The Flaming Vegan

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25 Things You May Have Thought Were Vegan
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25 Things You May Have Thought Were Vegan

After being vegetarian for quite a few years and vegan for around 3 now, I have researched my butt off and have become aware of many things that aren't vegan, even if they may seem to be. However, upon further research, there are a few things in this list that I wasn't aware of, or didn't even think about - Such as black tattoo dyes and certain "vegetarian foods", which aren't vegetarian at all.

I know it can be overwhelming sometimes, but don't be too hard on yourself if you are feeling a little lost with things that are vegan/not vegan. If you are new to it all, just go easy and do what you can and you'll gradually learn more and more and then you'll eventually not have to think about it so much, since you'll already know what you can eat and what you may want to avoid. :)

Hopefully you will all learn at least one knew fact from this list! Please please, comment if you have any additional things that I haven't mentioned in this post!

Things that Aren't (always) Vegan:

  1. Worcestershire SauceAnchovies, however there are vegan brands
  2. Marshmallows - Gelatin, there are vegan brands though, thank goodness!)
  3. AltoidsGelatin
  4. White Sugar - Not all sugar is processed using bone char, but some still are. Your body really doesn't need white sugar, so you're better finding a healthier sweetener anyway :)
  5. Some Beers/Wines - Some beers (Guiness) and wines are clarified using gelatin, isinglass (fish bladders), bone marrow, casein… Here is a list of which alcoholic beverages are vegan and which are not: (Yay! My fave beer (Grolsch) is vegan friendly!...phew!) 
  6. Jello/Jelly - Gelatin
  7. Frosted Mini Wheats - Contains gelatin, but the Kashi brand is gelatin-free!
  8. Apple Juice - Some apple juices are clarified using the bladder of fish, isinglass
  9. Some jams - Some contain gelatin
  10. Certain gummy candies - gelatin
  11. Paintballs - Apparently most contain gelatin
  12. Tattoo ink - While there are some plant-based dyes, a lot of the black inks are made from charcoal made by burning animal bones. Who knew? I didn’t.
  13. Galaxy Brand Veggie Slices – Not vegan or dairy free. What. 
  14. Red Dyes – Many red dyes are coloured using the scales of tiny insects (Can be listed in the ingredients as Natural Red #4)
  15. Seasoned/BBQ-flavoured chips/crisps - Many contain traces of milk and/or animal fat 
  16. Non-dairy Creamer – Contains caseinate, which is derived from milk. 
  17. Dry-roasted Peanuts - At least the Planters kind, contains gelatin
  18. MorningStar Veggie “Sausage” Patties – traces of dairy 
  19. Certain Canned vegetable soups – can be made with beef stock.
  20. Certain Orange Juice brands – Fish oil and lanolin. 
  21. Dryer Sheets/Detergents – Many dryer sheet brands/cleaners aren’t vegan. 
  22. Some Vitamins/Supplements – Many kinds contain animal bi-products, especially in the capsules/casings. 
  23. Some chewing gums – Animal-derived glycerin, not to mention aspartame. Ick.
  24. Soda/Cola – Many contain insect-derived dyes and other animal bi-products. 
  25. Minute Maid Grapefruit Juice – insect-derived dyes.  


And on the other end… here is an awesome list of foods that ARE vegan that you may not have been aware of!  


I hope something in there was helpful! :)

Ciao, thanks for reading my dears!


