Some people are vegan for just nutritional reasons. Some became vegan to take an ethical stand. But no matter your reasons for taking the initial step, it’s not long before you realize that being vegan is about more than what you eat. Leading a vegan lifestyle means being cognisant of everything you use and come into contact with – and there are plenty of products we use regularly that are not vegan. As food for thought we have put together a list of ten household items that may have been under your vegan radar.
1. Cigarettes. Obviously not the healthiest of products, cigarettes are often filtered using animal bi-products. They often contain honey for flavor and are rumored to be tested on animals. IF you must get your nic fix, the only way to ensure it’s a vegan stick, would be to roll your own leaves or buy American Spirits organic brand.
2. Those silky PJs. Not vegan. Silk clothing is made by the exploitation of silk worms. Look for cotton alternatives instead:
“It is a viscous protein substance secreted from the glands of silkworms which hardens into silk on contact with air. This soft, lustrous fiber is obtained from the cocoon of the silkworm. In order to retain a single, unbroken filament, the silkworm is killed before it can emerge from the cocoon and break the thread.”
3. Your favorite blanket. Is it wool or part wool? Then unfortunately it’s not vegan. Wool is obtained from sheep, camels and some other animals and mass production of textiles enforces an inhumane lifestyle for animals being used for their products, such as the scouring and shearing processes.
4. What’s holding your trousers up? Leather belts aren’t vegan, but often belts and other accessories have been around in your closet for so long, they might go unnoticed. Along that same thread, leather wallets, luggage, purses, etc. aren’t vegan and should perhaps be traded for a vegan version.
5. Bedding. Are you sure your bedspread, pillows and comforters aren’t made of down? They might feel great to lay your head to rest, but you should double check the contents to ensure they are stuffed without animal by-products. “Vegan fills are organic materials free of animal ingredients and by-products (including wool, silk, fur, leather, dairy, eggs, honey, beeswax, and lanolin). Additionally, no animal ingredient or animal by-product inputs are used in manufacturing and processing.”
6. Glue. Sorry kids, most glues are not animal-friendly, as they are made from connective tissue of cattle and horses. Elmer’s Glue, however, claims to not use animal products any longer, though they won’t reveal a list of ingredients for proprietary reasons.
7. Cleaning Products. Many cleaning products are not vegan, either made using animal by-products or by testing their products on animals. Here is a list of some vegan and eco-friendly cleaning products to keep your house spic and span. Alternatively, stock up on baking soda, vinegar, club soda and a few other simple ingredients, and check out these homemade cleaning recipes!
8. SOY products. This one threw me off, because I always assumed the only people who eat soy cheese and other soy foods were vegan, but many contains casein or crushed beetles for coloring! Watch out for those soy cheeses!
9. Candles. Check labels for traces of beeswax, something most candles contain, or honey for scent. Check out this Etsy shop for some handmade vegan varieties, which might be your best bet.
10. Wine. Sadly, I’ve discovered that many wine brands aren’t vegan friendly, containing isinglass (from fish bladders), gelatin, and cow proteins. Read the labels, visit your brand’s website or head to Barnivore.com to find out what booze contains precisely what bad ingredients.
Also here is a list of common food ingredients that aren’t vegan including:
Talk to us: What products/household items were you suprised about being non-vegan? What did we leave out?
For any products you want to get rid of visit your local shelters or Goodwill, or get creative with recycling, instead of just throwing things away.