Plant Shift

love ♥ living ♥ vegan

Following a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, is about food, drink, clothes, shoes, body treatments, hair products and more. 

It's a conscious decision to think, walk and possibly, talk a better lifestyle. 

I support individuals who are thinking about making the shift, as well as, those who have already begun their plant-based journey.

Filtering by Category: Is it vegan?

How to create a cruelty-free wardrobe

Jacquelyn Lewis is the founder of The Stylish Kind. She was drawn towards independent designers who focused on fashion which put people and animals first, without compromising on style! Their ethical stance was against sweatshops, they wanted to ensure that pollution was minimal and they excluded animal products from their designs. 

As a result of being exposed to this, Jacquelyn's wardrobe became cruelty-free and sustainable.

Jacquelyn's goal is firmly established in helping others find style without harming the environment, people or other animals. Below you'll find Jacquelyn's tips on how to turn the decision to make your wardrobe cruelty-free, in to a reality. 

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Drinking Chaas for the first time in six years!

What is Chaas?

Chaas is often described as a yogurt drink. It's usually made of 4 ingredients - yogurt, water, salt and cumin. It is popular in the Indian states Gujarat and Rajasthan, where it is drunk with the main meal.

Before I shifted to a vegan diet in 2008, I used to drink Chaas quite often. Mum made her own yogurt at home and we'd make Chaas from it. However, after becoming aware of how the dairy industry works, there was no compromise. I had to shift to a vegan diet and therefore Chaas was out!

Find out how I excited I was to find a vegan alternative! 

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How I define a vegan diet

Why is it helpful to have a definition of what veganism?

I wrote this definition to create a tool to communicate what you are willing to consume, so that it's easier on you and others.

Confusion about the many terms regarding what people eat

There are loads of different terms for people to remember.

- Those who eat fish but no other meat of any sort are Pescetarians.
- If you eat chicken and no other meat, you're a Pollo vegetarian.
- If someone says they are vegan but they eat meat, fish, honey, eggs etc. i.e. the only thing they have excluded from their diet is dairy; they are not vegan. They fall under the dairy-free category.

The definition of a vegan diet

A vegan diet includes any item that has not come from a living being e.g. an animal or insect. Examples of excluded foods are honey, eggs, fish, meat and products using the milk from an animal e.g. cream, milk, cheese, yogurt, butter etc. Vegan foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, pulses and grains. Alternatives to dairy products can be made from oats, rice, soya or nuts.

A tool to help illustrate what vegans eat

A friend of mine made a chart to show the differences between what a vegan would eat and what a 'pure' vegetarian would eat. I hope you find it helpful.

Related posts

Why vegans don't consume honey
Why don't vegans eat eggs?

"The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different."

Can you use this chart to help others understand what you eat better?

Have you ever got frustrated with others not understanding what you can/can't/will/won't eat?

I recall someone telling me she was vegetarian but she ate fish. She is actually categorised as a Pescetarian!

I remember another person saying he was vegetarian but ate chicken. He is actually a Pollo vegetarian.

Then there are those who have said they're vegan but they eat meat, fish, honey, eggs etc. The only thing they have excluded from their diet is dairy. This group of people would fall under the dairy-free category.

A friend of mine created this after being repeatedly asked if he would eat fish after he told them he followed a vegan diet.

I hope it can help you in some way.

"I became a vegan the day I watched a video of a calf being born on a factory farm. The baby was dragged away from his mother before he hit the ground. The helpless calf strained its head backwards to find his mother. The mother bolted after her son and exploded into a rage when the rancher slammed the gate on her. She wailed the saddest noise I’d ever heard an animal make, and then thrashed and ...dug into the ground, burying her face in the muddy placenta. I had no idea what was happening respecting brain chemistry, animal instinct, or whatever. I just knew that this was deeply wrong. I just knew that such suffering could never be worth the taste of milk and veal. I empathized with the cow and the calf and, in so doing, my life changed."
James McWilliams

Why don't vegans eat eggs?

