Non Vegan Ingredients to Avoid

Whether you're a new vegan or a vegan veteran, keeping track of no-no ingredients can be incredibly difficult.  Friends and family, from longer term vegans all the way to new vegetarians, have been lamenting hidden animal ingredients popping up all over the place in the foods they used to enjoy with a clean conscience.  That's why I'm creating this handy guide!  Pin or bookmark it so that you can come back and use it as a reference while shopping, making your life that much easier.  These ingredients may be found in food, personal care products, clothing, household products, and more.  Remember:  no one is perfect and it's impossible to successfully avoid all of these ingredients 100% of the time.  Don't beat yourself up or get too caught up in the purity of it all and just do your best!

Pin now, reference later!  A great resource for new or experienced vegans and vegetarians, or anyone who would like to reduce the amount of animal products they consume!  An awesome list of non-vegan ingredients from


  • Adrenaline - derived from the adrenal glands of pigs, cows, or sheep.
  • Albumen/Albumin - derived from eggs.
  • Allantoin (also Alcloxa and Aldioxa) - derived from cow urine.
  • Alligator Skin 
  • Alpha-Hydroxy Acids - may be lactic acid, which can be animal derived.
  • Ambergris - derived from whale intestines.
  • Amino Acids (alanine,  - may be animal derived.
  • Angora - hair from rabbits or goats.
  • Animals Fats and Oils
  • Animal Hair
  • Arachidonic Acid - derived from the liver, brain, glands, and fat of animals.
  • Arachidyl Proprionate - may be derived from animal fat.


  • Bee Pollen
  • Bee Products
  • Beeswax
  • Beta Carotene - may be derived from animal sources.
  • Biotin, Vitamin H, and Vitamin B Factor - found in every living cell, often derived from milk or yeast.
  • Blood
  • Boar Bristles - boar hair.
  • Bone Char - animal bone ash.
  • Bone Meal - crushed or ground animal bones.
  • Butter, Artificial Butter, Artificial Butter Flavour, Butter Extract, Butter Fat, Butter Flavoured Oil, Butter Solids, Dairy Butter, Natural Butter, Natural Butter Flavour, Whipped Butter
  • Buttermilk, Buttermilk Blend, Buttermilk Solids


  • Calfskin
  • Caprylamine Oxide, Capryl Betaine, Caprylic Triglyceride and Caprylic Acid - derived from cow's or goat's milk.
  • Carmine, Carminic Acid, and Cochineal - derived from crushed female cochineal insects.
  • Carotene and Provitamin A - may be derived from animal sources.
  • Casein, Caseinate, and Sodium Caseinate - milk protein.
  • Cashmere - wool of the Kashmir goat.
  • Castor and Castoreum - may be derived from muskrat and beaver genitals. (Synthetics widely used.)
  • Catgut - derived from the intestines of sheep, horses, and other animals.
  • Cera Flava - derived from bees.
  • Cerebrosides - may be derived from the brains of animals.
  • Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate - may be derived from sperm whales and dolphins. (Synthetics widely used.)
  • Cheese, Cheese Flavour (artificial and natural), Imitation Cheese
  • Chitosan - derived from the shells of crustaceans.
  • Cholesterol - derived from animal fat, nerve tissue, animal nerve tissue, egg yolks, and blood.
  • Civet - derived from a gland near the genitals of civet cats.
  • Collagen - usually derived from animal tissue.
  • Colours and Dyes - may be of animal origin.
  • Confectioner's Glaze - contains approximately 35% shellac (see below).
  • Cortisone, Hydrocortisone, and Corticosteroid - may be derived from the adrenal glands of animals. (Synthetics widely used.)
  • Cream, Whipped Cream
  • Curds
  • Custard
  • Cysteine, L-Form - may be derived from animal hair.
  • Cystine - an amino acid found in urine and horsehair.


  • Dairy, Dairy Product, Dairy Product Solids
  • Down - goose or duck insulating feathers.
  • Duodenum Substances - derived from the digestive tracts of cows and pigs.


  • Eggs
  • Egg Protein
  • Elastin - derived from the neck ligaments and aortas of cows.
  • Emu Oil - derived from factory-farmed emu.
  • Estrogen and Estradiol - derived from the urine of a pregnant mare.


  • Fats and Fatty Acids - derived from animals.
  • Feathers - plucked from birds.
  • Fish Oil, Fish Liver Oil, and Cod Liver Oil - derived from marine animals.
  • Fish Scales
  • Fur


  • Gelatin, Gel, and Hide Glue - protein derived from the skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones of cows and pigs.
  • Ghee - a form of butter used in Indian cooking
  • Glycerin, Glycerol, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, Polyglycerol, and Glycerides - normally derived from animal fat.
  • Guanine - derived from the scales of fish.


  • Half & Half
  • Honey and Honeycomb
  • Horsehair
  • Hyaluronic Acid - can be derived from umbilical cords and the fluids around the joints of animals.
  • Hydrolyzed Animal Protein - derived from animals.


  • Insulin - derived from hog pancreas.
  • Isinglass - a form of gelatine derived from fish bladders.


  • Kefir - made using milk.
  • Keratin - protein derived from ground-up horns, hooves, feather, quills, and hair or animals.


