery bags. The animal fat is used as a ‘slip agent’, this reduces the friction in the material. Plastic bags are just the tip of the iceberg. Animal fat, as well as other animal components, are commonly used to improve some plastics or aid in processing raw polymers from which plastic materials are made. These polymers are used to create a wide variety of plastic materials. Now you know, plastic bags are not vegan and they’re terrible for the environment. Use these reusable canvas totes for your shopping instead.
Animal Fat in Crayons
You know that distinctive smell of a crayon? That’s fat you’re smelling, beef fat. Animal fat is used in crayons to give them a waxy substance, it’s also what gives them that classic crayon smell. Looking to switch to vegan crayons? Try these.
Animal Skin & Milk in Condoms
Most condoms are not vegan. Casein, the protein found in milk, is used in the manufacture of condoms to make the rubber nice and smooth. So yes, most condoms are not vegan because they’re made of rubber. An alternative to rubber (used by those allergic to latex) are lambskin condoms, which as evident by the name are made of the skin of a lamb and therefore also not vegan. But don’t worry, you can still make your sex life more vegan by switching to vegan condoms by Glyde, Jonny, or My Size vegan condoms.
Animal fat in Soap
Also known as tallow, animal fat is used in many commercial soap bars. The fat is rendered down into separate components such as: stearic, oleic, myristic, palmitic, palmitoleic, and linoleic acid. Although these ingredients are not always sourced from tallow, they typically are. If you see these ingredients listed on your soap and are concerned they may come from animal fat, the best thing to do is to contact the company directly and ask. Alternatively, you can also try searching on the Think Dirty app and see if it’s vegan or not.
Here is a list of common bar soaps that contain derivatives of animal fat:
- Irish Spring
Animal Fat in Shampoo & Conditioner
Over 20 components from animals are used to make shampoo and conditioner. It can be hard to tell what’s in your shampoo and other beauty products since ingredients such as “vitamin B”. “panthenol”, or “amino acids” can be animal or plant-derived. Animal-derived components are extremely common in beauty and skincare items. The best way to know if there are animal-sourced ingredients in your shampoo or beauty products is to contact the company and ask. Many companies will not list the word ‘animal’ anymore to prevent putting off consumers. Other beauty products such as anti-wrinkle creams, body lotions, foundation, and lipstick, to name a few, also contain animal-derived ingredients from pigs, cows, fish or other animals. Additionally, you can use the Think Dirty app to tell what’s in your beauty products.
Animal Bones Used to Process Sugar
Sugar does not come from animals so it should be ok for vegans to eat right? Wrong. Did you know bones from cows and horses are used to filter sugar? White sugar is filtered through bone char as part of a bleaching process to make it white. Even packed brown sugar is filtered this way. Packed brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added for color. It’s strange to think that sugar has to be filtered through horse and cow bones just to make it white. Why does sugar have to be white? What’s wrong with off-white colored sugar?
Due to this manufacturing process, some vegans disagree and opt for other forms of sugar. Some fructose, though not most, is also manufactured using this practice. If you want to avoid sugar processed with bone char filters, click here for a list of companies that do not use bone char filters. If you want to avoid refined sugar altogether, turbinado sugar, such as the brand Sugar in the Raw, is a great option. Another great brand of turbinado sugar is Sucanat, a product of raw cane juice. Want to know which brands use animal bones to filter sugar? Click here for a list.
Pig Hair, Chicken Feathers, & Human Hair in Bread
L-cysteine is an amino acid added to dough to speed up processing and extend the shelf life of the finished product. Some sources of this amino acid include pig hair, chicken feathers, cow horns, duck feathers, and human hair. The majority of L-cysteine is synthesized from human hair, from salons in China, to be specific. The hair is dissolved in acid and the amino acid is isolated through a chemical process. Once isolated, the amino acid is packed and sent to bread manufacturers to be used in the dough.
Chances are if you’re buying conventional bread, there is human hair in it. Sourcing this amino acid from human hair is cheaper which is primarily why it’s done. Technically, your bread does not contain actual human hair, just parts of it. Additionally, if we’re being technical, using L-cysteine synthesized from human hair or animal parts, can be labeled “natural”. So watch out for sneaky loopholes utilized by food manufacturers to sell you food that is labeled “all-natural”. Instead, opt for bread labeled non-GMO and/or organic. Non-GMO bread does not contain chicken feathers or pig or human hair. Ezekiel bread and Dave’s Bread are both vegan and non-GMO. Both can be found at most grocery stores.
Milk, Eggs, Gelatin, And Fish Bladder in Wine
Most wine is processed with one or more of the following components: casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). Even though most wine is not vegan, there is quite an assorment that are vegan. To see if your favorite wine is vegan, look it up on Barnivore.com– a vegan wine, beer, and liquor guide.
Here are various commonly used products that also contain animal ingredients including parts from pigs, cows, fish, and chicken.
- chewing gum
- sour gummies
- energy bars
- chocolate bars
- ice cream
- cream cheese
- whipped cream
- nail polish
- injectable collagen
- beauty masks
- fabric softener
- plastic bags
- laundry detergent
- + more
Click here to see a single pig turned into 185 non-pork products.