watch out!

When you go vegan, you have to be prepared to do a lot of label reading. It will get easier as time goes on and you become more familiar with the foods you like. But at the start you'll want to check everything thrice to make sure there are no nasties in it - especially when you buy meat substitues as these look and taste so realistic you might panic you picked up the wrong packet every now and then! What most people don't know is what to look out for on these labels.

Before you go vegan, you think that anything that doesn't have dairy products or eggs in it is vegan. This isn't the case. For some bizarre reason, manufacturers put a load of weird and horrible animal products in lots of food to help with the creation process, taste and colour. Lots of cosmetics also use non-vegan ingredients so always check your makeup too. If something says vegan on the box, you're good to go! But if it doesn't, just have a double check it doesn't contain any of these...


A protein found in milk


A sugar found in milk


A powder that comes from milk that is found in lots of products, such as bread, crisps & baked good


Found in the skin, bones and tissue of animals which is usually added to cosmetic products


Found in the neck ligaments and aorta of cows which is usually added to cosmetic products


Also found in the skin, bones and tissue of animals


Created through boiling the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows and pigs which is usually used in jelly sweets, cakes and vitamins


This is an alternative to gelatine made from clarified meat or vegetable stock and gelatine


A animal fat


Comes from the bodies of small female insects


Food made by bees, for bees


Bees use this to construct their hives

royal jelly

The discharge of a honeybee's throat gland

vitamin d3

Fish liver oil which is usually found in body care products and vitamins


A protein in eggs


Found in dried swim bladders of fish usually used to make wine and beer clear

cod liver oil

Derived from cod fish liver usually used in body care products and vitamins


Found in pigs' stomachs usually used for vitamins


Cochineal & Carmine which are created by crushed insects to create a red food colouring


Edible animal bone phosphate


An inosinate produced from meat


Beeswax which is produced by honeybees


Shellac which is derived from beetles


Ianolin which is excreted by sheep skin and extracted from sheep wool


Lactitol which is made by milk sugar


Lysozyme which is derived from eggs

Please remember that trying to constantly check for all of these ingredients in all of the products you buy is incredibly difficult. It's absolutely fine for you to make mistakes! Please don't feel too guilty if you accidentally eat something containing one of these ingredients - I guarantee we've all done it, no matter how long we've been vegan!

It's such a shame that so many products contain these ingredients which is unnecessary, but hopefully in the future there will be a reduction in the use of these animal byproducts. 

If you know of any more ingredients to watch out for, please let me know so I can add them to the list.