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Things Vegans Should Look Out For

I admit that sometimes it can be a bit confusing being a vegan. I've kind of got used to things that I need to avoid but in the beginning, I did find it a bit overwhelming. Here is my list of things vegans should look out for.

  • Alcohol.
  • Apples - may be coated with shellac.

  • Baked Beans - some brands contain dairy products.

  • Bedding - sometimes quilts, pillows, sleeping bags etc are made with "down" which are the feathers of geese and/or ducks. Blankets made from wool.

  • Bread - most large producers use vegetable based emulsifiers, but local bakers may not. Some bakers may grease the tins with animal fat. Look out for omega 3 enriched bread as this may contain fish.

  • Brushes - make up and paint brushes can be made from animal hair.

  • Candles - often made with beeswax. You can get candles made from soya which come in many different scents.

  • Capsules - often made with gelatine (a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water, often from cows and pigs). Many tablet and vitamin capsules come in vegetarian form, which usually means vegan.

  • Chewing Gum - often contains glycerine.

  • China - made from animal bones (as in - bone china).

  • Cosmetics and Beauty Products - can contain all manner of animal derived ingredients. Specifically look out for lanolin, beeswax, lactic acid, honey, honeycomb, benzoic acid, cholesterol and casein.

  • Drinks - watch out for this one. Beta carotene is often used in soft drinks to add a yellow/orange colour. Beta carotene is not water soluble so manufactures add gelatine to it to solve the problem, therefore, when consuming soft drinks which contain beta carotene, chances are you are also consuming gelatine.

  • E numbers.

  • Felt - can contain wool from animals.

  • Glue - may contain casein or other animal derived ingredients.

  • Jelly - contains gelatine. Vegan variety available in health food shops.

  • Jewellery - can contain pearls, coral, bone, shell and animal horn.

  • Margarine - may contain gelatine or/and whey powder.

  • Medicines - can contain hormone from the adrenal glands of hogs, sheep and cattle. Alternatives contain synthetics. Ask your doctor if there is a vegan version.

  • Musical Instruments - Strings of instruments can be made of catgut. Catgut is made from the intestines of various animals.

  • Perfume - can contain civet which is a gland secretion from the civet cat and is used as a fixative.

  • Photographic film - can contain gelatine.

  • Soap - may contain animal fats. Vegetable based soaps are widely available.

  • Soya cheese - some soya cheeses may contain animal ingredients such as casein and/or rennet. Make sure it is vegan.

  • Spaghetti (tinned) - may contain animal ingredients such as cheese or milk.

  • Sweets - may contain gelatine and the food colouring, cochineal.

  • Sugar.

  • Tablets - may be covered in shellac.

  • Toothpaste - many brands contain glycerine (a by product of the soap making industry which usually uses animal fats).

  • Vitamin D3 - usually derived from lanolin.

    More info on vitamin D.

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