I thought it might be interesting to compile a list of the places vegans shop for food, clothes and beauty products, and how to deal with the uncertainties of purchasing an unknown item or one we aren’t sure if it is vegan or not.
1- Shop to cook from scratch. If you just don’t want to bother reading labels, are not yet label-savvy, or don’t have enough time, buy your fruits and vegetables fresh, dried or frozen. Try to stay away from canned goods as they usually have a high salt and/or preservative content, except in natural and organic food stores.
2- Read labels. And be careful; a product labelled ‘dairy-free’ is not necessarily vegan. Look for the ‘V’ vegan symbol, or a note on the box that states that the product is vegan, vegan-friendly or free of any animal by-products. The law states that they can write ‘without dairy’ if there is no lactose, but they can use other ingredients such as whey and casein, which are both isolated milk proteins.
3- Gelatin is derived from animal bones. Learn about the different ingredients that most of us would never guess are not vegan, but that we eat on a daily basis. Several jams and jellies contain gelatin.
4- To help you make your meals from scratch, shop for tofu, grains, beans and rice. Then add vegetables, sauces and spices. Experiment in your kitchen, or look up recipes online. Nowadays, vegan recipes are fantastic and they are just great!
5- If you must have alternatives, by all means, go for it, especially for dairy, which is the one most people can’t live without. And, for those with distaste for soy milk, there are several options out there: hemp, rice, almond, oatmeal, and coconut milk are the most common ones.
6- Stick to natural and organic food stores, your organic grocery aisle, or vegetarian stores and restaurants. They all supply vegan products.
7- The local farmers’ markets are usually a great place to go as well, all the while keeping your dollars nearby - local - making it easier to build a good local economy. Most co-ops are also good for those looking not only for vegan food, but a good price as well.
8- Research which beauty products have been tested on animals. Although a line may be organic, that doesn’t mean it is vegan. Shop at stores that advertise being animal-cruelty free, such as The Body Shop, or stores that make vegan products, such as Lush.
9- There are several online stores that deliver straight to your door. Many offer a basic basket of organic fresh produce as well as most staples you may need. There are also some stores that specialise in vegan products. And, most don’t have a delivery fee if you purchase a minimum amount, which is usually the price of the basic fruit and vegetable basket.
List of some common non-vegan ingredients:
1. Gelatin – made from animal bones
2. Casein – isolated milk protein
3. Whey – isolated milk protein
4. Acetate – an aliphatic alcohol that can come from fish oil
5. Amino acids – may be either animal or plant based
6. Artificial colors – some may be animal based
7. Aspartic Acid – may be either animal or plant based
8. Benzoic Acid – may be either animal or plant based
9. Beta Carotene – may be either animal or plant based
10. Boar Bristles – used to make natural toothbrushes
11. Bone Ash – used for cleaning products and fertilizers
12. Calcium Carbonate – may be either animal or plant based
13. Calcium Phosphate – comes from animal bones
14. Castor – from beavers and muskrat genitals
15. Cetyl Alcohol – from whale and dolphin sperm
16. Cortico Steroid or Cortisone – from cattle liver
17. Diglycerides – from animal fat
18. Down – goose or duck feathers
19. Elastin – from bovines
20. Fatty Acids – often animal based
21. Gel – same as gelatin
22. Glycerin – often animal based
23. Hide Glue – same as gelatin
24. Keratin – from animal parts
25. Lactic Acid – from when milk sours
26. Lanolin – from sheep
27. Lipids – fat from both animals and plants
28. Musk – from small Asian hornless deer
29. Natural Flavour – can be animal
30. Oleic Acid – may be either animal or plant based
31. Polyglycerol – same as glycerine
32. Royal Jelly – from bees
33. Shellac – from insects
34. Steroid – alcohol from either animals or plants
35. Tallow – beef or sheep fat
36. Urea or Uric Acid – from urine
37. Vitamins (many – A, B, B5, B12, etc.) – either plant or animal based.
For the full list, click here: http://www.veganwolf.com/animal_ingredients.htm
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