There's nothing wrong with eating non-fertilised eggs

One argument I came across several times was, hens produce eggs naturally. Moreover, if they're not fertilised, nothing will come of it the contents, so why not eat it?

This paints an illusion. It made me image a field where the hens are free. They go off to lay their eggs but we know they're not fertilised so we take them and there's no harm done!

But it's not like that at all.

Are eggs good for your health or not?

There's been a lot of debate about whether eggs are detrimental to good health or not. Those who want to control calorie intake, often don't eat eggs. It has been said that, people on high sugar and high carbohydrate diets, shouldn't eat eggs because there's a higher risk of suffering from many diseases.

Does the production of eggs have a negative effect on the environment?

The quotes below are from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s report, "Livestock’s Long Shadow" and the United Nations News Centre's article about the report:

Livestock now use 30 per cent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 per cent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock.

As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 per cent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.

The livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to the earth’s increasingly scarce water resources, contributing among other things to water pollution from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.

(The livestock sector) is probably the largest sectoral source of water pollution, contributing to eutrophication, "dead" zones in coastal areas, degradation of coral reefs, human health problems, emergence of antibiotic resistance and many others. The major sources of pollution are from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feedcrops, and sediments from eroded pastures.

A tight fit!

Some vegans don't eat eggs because they can't stomach the way the hens are kept. They may have a 'whole' cage to themselves but the cages are so tiny that they can't turn around or move in any way at all.

In cages so small that they can't even turn around
In cages so small that they can't even turn around

Eggs are OK because the chickens aren't in a cage!

An alternative which many vegans aren't any more comfortable with is, chickens being kept in an 'open' space which is null and void because there are so many chickens, that it's not an open space at all!

No cages but are they free and able to move?
No cages but are they free and able to move?

It would have been a chick!

Others knows that if fertilised, the consumer would be eating what could have become a chick. This is meant to be a rare occurrence but nevertheless; too high a risk for some.

No male chicks needed!

Some vegans don't want to be part of the egg producing industry because for those that do hatch, the males aren't needed. Why? Chickens don't need a male to lay an egg.

Some sources state that they are thrown in the bin and left for dead or they are ground up alive. Of course the motivation here, is to avoid 'wasting' money on sedating them. Killing them humanely isn't on the agenda.

Other information suggests that there is a huge demand for male chicks as they are used to feed reptiles, birds of prey etc. Some sources state that they are gassed and then fed to them whole.

There are many vegans who are uncomfortable with either of these scenarios and therefore they do not eat eggs.

Huge numbers of male chicks are disposed of. They're not dead.
Huge numbers of male chicks are disposed of. They're not dead.


Are there any other reasons why vegans don't use eggs?

Some people who follow a plant-based diet don't agree any animals being exploited, enslaved, trapped, stolen from, hurt and killed; possibly for being the 'wrong' gender.

Watching their efforts being taken away
Watching their efforts being taken away

Why I won't eat eggs

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I ate eggs as a vegetarian because nobody could tell me why I shouldn't. Now that I know and understand what happens within the industry, I am not willing to eat eggs.

Related posts

Why don't vegans eat honey?
How I define a plant-based diet
What about eating the eggs of hens that I look after in my home?

“We are not encouraged, on a daily basis, to pay careful attention to the animals we eat. On the contrary, the meat, dairy, and egg industries all actively encourage us to give thought to our own immediate interest (taste, for example, or cheap food) but not to the real suffering involved. They do so by deliberately withholding information and by cynically presenting us with idealized images of happy animals in beautiful landscapes, scenes of bucolic happiness that do not correspond to anything in the real world. The animals involved suffer agony because of our ignorance. The least we owe them is to lessen that ignorance.”
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Is Butter better than Margarine?

Some non-vegans seem to think about butter a lot. I say this because, after finding out I'm vegan, the majority ask; 'what do you spread on toast?' and when I say margarine; I've been faced with similar replies from people of all ages, races, gender etc. 

Well...there's a look of horror, which is followed by "don't you know that margarine is plastic?" How can you eat it? I've also received an email (several times) warning the reader about why they should not eat margarine under any circumstances!