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  1. Granny Smith
    Granny Smith
    This is very good to know. I knew a lot of these items but there is a few on your list that I had no idea about before. I guess it is because I never buy them so never thought about them being vegan or non vegan. Thank you for sharing
    1. Clare
      My pleasure! I was a bit surprised by a couple of things too. It's crazy where animal bi-products pop up. ;\ Thanks for reading! --Clare
  2. sheljc
    sugar free altoids are still gelatin free as far as i know. :)
    1. Clare
      ah yes, looks like you're right! Looks like a couple may use insect-derived dyes though. There are some xylitol-based mints out there that taste somewhat similar to altoids. :)
  3. Julie Sinclair
    Julie Sinclair
    This is an interesting list you have created here. I need to inform my daughter to stop buying some of these items for the grand children. My grandson can eat a box of frosted mini wheats in one sitting. This is a must to take away from him now. Voted for you and hope to find out a lot more information in the days to come
    1. Clare
      I'm glad you were able to learn something new in this post, Julie! I had only just realized frosted mini wheats contained gelatine. Luckily there are vegan brands that have a very similar taste.
  4. Jose Rodriguez
    Interesting list.
    1. Clare
      Thanks for checking out my latest post x --Clare :)
  5. Arvi Kuld
    Enjoy your blog
    1. Clare
      Many thanks for reading! x --Clare :)
  6. pftsusan
    Educational list. Voted.
    1. Clare
      Thanks very much! :) --Clare
  7. alorinna
    The Morningstar Farms veggie sausage patties (and most of their products) have egg whites.
  8. Veganara
    Voted. Great informational blog, thanks for this. Some of the products are very surprising. I can assure you of one of my favourite foods which is definitely vegan though - nuts! I write about them in my latest blog, I'm Nuts about Nuts! :-)
  9. Zoe Watson
    Very interesting and informative
  10. Tonya Kubo
    Tonya Kubo
    My surprising find was that Cool-Whip, the original "non-dairy" topping now contains milk-derived ingredients.
    1. Clare
      Oh, that's unfortunate, but not surprising. ;/ I haven't been able to find a vegan whip topping, so I've been making my own out of coconut milk lately.
  11. janetvande
    What is in dryer sheets that isn't vegan?
    1. Clare
      Certain brands contain animal-derived gelatin and some are tested on animals. You can find plenty of vegan dryer sheets though.
  12. bsowell7
    I admit, none of those are surprising, however, I am very sad about the Morning Star sausages because they are supremely delicious. :(
  13. Flagpolefreak
    over 80% of coconuts are picked by monkeys (actually look it up) and these companies are sold to companies that use coconuts indiscriminately so it's impossible to know what ones are. The macaques can pick around 50,000 coconuts a day while man can only pick a couple hundred. All Californian almonds (as well as tens of other fruits and veg) are pollinated by forcibly migrating bee colonies and causes ccs. Some other fruits and veg pollinated by forcable migration include: apples, apricots, artichoke, asparagus, avocados, beans, beets, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cashews, cauliflower, celery, cherries, chives, citrus, coconuts, coriander, cranberries, cucumbers, currants, dates, eggplant, endive, figs, gherkins, gooseberries, grapefruit, green peppers, guava, kiwi fruit, leeks, lettuce, macadamia nuts, mangoes, muskmelon, nectarines, okra, olives, onions, oranges, papaya, parsnips,passion fruit, peaches, peanuts, pears, persimmons, plums, pomegranates, prunes, pumpkin, quinces, radishes, raspberries, rutabaga, soybean-based Soylent-Green extruded food-like products, squash, strawberries, turnips, watermelon, most the spices on your spice rack as well and there are some I forgot. All palm oils (which are in ALL industrial vegan butters and well over half of all vegan products) according to the WWF is one of the leading causes of animal cruelty, not only stripping thousands of animals such as the Sumerian tiger and orangutan of their homes and lives, but also has a huge contributor to the bush meat trade. If you're not eating local you're essentially hurting just as many animals as any meat eater. Veganism is just as profitable as any other organization and these venture capitalists are just after you money, they do not care about your morals in the slightest. "Vegan": today is just a label on a package containing ingredients no different from any others. Just in smaller quantities. Also gelatin and palm oils are also in A LOT of makeup and other toiletries. Most makeup brushes are made out of goat and other animal hairs too.
    1. Veganara
      Why do you come on a vegan website just to troll us Flagpolefreak? Because I am fairly sure that is the only point of your comment , since it is so negative and disparaging. Yes, we vegans do know we are living in mostly non-vegan world, so we just have to do the best we can, damage limitation, as it were, since we can't guarantee everything we eat or use is completely vegan. We are still doing a lot less harm than those who just don't care, and are quite happy to just exploit the planet and all other species mercilessly. That is why we follow this vegan ethos: so we can promote non-animal alternatives as much as possible, so that in the future we can hopefully have less and less exploitation. We are taking a long-term view, not expecting to change everything overnight. And I think you will find that a lot of vegans DO already eat locally-sourced food or grow their own, make their own things, re-use etc. If I were you Clare, I think I would just delete this comment on your very informative article, as it serves no purpose - it is just sheer negativity, trying to bring us down. If you don't like vegans, Flagpolefreak, I suggest you stay off vegan websites.
      1. Flagpolefreak
        Who said I wasn't a vegan? You're exactly the kind of person I'm talking about. Non vegan vegans who pick and choose what animals they harm so they can feel good about themselves at the end of the day because they didn't take the knife to their throat. But if you think it's some kind of joke, take a second and do your research. If you're consuming palm oils you are full stop a sham of a vegan because you are contribute to the slaughter and loss of environment for thousands, if not millions of animals. But i guess when the animals are being used as slaves and dying half way across the planet.. then it doesn't concern you? I have no problem with other vegans, I just don't like hypocrites.
      2. Flagpolefreak
        How about instead of picking and choosing what facts to follow you do some research and practice what you preach.
      3. Flagpolefreak
