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Until the world makes a major shift toward more plant based diets and products it is almost impossible to live in society and avoid every animal product. What you can do is try to do the least harm your life will allow without running away to live in a vegan commune in the woods where you make everything you eat and use yourself. However there are some common products that use animal ingredients that easy enough to avoid if you do your research.


Gelatin is made by boiling tendons, ligaments or bones with water. It is used in everything from marshmallows and gummy bears to pharmaceutical capsules and cosmetics. Gelatin sneaks it’s way into many products so be sure to read labels carefully. There are substitutes for gelatin so you can still roast your vegan marshmallows over the fire.

Plastic Bags

If the fact that plastic is polluting our oceans at an alarming rate isn’t enough of a reason to switch to reusable bags, maybe the fact that they are made with animal fat will convince you. Animal fat is used in plastic bags as a slipping agent to keep the bags from sticking during the manufacturing process.

Art Supplies

Many paints and inks contain animal products such as ox gal, derived from cows and used as a wetting agent for watercolors. Also bewared of natural hair brushes, bone charcoal and oil pastels.

Hair Products

Hair products contain ingredients like vitamin B, acetyl alcohol and amino acids that may or may not be of animal origin. The popular ingredient, keratin is derived from hooves, horns and hair of animals. If you are not sure of the origin of an ingredient, buy hair products that are clearly labeled as vegan.

Beer and Wine

Some brands of beer and wine contain is in glass, derived from the bladders of tropical fish. Since you won’t find an ingredients list on the bottles you can do an online search to find out if your favorite brand is guilty.

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