I got a bit fed up of this, so I asked a friend of mine to write an article which differentiates the facts from the scaremongering.

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1000 year old poem about veganism

This poem defines a vegan diet.

I No Longer Steal From Nature

You are diseased in understanding and religion. Come to me, that you may hear something of sound truth.

Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up, And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals, Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught for their young, not noble ladies.

And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs; for injustice is the worst of crimes.

And spare the honey which the bees get industriously from the flowers of fragrant plants; For they did not store it that it might belong to others, Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.

I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I Perceived my way before my hair went gray!

Al-Ma’arri (973-1057), Baghdad (modern Iraq)

Source - Beautiful Vegan

Related content 

How I define a vegan diet

"Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing non-violence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable"
Gary L. Francione

A list detailing animal products alongside definitions of what they are

I had a dilemma with this post. I struggled to decide whether to publish it or not because, we're all different. Some of you will want to know the detail behind every ingredient in your food and drink. Others will be angry about the sheer number of animal derivatives that find their way into things we consume. Then there may be others who feel demotivated by the list below.

If you don't want to think about every single ingredient in the things you buy, and knowing how many there are to consider, will deflate you; then don't read on.

I am of the category that I want to know but I don't have the desire to go through what I buy in such detail, but this may change one day.

So here’s a list of animal products with definitions. It was produced by PETA.

Adrenaline. Hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep. In medicine. Alternatives: synthetics.

Alanine. (See Amino Acids.)

Albumen. In eggs, milk, muscles, blood, and many vegetable tissues and fluids. In cosmetics, albumen is usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent. May cause allergic reaction. In cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Egg whites sometimes used in "clearing" wines. Derivative: Albumin.

Albumin. (See Albumen.)

Alcloxa. (See Allantoin.)

Aldioxa. (See Allantoin.)

Aliphatic Alcohol. (See Lanolin and Vitamin A.)

Allantoin. Uric acid from cows, most mammals. Also in many plants (especially comfrey). In cosmetics (especially creams and lotions) and used in treatment of wounds and ulcers. Derivatives: Alcloxa, Aldioxa. Alternatives: extract of comfrey root, synthetics.

Alligator Skin. (See Leather.)

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids. Any one of several acids used as an exfoliant and in anti-wrinkle products. Lactic acid may be animal-derived (see Lactic Acid). Alternatives: glycolic acid, citric acid, and salicylic acid are plant- or fruit-derived.

Ambergris. From whale intestines. Used as a fixative in making perfumes and as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Alternatives: synthetic or vegetable fixatives.

Amino Acids. The building blocks of protein in all animals and plants. In cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: synthetics, plant sources.

Aminosuccinate Acid. (See Aspartic Acid.)

Angora. Hair from the Angora rabbit or goat. Used in clothing. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Animal Fats and Oils. In foods, cosmetics, etc. Highly allergenic. Alternatives: olive oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, safflower oil, etc.

Animal Hair. In some blankets, mattresses, brushes, furniture, etc. Alternatives: vegetable and synthetic fibers.

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. Used in companion animal food for nutrition and in skin creams and lotions to soothe eczema and rashes. Alternatives: synthetics, aloe vera, tea tree oil, calendula ointment.

Arachidyl Proprionate. A wax that can be from animal fat. Alternatives: peanut or vegetable oil.

Bee Pollen. Microsporic grains in seed plants gathered by bees then collected from the legs of bees. Causes allergic reactions in some people. In nutritional supplements, shampoos, toothpastes, deodorants. Alternatives: synthetics, plant amino acids, pollen collected from plants.

Bee Products. Produced by bees for their own use. Bees are selectively bred. Culled bees are killed. A cheap sugar is substituted for their stolen honey. Millions die as a result. Their legs are often torn off by pollen-collection trapdoors.

