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Frequently Asked "Vegan" Questions

A place to answer all those burning questions that vegans get so frequently.

Where do you get your B12?


Nutritional yeast, fortified vegan "meats" and milks, fortified cereals, tempeh, miso and sea vegetables. If you are particularly worried you can also take a vegan B12 supplement, sublingual is normally recommended.

​You can read more on B12 and the vegan diet here and here.


Where do you get your protein?

Nearly all wholefoods have protein. It's actually next to impossible to be protein deficient as long as you are getting enough calories.  I have provided a couple charts.

Also you can find even more information here.



Where do you get your calcium?

Blackstrap molasses, collard greens, tofu, fortified vegan milks, soy yogurt, turnip greens, tempeh, kale, soybeans, okra, bok choy, mustard greens, tahini, broccoli, almonds, almond butter, etc...

Click here for more information.

Brands to avoid... those that tend to trick you with claims of being cruelty-free:

  • Avon (sells in China)

  • Bath and Body Works (third-party testers) 

  • Benefit Cosmetics (sells in China) 

  • Burt's Bees (owned by Clorox + sells in China) 

  • Clarins (sells in China)

  • Coty (sells in China)

  • Dermalogica (owned by Unilever)

  • Ecover (owned by SC Johnson) 

  • EOS (Evolution of Smooth) (sells in China)

  • Estee Lauder (sells in China) 

Owned by Estee Lauder:

  1. M•A•C

  2. Bumble and bumble

  3. Clinique

  4. Bobbi Brown

  5. Smashbox

  6. Origins

  7. Aveda

  • Jurlique (sells in China)

  • L'Occitane (sells in China)

  • L'Oreal: (tests ingredients and sells in China) 

Brands owned by L'Oreal:

  1. Lancôme

  2. Yves Saint Laurent

  3. Urban Decay

  4. PureOlogy

  5. NYX

  • Make Up For Ever (sells in China) 

  • Mary Kay (sells in China) 

  • Method (owned by SC Johnson)  

  • Mrs. Meyers (owned by SC Johnson)

  • Nivea (third-party testing) 

  • Revlon (third-party testers and sells in China) 

  • Schmidt's Naturals (owned by Unilever)

  • Sephora brand (sells in China)

  • Shiseido (sells in China) 

Owned by Shiseido:

  1. Bare Escentuals and Bare Minerals

  2. NARS Cosmetics

  • Seventh Generation (owned by Unilever)

  • Simple skincare (owned by Unilever)

  • Stila Cosmetics (sells in China)

  • St. Ives (owned by Unilever)

  • Tarte (owned by KOSE)

  • The Caldrea Company (owned by SC Johnson)

  • Tom's of Maine (owned by Colgate)

  • TRESemme (owned by Unilever)

  • Yves Rocher (sells in China)

  • Organix (OGX) (sells in China)

  • EOS (sells in China)

  • Younique (ingredients most likely tested)

  • Wet N Wild (sells in China)



What are some common animal-ingredients to avoid in beauty products?
  • Albumen: Usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent.

  • Allantoin: May be derived from uric acid from cows or other mammals.

  • Arachidonic Acid: A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that is found in liver, brain, glands, and fat of animals and humans. Generally isolated from animal liver.

  • Beeswax (also known as: Apic cerana, Apis Mel, Apis mellifera, Apis Mellifica, Bees Wax, Bleached Beeswax, Cera Alba, Cera de Abejas, Cera Flava, Cire d'Abeille, Cire d'Abeille Blanche, Cire d'Abeille Blanchie, Cire d'Abeille Jaune, Cire Blanche, Cire Jaune, White Beeswax, White Wax, Yellow Beeswax, Yellow Wax.) Beeswax is a product made from the honeycomb of the honeybee and other bees.

  • Carmine (also known as: Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120)– Carmine is a red dye made from crushed scale insects, typically cochineal or Polish cochineal insects. This dye is used in a wide variety of products, from cheese to paints, and people are often unaware of its use, due to the fact that labeling laws do not usually require its disclosure.

  • Collagen: Usually derived from animal tissue.

  • Cystine: An amino acid found in urine and horsehair.

  • Elastin (also known as: ELN and tropoelastin)Elastin is a protein in connective tissue that is elastic and allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting.

  • Gelatine: Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water.

  • Glycerine: A by-product of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat).

  • Hyaluronic acid (also known as: Acide Hyaluronique, Ácido Hialurónico, Glycoaminoglycan, Glycoaminoglycane, Hyaluran, Hyaluronan, Hyaluronate de Sodium, Hyaluronate Sodium, Hylan, Sodium Hyaluronate.)A viscous fluid carbohydrate present in connective tissue, synovial fluid, and the humors of the eye.

  • Keratin: Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals.

  • Lactic Acid: Found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation.

