6 Things that are surprisingly not Vegan

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Full disclosure; I am not vegan. I do not know the struggle of having to read the ingredients list of everything on the shopping list (just in case) or being stuck with the only vegan option on a menu - usually mushrooms.

However, I am a flexitarian. Having been prompted by the environmental impact of consuming meat (cows in particular), over the years I've transitioned from Meatless Monday's to a mostly vegetarian diet, or what I call a Climate diet.

Today, its easier than ever to go vegan with the supermarket shelves brimming with meat-free alternatives, but a plant-based diet isn't for everyone. I myself suffer from health issues that will prevent me from taking the plunge, but the Vegan movement is so much more than what we fill our bellies with.

If like me you still want to do your bit outside of what you eat, there are a number of items in our everyday lives and homes that you would be surprised to find contain animal products or aren't as cruelty-free as you might be led to believe. In fact, a study found that 72% of vegan's had only changed their diets without giving too much thought to the ingredients hiding in their household staples.

Here are 6 things that are surprisingly not Vegan:

1. Tattoo Ink

This one was pretty shocking having four tattoos myself, I've never really thought about what goes into the dye embedded in my skin. In fact, a lot of the black dyes in tattoo ink are made from charcoal which comes from burning animal bones. Vegan Ink is starting to become more widely available though, so next time you head to the parlour for your latest body masterpiece, check with the artist to see if they have any vegan ink.

2. Razors

Did you know that the more expensive razors have a 'moisture strip' to make shaving more comfortable? These moisture strips however often use glycerin that is made from animal fat. Not to mention that most of these razors are disposable and add to the plastic waste in landfill - Yuck!

3. Shampoo and Conditioner

Many haircare brands market their products with adverts focusing on their 'natural' floral or botanical ingredients but look beyond these as both of these haircare essentials tend to contain lecithin, an ingredient taken from animal or dairy sources

4. Sugar

Most vegans will be aware that white sugar is processed with bone char, which is used to make it white. What they might be shocked to find is that even brown sugar is processed this way and then made brown with molasses.

5. Toothpaste

This is another one which we all use up to twice a day but chances are your toothpaste will contain glycerin. This is usually taken from animal fats to stop your tube drying out, but it's also used to help reduce bacterial activity.

6. Plastic Bags

This is one that yes, regularly gets promoted as being an easy item to ditch when going plastic-free or zero-waste, but you don't usually think of it as not being vegan as well. Plastic bags often contain slipping agents made from animal fat to help reduce friction and static in the material.

Fortunately, there are many vegan alternatives to most of these items. Check out the Forever and Green store for everything from Razors, Shampoo and Conditioners, dental hygiene items as well as our string and produce bags found in our Zero-Waste bundles!

We've made it super easy to source Vegan versions of your household and everyday items. Just look out for the Vegan badge or select to shop by Vegan here.


- Hillary's How Vegan is you Home? Infographic https://www.hillarys.co.uk/curtains/how-vegan-is-your-home/

- Veganuary https://veganuary.com/

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