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Non-vegan things that will surprise you

Non-vegan things - 25 items that are surprisingly not vegan

Looking for products and items that are often surprisingly not vegan? Then you've come to the right place! Those who want to make the switch from vegetarian or from meat eater to vegan starts, first gets to know quite a few non-vegan things. Especially foods like cow's milk, eggs or honey - but also goods like cosmetics or leather chairs, to name just a few of them. For most of these products, the animal origin is relatively obvious. But over time, as a vegan, you will also come across many things that you would never have thought were not vegan.

In this article I would like to introduce you to 25 of these things! On the one hand, so that you have already heard of them - and on the other hand, to make the offer of the manufacturers of the items more animal-friendly by switching to alternative products. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Condoms
  2. Analog photos
  3. Car tires
  4. Brush
  5. Banknotes
  6. Toothpaste
  7. Crayons
  8. Cigarettes
  9. Shampoos
  10. Paintball balls
  11. Adhesive
  12. Cleaning products
  13. Medication
  14. Shoes
  15. Sports balls
  16. Silk
  17. Tampons
  18. Screens
  19. Tattoos
  20. Plastic bags
  21. Candles
  22. Dryer sheets
  23. Perfume
  24. Fireworks
  25. Nail polish

Notice: To surprisingly not vegan food I have written a separate article for you. Therefore, you will not find, for example, Parmesan cheese, chips, chewing gum and wine in this list.

25 Examples - Which things and objects are (often) not vegan?

Shoes, to the surprise of many, are also often not vegan things

After the first few weeks of switching to a vegan lifestyle I thought that I now know all vegan and non-vegan products. But the longer you live vegan, the more things you get to know that contain animal ingredients, although you would never have thought it with them in life. As promised, I present them to you below.

1. condoms

Latex is obtained from the milky sap of the rubber tree... so after a quick look at the packaging, condoms should actually be vegan. But most condoms are unfortunately not, because during their production the Milk protein casein is used for processing the raw rubber.

Condoms are considered Medical device - which is why it may also be that Animal testing be carried out for this purpose. Also in this case, they are logically not vegan.

Good to know: Lubricants are not always vegan either, as they often contain animal glycerine, which is used in cosmetic products now and then as a lubricant and moisturizer, for example.

2. analog photos

Don't worry: digital photos are of course vegan. However, analog photos and photo paper in general are usually not vegan, because for this purpose animal Gelatine, which comes mainly from pig skin and bones, is used. It serves as an adhesive that puts the photos on paper.

3. car tires

In fact, car tires (and some bicycle tires) are also among the surprisingly non-vegan items, as they often contain the ingredient Stearic acid contain. This is produced primarily from pork fat and beef tallow. Only by the renunciation of the leather steering wheel and the leather seats, a car is not (unfortunately) therefore yet automatically vegan.

4. brush

Brushes are among often not vegan things

Many cosmetic natural hair brushes are made with the help of the Hair from minks, foxes or squirrels manufactured. Fortunately, the labeling is always relatively clear, so you can specifically choose animal-free cosmetic brushes with synthetic hair.

5. banknotes

Even some banknotes are among the everyday items that may not be vegan after all. The first time provided the British five pound note for a stir because it was supposed to consist partly of animal tallow. For example, the New Zealand dollar and the Australian banknotes have been produced with animal fat. Banknotes are usually vegan - but this does not apply to every banknote.

6. toothpaste

When talking about non-vegan things, toothpaste must also be mentioned. Among its ingredients, unfortunately, often includes Lactoferrina protein found in cow's milk and breast milk. Beeswax and pollen or animal bone meal and animal fats such as glycerin also join the list of animal-unfriendly ingredients.

Tip: Animal ingredients are not always directly recognizable in toothpaste. Therefore, ask the manufacturer if you are not sure - and consciously choose alternatives that bear the vegan seal and are labeled as animal-free. Alternatively, you can also use your Toothpaste easy to make yourself.

7. crayons

Unfortunately, many crayons are also partly made of Stearic acid. It is the ingredient from beef fat that gives them their distinctive smell. Fortunately, more and more pencils do without the animal substance, so they are suitable for vegans.

8. cigarettes

While there are more and more vegan cigarette brandsbut many manufacturers use the animal protein in their cigarette filters. Hemoglobin, which is produced from pig's blood and is supposed to filter many a pollutant from tobacco smoke. For this reason, many fags are surprisingly not vegan things.

Tip: How you easier to stop smoking you can learn in the linked article!

