If you’ve recently transitioned into the meat-free, dairy-free lifestyle, you may be curious about which of your household staples adhere to your newfound veganism. Certain foods will not be vegan, but what about the other items in your house that you use every day?
Animal products and byproducts can be found in the most unlikely places, and as a vegan, you’ll want to look for eco-friendly, plant-based alternatives. Anything made from animals, including the items on this list, can be avoided pretty easily or swapped out with a different product. Once you know what to look out for, you can start making changes that fit your vegan lifestyle.
As surprising as it may seem, most mattresses are not traditionally vegan. The inside of the bed may contain wool, feathers, or treatment chemicals that undergo animal testing.
Fortunately, organic mattresses on the market, made by companies like these, are aiming to be completely vegan-friendly by using all-natural plant-based materials. Making this bedding swap could help you sleep at night in more ways than one.
We know plastic bags are not suitable for the environment or the animals that live in it. However, these non-biodegradable materials are also not vegan-friendly because of the materials they’re made of. The coating on the outside of the bag, necessary for preventing static, is often made from animal fat. Use a reusable cloth bag instead when you’re shopping to keep your grocery trips vegan.
Your makeup removers
Makeup removers contain many chemicals, but they are not vegan because of the animal byproducts they contain. Like many kinds of makeup, makeup removers contain an excretion found in insects called lanolin. Lipstick may also contain lanolin. Look for products with the word “vegan” somewhere on the label for a guaranteed animal-friendly routine.
Gelatin is found in the kitchens and bathrooms of homes everywhere. It is made entirely from the boiled bones and ligaments of animals.
When you use gelatin in products like nail polish, that is what gives you that smooth application. You can also find gelatin in some cooking products and foods like marshmallows.
All of your LCD screens
LCD screens surprisingly contain an animal byproduct. Animal cholesterol is found inside LCD screens like the ones on your TV, computer, phone, and tablets.
Not all fabric softener contains an animal byproduct, but name brand brands like Downy do. For instance, the ingredient to watch for is dehydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride. This long string of dense jargon essentially means animal tallow or animal fat is an ingredient in the fabric softener.
There are fabric softeners that do not contain this ingredient, so be sure to look at the back of the bottle before you purchase to determine if it is the right brand for you.
Depending on the material of your clothes, you may be surprised to learn some of your favorite sweaters are not vegan. Materials like wool, silk, and leather are not vegan since they are animal byproducts.
Opting for faux leather or cotton is an excellent choice to be more vegan-friendly, but you might want to be aware that those options may be heavily treated with chemicals. Many clothing brands, even mainstream ones like H&M, are starting to make more clothes out of organic cotton or eco-friendly fabrics like Tencel, so keep an eye out for those.
Before you go
Consistent and reliable research is the best way to become a vegan without any animal byproduct mishaps. Continue on your vegan journey with this new knowledge and keep researching until you find the best balance for you.