Beeswax. Honeycomb. Wax obtained from melting honeycomb with boiling water, straining it, and cooling it. From virgin bees. Very cheap and widely used. May be harmful to the skin. In lipsticks and many other cosmetics, especially face creams, lotions, mascara, eye creams and shadows, face makeup, nail whiteners, lip balms, etc. Derivatives: Cera Flava. Alternatives: paraffin, vegetable oils and fats, ceresin (aka ceresine, earth wax; made from the mineral ozokerite; replaces beeswax in cosmetics; also used to wax paper, to make polishing cloths, in dentistry for taking wax impressions, and in candle-making), carnauba wax (from the Brazilian palm tree; used in many cosmetics, including lipstick; rarely causes allergic reactions), candelilla wax (from candelilla plants; used in many cosmetics, including lipstick; also in the manufacture of rubber and phonograph records, in waterproofing and writing inks; no known toxicity), Japan wax (vegetable wax, Japan tallow; fat from the fruit of a tree grown in Japan and China).

Biotin. Vitamin H. Vitamin B Factor. In every living cell and in larger amounts in milk and yeast. Used as a texturizer in cosmetics, shampoos, and creams. Alternatives: plant sources.

Blood. From any slaughtered animal. Used as adhesive in plywood, also found in cheese-making, foam rubber, intravenous feedings, and medicines. Possibly in foods such as lecithin. Alternatives: synthetics, plant sources.

Boar Bristles. Hair from wild or captive hogs. In "natural" toothbrushes and bath and shaving brushes. Alternatives: vegetable fibers, nylon, the peelu branch or peelu gum (Asian, available in the U.S.; its juice replaces toothpaste).

Bone Char. Animal bone ash. Used in bone china and often to make sugar white. Serves as the charcoal used in aquarium filters. Alternatives: synthetic tribasic calcium phosphate.

Bone Meal. Crushed or ground animal bones. In some fertilizers. In some vitamins and supplements as a source of calcium. In toothpastes. Alternatives: plant mulch, vegetable compost, dolomite, clay, vegetarian vitamins.

Calciferol. (See Vitamin D.)

Calfskin. (See Leather.)

Caprylamine Oxide. (See Caprylic Acid.)

Capryl Betaine. (See Caprylic Acid.)

Caprylic Acid. A liquid fatty acid from cow's or goat's milk. Also from palm, coconut, and other plant oils. In perfumes, soaps. Derivatives: Caprylic Triglyceride, Caprylamine Oxide, Capryl Betaine. Alternatives: plant sources, especially coconut oil.

Caprylic Triglyceride. (See Caprylic Acid.)

Carbamide. (See Urea.)

Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid. Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Reportedly, 70,000 beetles must be killed to produce one pound of this red dye. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice (used in powders, rouges, shampoos; no known toxicity), alkanet root (from the root of this herb-like tree; used as a red dye for inks, wines, lip balms, etc.; no known toxicity; can also be combined to make a copper or blue coloring). (See Colors.)

Carminic Acid. (See Carmine.)

Carotene. Provitamin A. Beta Carotene. A pigment found in many animal tissues and in all plants. When used as an additive, typically derived from plant sources. Used as a coloring in cosmetics and in the manufacture of vitamin A.

Casein. Caseinate. Sodium Caseinate. Milk protein. In "nondairy" creamers, soy cheese, many cosmetics, hair preparations, beauty masks. Alternatives: soy protein, soy milk, and other vegetable milks.

Caseinate. (See Casein.)

Cashmere. Wool from the Kashmir goat. Used in clothing. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Castor. Castoreum. Creamy substance with strong odor, originally from muskrat and beaver genitals but now typically synthetic. Used as a fixative in perfume and incense. While some cosmetics companies continue to use animal castor, the majority do not.

Castoreum. (See Castor.)

Catgut. Tough string from the intestines of sheep, horses, etc. Used for surgical sutures. Also for stringing tennis rackets, musical instruments, etc. Alternatives: nylon and other synthetic fibers.

Cera Flava. (See Beeswax.)

Cerebrosides. Fatty acids and sugars found in the covering of nerves. May be synthetic or of animal origin. When animal-derived, may include tissue from brain. Used in moisturizers.

