Written on .


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- see the menu on the right for more topics

What about non-food household items?
Just about everything you see on the cleaning/personal hygiene shelf of the supermarket has been force fed to animals and smeared in rabbit's eyes.

Worst of all they don't tell you that this is the case, and they don't tell you what animal ingredients go into these products.

Buy products labelled as "Cruelty Free" or "Not tested on animals" and "Contains no animal ingredients" when shopping.

Oh, and when buying your plates remember that "Bone China" really does contain bones.

Hidden animal products:

Envelopes: Apparently most envelopes have a synthetic glue on them, not an animal or fish based glue.
Mohair: From goats. They can be sheared or skinned.
Organic: Dried blood, bone/hoof meal and fish meal can all be used a fertilizers etc. Try finding out about Veganic Gardening as an alternative, by using seaweed fertilizers which are widely available.
Photos: Developing paper contains gelatine.
Postage stamps: These do not contain an animal or fish glue.
Progesterone: A hormone. May have been taken from the urine of a pregnant mare, and could be used in hormone creams, etc.
Rubber: Processed with animal products.
Soap: Most soaps are not vegetarian because of the tallow (animal fats) used in their production.
Stearate: This usually comes in the form of _calcium stearate_, and it is found in hard candies like Gobstoppers and Sweetarts as well as other places. It comes from stearic acid, which usually is derived from tallow, or animal fat. Stearate is also used in vinyls (like car seats) and plastics.
Suede: Leather.
Violins: Traditionally violins are stuck together with an animal based glue. The bows are usually made from horse hair.

Is there a vegan birth control pill?
from a reader in Germany: On a Webpage about "Vegan Contraception" (http://www.vegansociety.com/html/info/info02.html) I found the following about "Oral Contraceptives": "Femulen, a progestogen-only pill made by Gold Shield, is the only product that is free from animal ingredients (but not animal testing)." [note: the web page is the Vegan Society UK - information from other countries would be useful]

Which forms of contraception are vegan?
Abstention during the fertile part of the menstrual cycle (aka natural family planning) Barrier methods, providing that the barrier is not made using non-vegan ingredients (ask the manufacturer)

Pangea carries Kimono Micro-Thin Latex Condoms, which are vegan: http://www.pangeaveg.com

The UK Vegan Society have an online information sheet on contraceptives at: http://www.vegansociety.com/html/info/info02.html

Which major toiletries/cosmetics companies make products which are not tested on animals and do not contain animal deritives?
from a reader in Canada: The Body Shop. If you wish to purchase products from the Body Shop, ask the clerk to see the product information sheet. Some managers of the Body Shop instruct their employees to tell customers that a product does not contain animal products and has not been tested on animals, even though this could be false information. Buyer Beware! (from someone who used to work at the body shop)

from another reader in Canada: Freeman claims to contain "no animal extracts." They also state that "Freeman cares," without making specific reference to animal testing. Clairol Herbal Essences Shampoo is "over 99% natural and plant-derived." (God, I hope the other 1% isn't something as vain as colourant.) They don't test on animals. (The product, that is, its subcomponents are left to chance.)

from another reader: Actually, the Clairol company tests it's products on animals, and all of the individual ingredients and combinations that ended up in Herbal Essences were at one point rotting through a rabbit's eye. The only alternative company that I know of is called Tom's of Maine. I don't even know if Tom's of Maine is a prosperous enough company to distribute across the United States, but good luck.

Some types of medicine are in capsules. Are capsules suitable for vegetarians?
from a reader in the USA: Most capsules are made of gelatin, which is not vegetarian as it comes from dead animals. There are some vegetarian/vegan capsules available but you will have to check the labels.

Are there any chewing gums suitable for vegetarians?
from a reader in the UK: after looking through various vegetarian sites Wrigleys does not use animal orientated ingredients

from a reader in Canada: Yes, of course! There are plenty of gums for even vegans! SpeakEasy chewing gums are vegan, natural and tend to be organic as well. I like their Gingermints. SpeakEasy donates some of their profits to saving rainforests as well. If you're worried about specific ingredients in gum, a good place to check is www.peta.com and try a search. A division (Natural Source) of this company also offers many vegan chocolate bars which are quite good.