10 Everyday Items That Contain Animal Products

by | April 19, 2018

When you think of being vegan or plant based, it’s easy to know to avoid meat, eggs, dairy products, and clothing made with fur, feathers or leather. However, some of the other items on your shopping list may not be as vegan as you think they are. Animal products are slipped into so many common household items, so it’s really important to do your research before even buying fabric softener, it is shocking what everyday items in your home contain animal products.


  • Bread: As vegans, we know to look and make sure that there is no eggs, milk or butter in the bread that we purchase. But, are you looking for L-cysteine? It is an amino acid made from duck feathers, chicken feathers, cow horns, pig hair and even human hair (from salons in China usually), the product gets cooked into the bread to help speed up raising/cooking time and extend shelf life.
  • Fabric Softener: Be on the lookout for fabric softeners that contain dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride. It is derived from cattle, sheep and/or horse fat boiled down and mixed with ammonium. This fat is what coats your bath towels and clothes giving them that ‘super soft’ feel.
  • Plastic Bags: Hopefully by now everyone has jumped on the reusable bag bandwagon, and if not, get with the times!! These plastic bags just keep getting worse. Also made from cow, pig, sheep or horse, their fat is used to help give the plastic bags that slick feel.
  • Toothpaste: You know that thick texture that makes up your toothpaste? That is most likely glycerin, which is derived from animal fat. It is less expensive that using a plant based form, but 1000X more disgusting.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Vitamin B, amino acids, panthenol and even the every so popular keratin are derived from animals such cows, pigs, horses (their fat, horns, hooves and hair) and even euthanized household pets.
  • Crayons: You know that familiar crayon smell? Well, that is processed beef fat (tallow) and unfortunately it is very difficult to find completely vegan crayons. There are some made with beeswax, and vegan brands are often made from plastic, although rumor has it there is a new soy based crayon out there by Prang.
  • Refined Sugar: Includes white sugar, brown sugar, confectioners sugar is filtered and bleached through bone char from cattle. Yes, even the brown sugar is bleached first through the animal bones, and then has molasses added to it.
  • Nail Polish: Ever wonder what gives nail polish that nice shiny look? Known as ‘pearl essence’ in the beauty industry, don’t be fooled by the fancy name, it’s ground fish bones!
  • Perfume: What’s giving off a bit of a musky vanilla scent would be the castoreum in your perfume. Which is derived from a beavers castor sac, located between the tail and the pelvis You will literally smell like a beavers rear end.
  • Computers: Believe it or not, computers contain stearic acid, which is taken from animal fat, in their plastic and rubber components in order to help stabilize them against heat. Although, the good news for all you Mac users, animal rights activist and Apple owner Steve Jobs was fruitarian, and so Apple tries to make a point to be as plant based as possible.



So there you have it, a scary list of 10 things you may or may not have known that contain animal products! The sad thing is, there are SO many more products that contain a wide variety of animal products, this post could go on and on and on. Be on the safe side whenever you are shopping, pick up items that are certified vegan and not tested on animals. Do your research before supporting animal cruelty, you vote with your dollar. You might be spending a little bit extra on something that has been certified vegan and cruelty free, but you are contributing to a kinder planet by doing so. People should be repulsed at the horrible use of these animal products in their everyday items, together we can make veganism the norm!


I grew up on the West Coast of Canada and currently live in Northern California with my amazing husband and our beautiful vegan daughter. I love researching all of the amazing benefits that go hand in hand with being plant based, so I was thrilled to find Raise Vegan and become an active writer for this inspiring team. When I’m not writing for Raise Vegan, you can find me on Instagram!


2 Responses to “10 Everyday Items That Contain Animal Products”

  1. A Vegan in the Making - Press on Passion
    September 21st, 2018 @ 6:44 pm

    […] will also be taking a closer look at those foods that have animal products lurking in them, such as bread, candy etc. I will try to find foods that can replace them so that my body will have all the […]

  2. The History of Vegetarianism | Superprof
    November 15th, 2019 @ 4:00 am

    […] for every person, but the idea is clear, people are trying to limit their consumption of animals or animal products and try to live off a more natural […]

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