Cetyl Alcohol. Wax originally found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins but now most often derived from petroleum. Alternatives: vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut), synthetic spermaceti.

Cetyl Palmitate. (See Spermaceti.)

Chitosan. A fiber derived from crustacean shells. Used as a lipid binder in diet products; hair, oral, and skin-care products; antiperspirants; and deodorants. Alternatives: raspberries, yams, legumes, dried apricots, many other fruits and vegetables.

Cholesterin. (See Lanolin.)

Cholesterol. A steroid alcohol in all animal fats and oils, nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood. Can be derived from lanolin. In cosmetics, eye creams, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: solid complex alcohols (sterols) from plant sources.

Choline Bitartrate. (See Lecithin.)

Civet. Unctuous secretion painfully scraped from a gland very near the genital organs of civet cats. Used as a fixative in perfumes. Alternatives: (See alternatives to Musk.)

Cochineal. (See Carmine.)

Cod Liver Oil. (See Marine Oil.)

Collagen. Fibrous protein in vertebrates. Usually derived from animal tissue. Can't affect the skin's own collagen. An allergen. Alternatives: soy protein, almond oil, amla oil (see alternatives to Keratin), etc.

Colors. Dyes. Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is from insects. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coal-tar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continuously tested on animals because of their carcinogenic properties. Alternatives: grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto, alkanet.

Corticosteroid. (See Cortisone.)

Cortisone. Corticosteroid. When animal-derived, a hormone from adrenal glands. However, a synthetic is widely used. Typically used in medicine. Alternatives: synthetics.

Cysteine, L-Form. An amino acid from hair that can come from animals. Used in hair-care products and creams, in some bakery products, and in wound-healing formulations. Alternatives: plant sources.

Cystine. An amino acid found in urine and horsehair. Used as a nutritional supplement and in emollients. Alternatives: plant sources.

Dexpanthenol. (See Panthenol.)

Diglycerides. (See Monoglycerides and Glycerin.)

Dimethyl Stearamine. (See Stearic Acid.)

Down. Goose or duck insulating feathers. From slaughtered or cruelly exploited geese. Used as an insulator in quilts, parkas, sleeping bags, pillows, etc. Alternatives: polyester and synthetic substitutes, kapok (silky fibers from the seeds of some tropical trees) and milkweed seed pod fibers.

Duodenum Substances. From the digestive tracts of cows and pigs. Added to some vitamin tablets. In some medicines. Alternatives: vegetarian vitamins, synthetics.

Dyes. (See Colors.)

Egg Protein. In shampoos, skin preparations, etc. Alternatives: plant proteins.

Elastin. Protein found in the neck ligaments and aortas of cows. Similar to collagen. Can't affect the skin's own elasticity. Alternatives: synthetics, protein from plant tissues.

Emu Oil. From flightless ratite birds native to Australia and now factory-farmed. Used in cosmetics and creams. Alternatives: vegetable and plant oils.

Ergocalciferol. (See Vitamin D.)

Ergosterol. (See Vitamin D.)

Estradiol. (See Estrogen.)

Estrogen. Estradiol. Female hormones from pregnant mares' urine. Considered a drug. Can have harmful systemic effects if used by children. Used for reproductive problems and in birth control pills and Premarin, a menopausal drug. In creams, perfumes, and lotions. Has a negligible effect in the creams as a skin restorative; simple vegetable-source emollients are considered better. Alternatives: oral contraceptives and menopausal drugs based on synthetic steroids or phytoestrogens (from plants, especially palm-kernel oil). Menopausal symptoms can also be treated with diet and herbs.

Fats. (See Animal Fats.)

Fatty Acids. Can be one or any mixture of liquid and solid acids such as caprylic, lauric, myristic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Used in bubble baths, lipsticks, soap, detergents, cosmetics, food. Alternatives: vegetable-derived acids, soy lecithin, safflower oil, bitter almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.

FD&C Colors. (See Colors.)

Feathers. From exploited and slaughtered birds. Used whole as ornaments or ground up in shampoos. (See Down and Keratin.)