  • Lactic Acid - can be derived from blood and muscle tissue.
  • Lactose, Galactose, Lactate Solids, Lactic Yeast, Lactic Monohydrate, Lactoferrin, Lactoglobulin, Lactulose, Lactalbumin, Lactalbumin Phosphate - derived from the milk of mammals.
  • Lanolin, Laneth, Lanogene, Lonolin Acids, Wool Fat, Wool Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Lanosterols, Isopropyl Lanolate, Cholesterin, Aliphatic Alcohol, and Amerchol L101 - extracted from sheep's wool.
  • Lard - fat derived from hog abdomens.
  • Leather
  • Lecithin and Choline Bitartrate- often obtained from eggs and soybeans.
  • Linoleic Acid - an essential fatty acid derived from fatty acids.
  • Lipase - derived from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs.
  • Lipids, Lipoids - derived from animals and plants.


  • Marine Oil - derived from fish and marine mammals.
  • Methionine - usually derived from eggs and milk.
  • Milk, Acidophilus Milk, Cultured Milk, Condensed Milk, Dried Milk, Dry Milk Solids (DMS), Evaporated Milk, Lactose-Free Milk, Malted Milk, Milk Derivative, Milk Powder, Milk Protein, Milk Solids, Pasteurized Milk, Powdered Milk, Sour Milk
  • Mink Oil - derived from minks.
  • Monoglycerides and Diglycerides - derived from animal fat.
  • Musk Oil - secretion derived from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals.
  • Myristic Acid, Myristyls, and Myristal Ether Sulfate - occassionally derived from animals.


  • Natural Sources - can come from plant or animal sources.
  • Nisin, Nisin Preparation - derived from milk.
  • Nougat - often contains egg and honey.
  • Nucleic Acids - derived from the cells of plants or animals.


  • Octyl Dodecanol - derived from animal sources.
  • Oleic Acid - obtained from animal or vegetable fats.
  • Oleyl Alcohol, Ocenol, Oleths, Oleyls - derived from fish.


  • Palmitic Acid, Palmitamide, Palmitamine, Palmitate - commonly derived from palm oil, but also from animal sources.
  • Panthenol, Dexpanthenol, Vitamin B-Complex Factor, Provitamin B-5, Panthenyl - can come from animal, plant, or synthetic sources.
  • Pepsin - derived from hog stomachs.
  • Placenta - derived from the uterus of dead animals.
  • Polypeptides - derived from animal protein.
  • Polysorbates - derived from animal fatty acids.
  • Pristane - derived from the liver oil of sharks and whales.
  • Progesterone - a hormone derived from animals.
  • Propolis - derived from beehives.
  • Pudding


  • Quark - a soft cheese.


  • Recaldent - derived from milk.
  • Rennet, Rennet Casein, Rennin - enzyme derived from calves' stomachs.
  • Retinol - vitamin A derived from animals.
  • RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) - can be derived from animal or plant cells.
  • Royal Jelly - a secretion from the throat glands of bees.


  • Sable Brushes - made from the fur of sables (similar to weasels).
  • Shark Liver Oil and Squalane - derived from sharks.
  • Sheepskin
  • Shellac and Resinous Glaze - derived from insect excretions.
  • Silk and Silk Powder - obtained from silk worms.
  • Snails
  • Sour Cream, Sour Cream Solids, Imitation Sour Cream
  • Sperm Oil and Spermaceti - mostly derived from petroleum, but also derived from the heads of sperm whales and dolphins.
  • Sponge - a plant-like marine animal.
  • Stearic Acid, Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearamine Oxide, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Acetate, Dimethyl Stearamine and Isopropyl Palmitate - can be derived from cows, pigs, sheep, and cats and dogs euthanized in animal shelters.
  • Stearyl Alcohol, Sterols, Stearyl Caprylate, etc. - may be prepared from sperm whale oil.
  • Steroids and Sterols - can be derived from animal glands or plant sources.
  • Suede
  • Sugar - often refined using bone char


  • Tallow, Tallow Fatty Alcohol, Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, etc. - rendered beef fat.
  • Turtle Oil and Sea Turtle Oil - derived from the muscles and genitals of giant sea turtles.
  • Tyrosine - can be derived from milk.


  • Urea, Uric Acid  - typically synthetic, can be derived from the urine of animals and other bodily fluids.


  • Vitamin A - can come from fish liver oil, egg yolk, butter, and plant and synthetic sources.
  • Vitamin B12 - can come from animal products or bacteria cultures.
  • Vitamin D, Provitamin D-2, Ergocalciferol, Ergosterol, Vitamin D2, Calciferol, Vitamin D3 - can be derived from animal or plant sources.


  • Wax - derived from both animal and plant sources.
  • Whey, Acid Whey, Cured Whey, Delactosed Whey, Demineralized Whey, Hydrolyzed Whey, Powdered Whey, Reduced Mineral Whey, Sweet Dairy Whey, Whey Protein, Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Powder, Whey Solids - a serum from milk.
  • Wool - derived from sheep.


  • Yogurt

Notice something I missed?  Let me know in the comments and I'll add it!  I will continue to update this post as I find new ingredients that are animal-derived so that we can all work on making our lives as animal-product free as possible, together!

Until next time,
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Vegan Goodies Delivered Monthly

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