5 products you may have thought were vegan, but actually aren’t.

Since i made the previous post which pointed out 5 products you may have thought were vegan but actually aren’t, as well as some products that are accidentally vegan!Items you wouldn’t think are not vegan

These posts are not meant to scare you or make a vegan lifestyle seem hard, infact it is to help and inform you. Because if you don’t know about these things you can’t make the choice to not use/consume them and for most people they wouldn’t even think about these things. But when you have the information, then you can make an active choice. You learn over time and it gets easier the more information you have 🙂 And if you are new to veganism then you can just make these steps over time, and with information it makes choices easier!

So first off, Carmine or so called e120 or sometimes called cochineal extract which comes from crushed up red beetles, meaning it is not vegan. (Read more HERE) E120 colours products red and is often found in red food products (drinks, candy, syrups, icing, yoghurts, jams, some ketchups, chewing gum etc) as well as in cosmetics such as blush and lipsticks, red clothing, food colouring (hence why often pink marzipan isn’t vegan because of the e120), paint etc I unfortunately couldn’t find any specific food or brands to share, but just remember e120 as NOT vegan. And it is usually in red food products 🙂


Alcohol. if you have been vegan long enough you will have come to the sad realization that not all alcohol is vegan. unfortunately it is not easy to find out which alcohol types ARE vegan as the ingredients are not stated on the alcohol package. But also the animal products are made during the process of the alcohol making and so don’t need to be stated. The only real way is to email the company and hope that the person who answers is honest, because unfortunatly there have been cases where different people have emailed the same company and gotten different answers, one being told the alcohol is vegan and the other pbeing told it isn’t vegan or can”t be guaranteed that no animals products have  been used in the process. So what makes alcohol not vegan?

According to Vegetarian society: Animal derived products used in the production of alcohol include; Albumin – derived from egg whites (may be caged eggs); Casein – Protein derived from milk; Chitin – derived from the shells of crabs, lobsters, etc; Gelatine – from bones and connective tissues of cows or pigs; Isinglass – obtained from fish swim bladders. These are used in the clearing or processing of the alcohol.

My best advice is to join vegan alcohol facebook groups as then you can usually find out which brands are vegan but also use the website Barnivore which you can search for the alcohol type and see if it is vegan.

Usually when i drink i buy the vegan marked black tower wine or go for vodka as most hard liquours are vegan unless they contain honey. When it comes to wines and beers, there are more alcohol brands which have a vegan marking, but otherise use Barnivore to search and realise that you may have to give up your favourite wine or beer type, but there are still plenty of vegan alternatives out there and you might find a new favourite 🙂 If you are out drinking or go to a bar, it does get more difficult and unfortunatly i haven’t always checked if the wine i drank was vegan or not beforehand, but i am getting better at actually doing it if i get something that is different and i am uncertain of. You live you learn.


Arts and crafts/painting toolsI dont do alot of arts and crafts or paints, so i had never reflected over what might be in these products… and when i did some googling i realised there may be alot of hidden animal products in them. I.e Shellac and Cochineal which comes from insects, natural hair in the paint brushes, Gelatin which comes from bones, tendons and ligaments of cows or pigs, Glue can contain animal products such as animal skin, honey or beeswax. Basically a jungle of animal products, however THIS site lists brands have products that are both cruelty free and vegan, so if you are interested in arts and crafts maybe check to see if the brands you use are vegan and CF!


Make up brushes: Certain make up brushes use actual animal hair…. not exactly what you want to use on your face? Now a days it is more common with synthetic make up brushes though! According to Vegan. com : “Synthetic brushes are typically made of taklon fibers or nylon, and are hypoallergenic. They also hold powders better and are easier to clean and maintain than non-vegan brushes.”  The best thing is to Google the brand you are interested in and see what type of make up brushes they have. You can also see some vegan make up brushes HERE.


Glue: It’s been a long time since i used or bought glue so this one threw me off, but shouldnt have been surprising. Many glues are infact made by using animal connective tissue, horses, rabbits and fish bones, tendons, skin and tissue may have been used. (Source) This is also why buying shoes can be a little more difficult than thought as some shoes use glue that is not vegan, and that means emailing the company to find out. HOWEVER i know certain vegans who don’t go that far when buying shoes. Glue can be in many products which you aren’t even aware of, but how precise you want to be with this is up to you…. Not all products using glue have glue that is made from animal products, the only way to find out is to email the company.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. This was really mind opening – you just don`t think that so many everyday objects contain animal products – and some of it seems so unnecessary! The red food colouring has really put me off – I mean why can`t they come up with a synthetic version rather than using crushed beetles? ugh!


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