What Can't Vegans Eat or Use? 8 Surprising Things!


With plenty of meat-free produce and vegan alternatives on the market, opting for a vegan lifestyle has never been easier.

However, there are a number of everyday items we come into contact with all the time, which you may be surprised to find aren’t always vegan. Read on for eight things you never knew weren’t vegan. Which one shocks you the most?

1. Sugar
Made in the leaves of the sugarcane plant and stored as a sweet juice in sugar cane stalks – sugar is as natural an ingredient as they come, right? Wrong. Many cheaper sugars use bone char from slaughtered cattle to remove the colour from sugar, so that it appears crisp, white and aesthetically pleasing. Yuck!

Vegan sugar from Traidcraft

2. Lemons

Wait a minute, now you’re telling us fruit isn’t always vegan? Yes, you read that correctly. If you opt for a slice of waxed lemon to pop in your G&T, you might be surprised to hear that there’s a strong chance this lemon isn’t vegan. The coating on a waxed lemon is typically comes from shellac, which is made up of a resin secreted *shudder* by the female lac bug, found in India and Thailand, before being processed and dissolved in alcohol. Eww! Hold the lemon, we’ll just take the ice this time, thanks!

3. Toilet Roll/Kitchen Roll
Many big brands can’t guarantee that chemicals added during manufacture of their toilet and kitchen roll aren’t animal derived, meaning they cannot be classified as vegan. Traidcraft’s range of recycled kitchen and loo roll is 100% vegan.

Shop Traidcraft's vegan range online

4. Notebooks
Surely most paper is made from pulped wood, meaning notebooks can’t possibly not be vegan? You’d be forgiven for thinking this! However, the glue used to bind and stiffen the spine of many notebooks can contain gelatin, and many inks contain animal byproducts, meaning they aren’t suitable for vegans. Did you know that VENT for Change notebooks use natural resins, rather than those containing gelatin, meaning they are suitable for vegans.

5. Everyday Cards
Similar to notebooks, the everyday cards we purchase for special occasions aren’t always vegan. The moisture-activated glue used to seal the envelope often contains gelatin, a byproduct of the meat industry. You can rest assured that the cello and envelope glue used within Traidcraft’s everyday cards range is vegan.

Traidcraft vegan cards range

6. Breakfast Cereals

Living a vegan lifestyle and opting for a bowl of cereal with a splash of dairy-free milk, instead of a meaty full English breakfast… surely you’re safe? Unfortunately, not always. Some breakfast cereals, especially those with claims that they’re ‘fortified with vitamins and minerals’, cannot be classed as vegan as they may contain animal byproducts. Traidcraft’s granola and muesli are vegan.

7. Alcohol
It’s time to wind down after a busy week; are you topping up your glass with a delicious wine, or perhaps even popping the cork of a bottle of fizz? Well, if you’re vegan, we recommend you check the ingredients before you take a sip! Why isn’t all wine vegan? Isinglass, a kind of gelatin obtained from fish, is often used as a fining agent in wines, and many budget Champagne-style fizzy wines use egg whites to remove tannin particles, so that the wine is more round and soft in texture.

8. Crayons
Many art supplies, including crayons and marker pens, aren’t always vegan. Why not? Gelatin and shellac are among the main culprits making these products non-vegan. Marker dyes can also contain stearic acid, made from animal fats, most often obtained by cooking down beef remains. Gross! It is possible to obtain stearic acid from vegetables, however, it’s a more readily available and cheaper option for companies to use non-vegan sources.

Shop Traidcraft's vegan range online

Published at: 04-04-2022
Tags: Vegan What can't vegans eat or use