9. shampoos

Animal additives can also be hidden in shampoos. For example, the already mentioned Gelatine from animal body parts. Also the fatty natural substance Cholesterol, which is derived from animal fats, is now and then contained in shampoos.

But fortunately there are also Plant-based alternativessuch as sterols, which are found in soy plants, among other things. Either way, shampoos are definitely among the things that are often not vegan after all, although one would have expected it.

10. paintball balls

Bullets in paintball are not vegan things

The tactical team sport with the color balls is also "not quite vegan". Because the shell that holds the paint in the balls until they bounce is once again the already mentioned, animal Gelatine. In addition, the color itself is also often Fish oil contains. It is produced, for example, from sardines, mackerel and herring.

11. glue

Many glues are produced with the help of animal ingredients. Fish glue and Glutin glue are the result of boiling out animal skin, as well as animal bones and bones. Casein glue consists of animal casein, a protein component in cow's milk. Accordingly, they belong to the list often not vegan things.

Notice: Also Label adhesive is often not vegan. You can read more about it in the linked article.

12. cleaning agent

Countless cleaning agents contain surfactants because they have a dirt-dissolving effect. But Surfactants from animal fats are, of course, not vegan, which is why they absolutely must be mentioned here in the list of things that surprisingly contain animal ingredients. Cleaning agents with surfactants from vegetable fat sources, on the other hand, are usually vegan. It is therefore important to take a closer look at cleaning products and ask if necessary.

13. medicines

Many medicines are tested on animals before they are available in pharmacies. However, even if some tablets are produced without being tested on animals, this does not automatically mean that they are also free of any Cruelty to animals are. For example, many medications come with Beeswax used to reinforce the consistency. Also Heparins, Multiple sugars from the intestinal mucosa of pigs, are used to inhibit blood clotting. Gelatine is also frequently used and also Lactose from cow's milk is used as a bulking agent.

As a vegan, it is therefore important to take a closer look. There is never absolute certainty with medications - However, the ingredients on the packaging and inquiries with pharmacists and manufacturers usually provide more precise information.

14. shoes

Most shoes Are not vegan in many respects. With the leather material (animal skin) or the inner lining (e.g. lambskin) this is quite obvious. But it gets trickier with other components. Because, unfortunately, the adhesives used (e.g. from Milk protein) often of animal origin.

Last but not least, manufacturers only have to declare the material that makes up the bulk of the shoe. There is no labeling requirement for the origin of small, decorative elements.

Notice: Soccer boots and other sports shoes are now mostly vegan. When choosing, vegans should read the product description carefully. For sure you can buy vegan shoes if these come from appropriately known vegan brands or are clearly labeled as vegan.

15. sports balls

Even sports balls often consist of animal components

Fortunately, most footballs, basketballs or volleyballs today are made of plastics. But here and there are still sports balls made from animal leather or pig bladders.

Notice: Soccer boots and other sports shoes are now also vegan for the most part. When choosing vegan shoes, however, vegans should pay particular attention to the adhesive used.

16. silk

Also conventional Silk is not vegan. In fact, it is an animal fiber from the Caterpillar cocoons of the silkworm moth. For silk scarves and dresses, the silkworms are scalded alive in boiling water or killed with gas. The actual vegan alternative is, for example, silk made from agave or soy fibers.

17. tampons

Tampons are often vegan - but unfortunately not always. Especially not if for their production Animal testing were carried out. There are still experiments today in which Guinea pigs, baboons or rabbits tampons inserted into their vaginas that are laced with live bacteria. By specifically choosing non-animal tampons made from certified organic cotton, you can avoid these cruel experiments and ensure that they are never performed again.

18. screens

Many screens of computers, smartphones, cameras and televisions are made of liquid crystals constructed. The crystals of the so-called LCD displays (abbreviation for Liquid Crystal Display) often consist of animal Cholesterol. Accordingly, screens are also among the things that are surprising for many, but not compatible with the basic idea of veganism.

Tip: How you can change your Easy on the eyes at the computerI'll explain in a separate article, by the way!

19. tattoos

Tattoos are often not vegan

In tattooing, there are some things that are often not vegan. For example, the tattoo ink consists now and then of Animal charcoal or from Shellaca substance "extracted" from the excretions of paint scale lice. Since also the utensils used in the tattoo studio could theoretically not be vegan - and often also creams or other means for the aftercare contain animal components - it is recommended that you directly get a vegan tattoo studio select.