        When you say "Killing mercilessly" I guess this isn't what you mean then? "There are over 300,000 different animals found throughout the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra, many of which are injured, killed and displaced during deforestation. In addition, palm oil development increases accessibility of animals to poachers and wildlife smugglers who capture and sell wildlife as pets, use them for medicinal purposes or kill them for their body parts. The destruction of rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra is therefore not only a conservation emergency, but a major animal welfare crisis as well. Wildlife such as orangutans have been found buried alive, killed from machete attacks, guns and other weaponry. Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades. This either occurs during the deforestation process, or after the animal enters a village or existing palm oil plantation in search of food. Mother orangutans are also often killed by poachers and have their babies taken to be sold or kept as pets, or used for entertainment in wildlife tourism parks in countries such as Thailand and Bali. Other megafauna that suffer as a result of this development include species like the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard and Proboscis Monkey. Road networks that are constructed to allow palm oil plantation workers and equipment access to the forest also increase accessibility of these areas to poachers that are looking for these kinds of valuable animals. This allows poachers to comfortably drive to an area to sit and wait for their target where previously they may have had to trek through inaccessible areas of forest. "
        1. Flagpolefreak
          If you spend an hour you'll find everything else i said was true. I didn't say veganism was a sham, I said we need to start eating locally because consumerism is a sham. Saying you'll be a vegan but environmentalism is too hard, is almost literally lighting a forest on fire and saving a couple animals, patting yourself on the back and saying you've done a good job. It takes a lot more than taking meat our of your diet to make an actual difference. Please please please do some reading.
          1. Veganara
            Are you a vegan then? I don't think you are. Your original comment was the kind of thing we get from vegan-haters, trolling us. We are frequently accused of hypocrisy from the haters, trying to bring us down. But in this world we live in, how can we avoid being somewhat hypocritical, no matter how prinicipled we try to be? it's not about doing everything perfectly, because you just can't, no one can. It's about just doing the best you reasonably can. I don't think any of us are "patting ourselves on the backs," and gloating with self-congratulation about how wonderful we are! i am certainly not. And I have done a lot of reading and research. I bet you eat locally-sourced meat and animal products, don't you? And actually taking meat out of your diet is a very good start, better than doing nothing, better than continuing to eat it, and claiming it is "ethical" because it is local.
            1. Flagpolefreak
              If by "local meat" you mean do I forage for my own mushrooms? Then the answer is yes. No I am a promoter of growing edible gardens and eating locally because not only is it better for the environment, all living creatures, it's actually been proven to help produce a healthy gut microbiome. I pickle and preserve my foods for winter, and try to remain local with my other ingredients or at least know where they are coming from. I don't mean local meats, I mean local produce. When you outsource your food, you're outsourcing it to countries that do not have the same regulations as us. As I stated before around 80% of coconuts are picked through monkey slave labor, many vegans agree with me that foods like coconuts, figs, and almonds are anything but cruelty free. I actually had a professor (although she specialized in lemur studies) who came back to class with photos of these slave macaques. Simply ceasing meat consumption does essentially nothing, because everything you're not eating is going into the waste. You have to pair it with the knowledge of where all your other ingredients come from. If a vegan refuses to eat honey but eats almonds and figs (which are both major contributes to ccs) then you're not a vegan you're a hypocritical vegetarian. Which you're absolutely right, is a little better than eating meat. But an environmental meat eater is probably actually harming fewer animals than you if that's all you're doing. If nothing up read up on palm oils and tell your friends. It is HANDS down the WORST form of agriculture and I think it's the second major produces of gas emissions after cattle. That's not including all the other shit circling around it. I posted a link above. Take the time and give it a read through. And that's half of vegan foods. And it's not a small little "oh I try to not eat animals" This is the leading deforestation act and is on par with factory farming for damage done to animals.. actually it's probably more substantial. And honestly, I know tens of vegans who'd rather gloat about their superiority than do anything beneficial to help animals. I'd just prefer people to start looking into the companies they buy their products from because the vast majority of vegan products are anything but cruelty free. But that's because most people are still getting their information from organizations like PETA rather than the WWF.
              1. Flagpolefreak
       Another good read on palm oils and how the need for consumption is causing even more environmental damage.
              2. Veganara
                So are you vegan then? You still haven't answered the question. You have a very negative and judgmental attitude. If more people would actually stop eating meat, it would not be the whole solution, I know, but it would definitely make a difference. If you really are a vegan, you are the type who just makes life harder for other vegans. But I am done arguing with you anyway.
                1. Flagpolefreak
                  Yes I am vegan. All I did was ask you to research where you food was coming from and maybe read a few articles. You're the one literally judging me claiming I am not a vegan because I am saying you should to to eat locally. Maybe I am making it difficult for other vegans. Good! I'd rather be informed and try to help inform others correctly, rather than just another consumer hopping on the capital bandwagon.
                  1. Mushroom
                    I definitely side with you in this discussion Flagpolefreak. I had no idea that a lot of the vegan products I buy were still damaging the environment until I looked into it, via the links you posted, of course. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and making the research easier for us all here. It's hard for some people to put in all the real effort it takes to really minimize their role in damaging our Earth....but I can't say I'm one of those people. Thanks for the enlightenment, I will now also do my own research on all the products I buy and the people behind them. Oh...and starting my own veggie garden. The More You Know~


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