Vegan alcohol is often overlooked because, lets face it- who expects to find animals in their after work drinks? However, lots of the time it gets in there not as an ingredient but as a byproduct. Isinglass, which is a membrane that comes from tropical fish bladders is used as a method for brewing the beer, essentially making the beer look clearer and more delicious. British beers use isinglass, gelatin, glycerin or casein to do this, and (much like sugar), it isn’t always clear what the devil is being listed in the ingredients- I think we’ve all been guilty of looking at a list of random words on an ingredients list and then shrugging instead.
However German and Belgian beers almost always use traditional methods of brewing, which are vegan. There are so many amazing vegan beers out there now, and a great way to do a quick check is to use the website Barnivore. It’s super helpful for a quick browse when you’re stood at the bar, and we’ve done a previous post on the topic here. Stay aware.
Another alcohol one. Wine is filtered through agents which can include animal blood and marrow, milk protein, fibres from crustacean shells and gelatine. The agents aren’t always obvious in their listed names, and all are used to reduce haziness. Again, there are some great vegan wines out there.
3. Worcestershire sauce.
Delicious, amazing in tomato juice, pasta and straight onto the tongue! But what gives your Bloody Mary its delicious and unique taste is fermented anchovies. However it’s super easy to make your own; lots of people simply mix together tamarind soy as a replacement, and there are great recipes online (link and link). You also have good shop bought options: Biona organic, sold at Whole Foods has great reviews.
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Another beauty in my Secret Santa package. Without knowing what Hendersons Relish was, I had an inkling it was a vegan Worcester sauce! And I believe I am correct! I cannot wait to add this to my soya mince for shepherds pie and drizzle on beans on toast 💁🏼 I get an insight into a Sheffield classic ✨ • • • #Hendersonsrelish #veganworcestersauce #veganfood #vegancondiment #veganism #veganuk #crueltyfreevegansecretsanta #cfvsecretsanta #crueltyfree #veganblogger
Many people think that margarine is a good butter substitute, and whilst it doesn’t contain anywhere near the amount of dairy as your average pack of Lurpak it still contains whey, gelatine and milk powders. There are so many great tasting vegan butters out there now you don’t have to have these ingredients in your food at all, and of course if you’re looking for something divine to go on your morning toast the nut butter market is absolutely booming (and there is always avocado, love you).
Whilst you aren’t going to have an issue with most breads, which are made from just yeast, salt, water and flour, bagels could be your achilles heel. Most freshly made bagels from bagel shops are going to be okay, and big chains are cottoning on to the fact that the vegan market exists. However some bagels have an egg wash, or contain milk. This will always be stated on the packaging so shouldn’t slip under the radar, but look out for anything that contains L Cysteine – a gross human, duck or hog hair derived enzyme.
6. Orange Juice.
Another drinks based one I’m afraid. Might be helpful to add at this stage that anything you’re eating or drinking fresh is always going to be vegan, which is why
“plant based” eating is often synonymous. However in shop bought orange juice you might find that vitamin D3 has been obtained from lanolin, which is the waxy substance from sheep’s wool. If the juice is promising a “healthy heart”, it’s likely to contain omega 3 fish oils, usually obtained from anchovies or sardines.
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Similar concept to honey in the sense that no animal was hurt by a human for the sake of food, but simply fulfilling their ecological role. Female wasps often lay eggs inside figs to pollinate them, then are unable to escape so die inside- the ultimate sticky end! The fig produces an enzyme which breaks the wasp down into protein, so you’re unlikely to find a wasp inside, but some vegans do see this as an animal by product, so it is a personal standpoint from person to person.
8. Red sweets and lipstick.
That gorgeous ruby red colour in your sweets is not just simple colourings but created by crushed bugs- usually cochineal insects. The same cochineal insects are also used in lipstick, eyeshadow, foundations, blushers… Vegan make up ranges are wide reaching, and usually unless it openly claims to be cruelty free and vegan (read our post here) it’s easier to assume it isn’t (there’s more than enough amazing ethical ones to choose from).
9. White Sugar – often bleached after it has been filtered through bone char. Silver spoon icing sugar contains dried egg whites
10. Luxury Candles –
Contain beeswax. Honey is widely disputed amongst vegans, so If honey isn’t your thing, soy candles are available.