CONSCIOUS LIVING - 12 Things You Didn’t Know Could Be Vegan

6th June 2020

CONSCIOUS LIVING - 12 Things You Didn’t Know Could Be VeganImage by M4rtine

As more people become vegans and cut down on their meat and animal product consumption, you may have noticed more products that advertise they are vegan - products you never knew weren’t vegan in the first place or could have a vegan version.

The Vegan Society defines veganism as 'a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose'. So, if you’re just dipping your toe in the vegan waters, there’s a lot more to it than just what you eat - and nowadays there’s far more choice in what you eat. Here is a list of things you never knew could be vegan.


You might be wondering why the watch on your wrist is not vegan. Well, it comes from the way it is made. A company called Mondaine is the first Swiss watch manufacturers to produce eco-friendly watches, which are made with sustainable materials. It really depends how strict you are with your veganism just now, but these watches look good so, if you're in the market for a new one, then you may as well choose a vegan one. Plus, they make great gifts for all the vegans in your life. 


You may not be aware of the animal cruelty that exists in all types of jewellery making. Did you know that many jewellers and artists use found animals in their work such as bees and butterflies encased in resin? Then, of course, there is leather and silk used in jewellery making and not just as part of the jewellery. Many metalsmiths use leather in their workshops to actually make the jewellery. They use rawhide mallets, leather aprons, leather gloves, and finger protectors. There are many options for Vegan jewellery, but you do have to search for it to make sure. Most vegan jewellery makers and ranges will advertise the fact that they are suitable for vegans, and there are some really cute options available too. 

Ice Cream

Vegans rejoice; ice cream is back on the menu and not just any ice cream either. While there have been vegan ice cream options around for a while now, most people have said that they don't taste particularly great. However, as the popularity of veganism continues to rise, ice cream makers have had to step up, which is great news for us. You can now have Ben and Jerry’s in 15 vegan flavours including "Milk” & Cookies, Crème Brûlée Cookie, Mint Chocolate Cookie, Netflix & Chilll’d, Caramel Almond Brittle, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Caramel Cluster, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Salted ‘n Swirled and Cinnamon Buns to name a few. Then there are seven flavours of Häagen-Dazs vegan ice cream flavours, including Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle, Coconut Caramel, Mocha Chocolate Cookie, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge.

Beauty Products

Vegan beauty products are defined as products that contain no animal products or animal-derived ingredients in their creation, so that would mean no beeswax, collagen, honey, or lanolin. There are many around now, and they will be labelled and advertised accordingly, as it is a selling point. At the moment, you're still likely to have to pay a little more for the privilege of your beauty products being vegan, but if it's something close to your heart, then it's totally worth it, and the products are not just vegan, but they're also really good. 

Cleaning Products

Did you know that there is a large number of animal products found in conventional cleaning products? Common household detergents and branded cleaning products can contain as many as five to ten animal-derived ingredients such as Caprylic acid which is sourced from milk, Tallow which is rendered beef fat, Animal glycerol and stearic acid which are both animal fats, Animal lecithin which is waxy nervous tissue and Oleyl alcohols which are sourced from fish. Does that sound like something that you want to be spraying around your home? Luckily, if you want vegan cleaning products, there are plenty out there, you just need to look for them.


It’s pretty easy to find vegan alcohol, but if you want beer and wine then you'll need to do some research as they can both be processed using animal products such as isinglass, egg whites, or gelatin, but these ingredients are never listed on the labels as alcohol is exempt from the labelling requirements that other food products have. However, virtually every brand of hard liquor such as bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum—is vegan. Nearly all distilled spirits are vegan except for cream-based liqueurs and products that mention honey on the label. So it really depends on what you want to drink. If you do want to drink beer or wine, then you're probably going to have to read the labels while you're in the supermarket or do a quick Google search before you go out to see what you can get. 


Candles that are made from paraffin wax might appear to be vegan friendly. However, Paraffin wax is derived from paraffin and, ultimately, crude oil, which is vegan friendly. However, it usually requires other chemicals to make it hard enough at room temperature, and the compound of choice for many candle makers is stearic acid, which is often produced from animal fat. Soy wax is what many specialist vegan-friendly and environmentally conscious candle makers choose as it is derived from soybeans that are vegan, and as it comes from plants rather than crude oil, it is more environmentally sustainable. Again there are now plenty of choices, and some amazing scents which can make your home smell great - plus they work as fantastic presents for people too.


The most common non-vegan material used to make shoes is leather. However, you can now buy yourself a pair of vegan trainers as several major brands have added vegan footwear to their ranges. First, it was Stella McCartney with her Eclypse raised-sole trainers, and then she partnered with Adidas to remake their classic Stan Smith style in vegan leather in 2018. Other brands, such as Vans and Converse, also have many entirely vegan styles now, so you can be sure that you're still stylish as ever while sticking to your principles.

Nail Polish

As with the other products, to be vegan, nail polish means that it must have no animal-derived ingredients. The most common non-vegan ingredients to look out for in nail varnish are Carmine, Guanine, and perfumes like musk oil. Either search specifically for vegan nail polish or simply read the label when you find that perfect colour. 


Perfume lovers who are vegan must not only avoid fragrances that are made with extracts of milk, honey, leather, and beeswax, but they also need to stay away from scents, which include secretions from animals. Companies are not legally obliged to disclose what ingredients they use in their scents as they are considered “trade secret formulas” and are exempt from this rule. 


Vegan chocolate is basically any chocolate that is made without ingredients that come from animals. While in the past, you would have needed to check the ingredients, now most vegan chocolate is advertised as such. Galaxy has recently brought out some vegan chocolate, which looks delicious. There are Caramelised Hazelnut, Caramel & Sea Salt and Smooth Orange flavours and as well as the bars being animal-friendly, the packaging is also eco-friendly as its made from a compostable film packaging and wood fibre that can be composted at home which is a first for Mars in its UK product range.

Alternatively, high-quality dark chocolate is an excellent option for vegans; you’ll want to look for chocolate with a cacao content of 50% or more. The higher cacao percentage indicates a higher chocolate content.


Vegan lighting? Surely not. Well yes, it’s true, there is such a thing as vegan lighting. Of course, there is the obvious part - the material that the lampshades are made from or the manufacturing of the lamp should be animal friendly; however, did you know that the actual energy and the light that you use could be vegan? The energy industry still hides the fact that it uses animals in its energy production, but you have the right to know how your energy is made, so you can choose a supplier that fits your principles. Vegan energy means that there have been no animals or animal by-products involved in the production of electricity or gas. There are two main sources of non-vegan energy generation in the UK: anaerobic digestion (AD), and biomass and both can contain by-products of animal farming – such as factory-farmed livestock, slaughterhouse waste, fish parts, and animal slurry. Energy providers in the UK are required by Ofgem to declare the fuel mix of the energy they supply, but there’s no obligation to declare whether animals are used in its production.

This feature was sponsored by FATJOE

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