  • Lactose/Lactalbumin (also known as: Lactose, lactosum, O-ß-D-Galactopyranosyl-A-D-Glucopyranose, Laktose )– is a disaccharide sugar that is found most notably in milk and is formed from galactose and glucose.

  • Lanolin (also known as: wool grease, wool wax, amerchol, aloholes lanae, anyhydrous lanolin and adeps lanae anhydrous.)– A yellowish-white wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep to coat wool. Lanolin is composed of esters and polyesters of almost seventy alcohols and fatty acids.

  • Lard– Fat from the abdomen of a pig that is rendered and clarified for use in cooking.

  • Lecithin: Waxy substance found in nervous tissue of all living organisms. But, frequently obtained for commercial purposes from eggs and soybeans.

  • Lipids: Fat and fat-like substances that are found in animals and plants.

  • Myristic Acid: A type of acid found in most animal and vegetable fats.

  • Oleic Acid: Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats and oils. Usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow.

  • Pearl Essence-- a lustrous, silvery-white substance obtained from the scales of certain fishes or derived synthetically, as from mercuric chloride: used chiefly in the manufacture of simulated pearls and as a pigment in lacquer.

  • Progesterone: A steroid hormone used in some anti-wrinkle face creams.

  • Propolis (also known as: Acide de Cire d'Abeille, Baume de Propolis, Bee Glue, Bee Propolis, Beeswax Acid, Cire d'Abeille Synthétique, Cire de Propolis, Colle d'Abeille, Hive Dross, Pénicilline Russe, Propóleos, Propolis Balsam, Propolis Cera, Propolis d'Abeille, Propolis Resin, Propolis Wax, Résine de Propolis, Russian Penicillin, Synthetic Beeswax.)is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources.

  • Silk derivitives– A fine lustrous fiber composed mainly of fibroin and produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons, especially the strong, elastic, fibrous secretion of silkworms used to make thread and fabric.

  • Stearic Acid: Fat obtained from cows and sheep. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs.

  • Squalaneis a natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes primarily from shark liver oil.

  • Tallow– A hard fatty substance made from rendered animal fat.

  • Vitamin A: Can come from fish liver oil (e.g. shark liver oil), egg yolk, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics.




What makes some sugar non-vegan?


A lot of white sugar is unfortunately processed using bonechar, also known as, a bone charcoal filter. This is literally means they are using charred animal bones to process something that is otherwise vegan, yuck! It gives the sugar the white colour you see. There are many alternatives now to this process, yet some companies still use this old fashioned method of whitening their sugar. The only sure fire way to make sure you get vegan sugar is to call companies and ask them their method, you can also double check websites first, as some companies will clearly state one way or the other their processing method. I also have a list of sugar companies, as well as sugarey sweets on here. You should also remember that depending on where you live, some places no longer use this, European and Australian places for example have banned the use of bonechar filters in many areas but if the products are imported, you still have to worry. Also keep in mind that beet sugar and organic sugar is always vegan-friendly.


What is wrong with wool?


I realize that many people look at wool and think "well it didn't hurt the animal, so what's the harm?" Firstly, we are looking at the objectification of an animal. Animal abuse is not the only problem, simply using an animal to profit and use for your own amusement is the problem. Taking a sentient creature and turning it into essenstially an object of slavery is what's wrong. But on top of simply the use of the animal, the wool industry is just like any other industry out there now. Many wool farms use sheep only until their productivity slows down and then they send them to the meat industry for slaughter.


Also as said by "The Gentle World" "One might also mistakenly believe that a sheep needs to be shorn, but the reality is more complicated. Undomesticated sheep produce only the amount of wool that they need to survive in their climate. Again, as we have bred chickens and pigs to grow so large that their legs can no longer support them, we have used genetic engineering to manipulate the sheep’s wool production to meet our designs.Today’s domesticated sheep will overproduce wool in the abundance that is required to support the industry. We have, in effect, turned the sheep’s body against the sheep."


The practice of shearing the sheep has also become a problem as with all industrialized farming, they do not care about the animal. They simply want to do the job as quick as possible which in many circumstances means many sheep end up with large infected wounds which remain untreated.


Finally, another controversial technique is known as Mulesing, "Mulesing involves the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech (buttocks) of a sheep to prevent flystrike (myiasis). It is a common practice in Australia as a way to reduce the incidence of flystrike, particularly on highly wrinkled Merino sheep." This is normally done without anestesia, leaving sore open wounds.


Sheep aren't the only ones affected, cashmere is derived from goats, and Angora from rabbits.


Why is honey and beeswax not vegan?


Short answer: Veganism mean not using, consuming, wearing, etc. anything that comes from an animal. Honey (and beeswax) comes from a bee, a bee is an animal. We have no more right to take their honey which they produce for themselves than we do talking milk from a cow.


Long answer: Check out Gentle World and their awesome article.

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