All the common household items you’d have to ditch to be a vegan

All the common household items you’d have to ditch to be a vegan


Being a dedicated vegan doesn't just apply to the contents of your fridge, kitchen cupboards or wardrobe.

It extends to what laundry detergent you rely on, what you use to wash your hair and even the gadgets you have around the house.

Yet a whole range of common household items incorporate animal products in their ingredients or composition, meaning TWO THIRDS of vegans aren't actually running vegan-friendly homes.

Plastic bags, shampoo and medications are amongst some of the household products that were found not to be vegan friendly.

Research carried out by has shed light on the fact that a large number of vegans are running homes with the following products. So if you're thinking of taking the plunge, you'll have to find alternatives to all of these.

1. Plastic bags

A lot of plastic shopping bags contain "slipping agents" – made from animal fat – to reduce friction.

2. Tyres

Some tyre material uses stearic acid, which is usually derived from the stomachs of pigs, cows or sheep. This helps the rubber hold its shape.

3. Perfume and cologne

Many scents use musk – the secretions from otters, beavers and deer – as a fixative as it reduces the rate of evaporation and makes fragrances last longer.

4. Glue

Glue can be found all over the home – it's used to make shoes, furniture and arts and crafts materials. Most glue contains isinglass, which is derived from fish bladders and other animal remnants.

5. Condoms

Most condom brands use casein, which is a protein taken from cow's, goat's or sheep milk – to make their condoms smoother.

6. Arts and crafts supplies

A large number of art supplies contain animal-based ingredients such as gelatin, bone char, beeswax and cochineal – crushed up insects.

7. Shampoo and conditioner

A lot of hair products use lecithin to repair damaged hair and make it look shiny, which is usually taken from animal or dairy sources.

8. Chewing gum

Some chewing gum contains gelatin and stearic acid, which gives it its chewy texture, and may use cochineal food colouring made from insects.

9. Razors

More expensive razors have a soft 'moisturiser' strip to make shaving more comfortable, but these often use glycerin from animal fat.

10. Nail polish 

A lot of nail polishes uses animal products to create certain effects – guanine (from fish scales) gives metallic colours a sheen, while carmine (crushed beetles) creates red colours and oleic acid (animal fat) is used to thicken formulas.

11. Medication

A lot of vitamins and other tablets have a gelatin coating so that they dissolve in the stomach rather than in the mouth, disguising bad tastes and giving medicine a slow release effect.

12. Sugar

Most seasoned vegans know that white sugar is processed with bone char to make it white – however, even brown sugar is processed this way and then made brown with molasses.

13. Fabric softener

Most big brands use tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride – essentially, animal fats – to create the soft, supple feel you get from your freshly washed clothes.

14. Toothpaste

Chances are your toothpaste contains glycerin, usually taken from animal fats, to help stop it drying out. It also helps to reduce bacterial activity.

15. Shoes

Even if your shoes aren't made from leather, the rubber soles could use stearic acid to help them keep their shape. Stearic acid is usually taken from cows' stomachs.

16. Photos

Some printing processes use gelatin to create black and white photos, and other photo papers are coated with it to protect images.

17. LCD screens

Your TV, computer, phone and tablet use animal cholesterol in the liquid crystals in the screens.

18. Playing cards

The cards are coated with stearic acid to make them smoother and reduce static, making them "fan" much easier.

19. Tattoos

The majority of tattoo ink uses a whole host of animal products, including animal fat, bone char, gelatin and shellac – which is taken from the female lac bug.

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