Tip: Shellac is the additive with the identification number E 904 and is one of the non-vegan E numbers. If you know them, it will be much easier for you to identify unvegan products.

20. dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are supposed to make garments noticeably soft and comfortable for sensitive skin. However, some suppliers unfortunately add animal fatty acid as an ingredient in their products - for whatever reason. In addition, there are also dryer balls for the clothes dryer, which are often made of sheep's wool. When it comes to surprisingly non-vegan things, I definitely didn't want to deprive you of this info.

21. perfume

Unfortunately, one or the other fragrant perfume also contains animal ingredients, such as for example Musk, which is "obtained" from the gonads of killed musk deer. Also Ambergris is an animal odorant in perfumes that comes from the digestive tract of sperm whales. The list could be extended with, for example Hyraceum (petrified urine from the klippdachs) and Lanolin, the talc gland secretion of sheep, basically continue much further. Quite questionable whether we would spray ourselves with it if we were aware of these ingredients.

22. plastic bags

I bet you didn't think plastic bags would be mentioned when it comes to non-vegan items, did you? If you are a fan of the Zero Waste Lifestyle then you've probably long since replaced plastic bags with jute bags, a backpack or another waste-avoiding reusable alternative. But if you still use plastic bags from time to time, let me tell you that some of them are Lubricant from animal fats contained so that friction and statistical charging is reduced.

23. candles

Candles made from pure rapeseed or soybean oil are vegan. As a rule, this also applies to kerosene candles, although their wax is obtained from fossil raw materials such as petroleum and lignite. Basically, however, many candles contain Stearic acid, Tallow or Beeswax - and thus animal ingredients. Therefore, they are often surprisingly not vegan things. As a vegan, it is important to select specifically vegan-declared candles or to ask the dealers and manufacturers.

24. fireworks

Non-vegan things are unfortunately also often fireworks. They also contain Stearic acid, which is mainly used for coating metal powders such as iron and aluminum. We remember: stearic acid comes from pork fat and beef tallow - and is therefore not compatible with the vegan lifestyle.

25. nail polish

Nail polish is also one of the things that are often not vegan

Yes, even nail polishes are not automatically vegan. Many people have colored and often glittering pigments (so-called guanine) painted onto their fingernails in nail studios. Fish scales manufactured. Vegan nail polishes, on the other hand, are equipped with the mineral mica, which achieves a comparable effect.

Notice: Guanine is also a component of many eye shadows and lipsticks. It is therefore necessary to look a little more closely in the drugstore. As a rule, however, the use of animal pigments is labeled.

There are many things that are not vegan - but perfectionism to the detail is not purposeful!

I can very well understand that "vegan beginners" now feel a bit slain by the number of non-vegan things. But just because the one or other object exists, which surprisingly contains animal ingredients, does not directly change your attitude, Protect animals in your everyday life to want.

Please don't think that you have to do everything perfectly and that "vegan perhaps too extreme and is too heavy for you". Rather, it's great that your compassion for animals has made you want to learn even more about the background of products. Those listed here, non-vegan things, will also be vegan in the near futureif you consciously avoid their purchase and instead opt for animal-friendly alternatives.

Notice: Veganism aims to end the (systematic) exploitation of animals, as far as practically possible. No one can Live 100 percent vegan and ensure ABSOLUTELY no harm to animals through one's lifestyle. After all, you could accidentally step on an ant or a bug. As a vegan you wish a vegan world - but perfection does not play a role on the way there. What counts is the will to constantly learn, to adapt one's own lifestyle for the well-being of the animals and to prevent consciously accepted animal suffering.

Now you know some more non-vegan things again....

... and you can take a closer look or ask the manufacturer and the sales staff before you buy them. I bet you were thoroughly surprised by some of the examples given, right? And I haven't even talked about food here yet.

But as I said, don't be deterred, because perfection is not the point. Just be aware at all times, why you live vegan - and put yourself in the position of the animals. Then the motivation comes by itself.

Whether shoes, pens, medicines, candles - unfortunately there are still an incredible number of products whose manufacturers use animal ingredients. For example, for financial reasons or because the animal world means very little to them. But awareness is growing - from consumers to producers. By preferring vegan goods, you contribute significantly to accelerating this process.

I really hope that I was able to help you with this post on items that are often not vegan after all. Do you have questions, tips or other things ready, where you were surprised that they are actually not vegan? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay pet friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Have you ever dealt with the Euphemism for animal products dealt with? In the linked article, I explain how the industry deceives consumers with euphemisms for cruel acts against animals.

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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