Fish Liver Oil. Used in vitamins and supplements. In milk fortified with vitamin D. Alternatives: yeast extract ergosterol, exposure of skin to sunshine.

Fish Oil. (See Marine Oil.) Fish oil can also be from marine mammals. Used in soapmaking.

Fish Scales. Used in shimmery makeup. Alternatives: mica, rayon, synthetic pearl.

Fur. Obtained from animals (usually mink, foxes, or rabbits) cruelly trapped in steel-jaw traps or raised in intensive confinement on fur farms. Alternatives: synthetics. (See Sable Brushes.)

Gel. (See Gelatin.)

Gelatin. Gel. Protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones in water. From cows and pigs. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (e.g., Jell-O). In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Sometimes used to assist in "clearing" wines. Alternatives: carrageen (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelp—used in jellies, plastics, medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, silica gel. Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marshmallow plant. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies. Digital cameras don't use film.

Glucose Tyrosinase. (See Tyrosine.)

Glycerides. (See Glycerin.)

Glycerin. Glycerol. A byproduct of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat). In cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, medicines, lubricants, transmission and brake fluid, and plastics. Derivatives: Glycerides, Glyceryls, Glycreth-26, Polyglycerol. Alternatives: vegetable glycerin (a byproduct of vegetable oil soap), derivatives of seaweed, petroleum.

Glycerol. (See Glycerin.)

Glyceryls. (See Glycerin.)

Glycreth-26. (See Glycerin.)

Guanine. Pearl Essence. Obtained from scales of fish. Constituent of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid and found in all animal and plant tissues. In shampoo, nail polish, other cosmetics. Alternatives: leguminous plants, synthetic pearl, or aluminum and bronze particles.

Hide Glue. Same as gelatin but of a cruder impure form. Alternatives: dextrins and synthetic petrochemical-based adhesives. (See Gelatin.)

Honey. Food for bees, made by bees. Can cause allergic reactions. Used as a coloring and an emollient in cosmetics and as a flavoring in foods. Should never be fed to infants. Alternatives: in foods—maple syrup, date sugar, syrups made from grains such as barley malt, turbinado sugar, molasses; in cosmetics—vegetable colors and oils.

Honeycomb. (See Beeswax.)

Horsehair. (See Animal Hair.)

Hyaluronic Acid. When animal-derived, a protein found in umbilical cords and the fluids around the joints. Used in cosmetics and some medical applications. Alternatives: synthetic hyaluronic acid, plant oils.

Hydrocortisone. (See Cortisone.)

Hydrolyzed Animal Protein. In cosmetics, especially shampoo and hair treatments. Alternatives: soy protein, other vegetable proteins, amla oil (see alternatives to Keratin).

Imidazolidinyl Urea. (See Urea.)

Insulin. From hog pancreas. Used by millions of diabetics daily. Alternatives: synthetics, vegetarian diet and nutritional supplements, human insulin grown in a lab.

Isinglass. A form of gelatin prepared from the internal membranes of fish bladders. Sometimes used in "clearing" wines and in foods. Alternatives: bentonite clay, "Japanese isinglass," agar-agar (see alternatives to Gelatin), mica, a mineral used in cosmetics.

Isopropyl Lanolate. (See Lanolin.)

Isopropyl Myristate. (See Myristic Acid.)

Isopropyl Palmitate. Complex mixtures of isomers of stearic acid and palmitic acid. (See Stearic Acid.)

Keratin. Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions. Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil (from the fruit of an Indian tree), human hair from salons. Rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.

Lactic Acid. Typically derived from plants such as beets. When animal-derived, found in blood and muscle tissue. Also in sour milk, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and other food products made by bacterial fermentation. Used in skin fresheners, as a preservative, in the formation of plasticizers, etc. Alternatives: plant milk sugars, synthetics.

Lactose. Milk sugar from milk of mammals. In eye lotions, foods, tablets, cosmetics, baked goods, medicines. Alternatives: plant milk sugars.

Laneth. (See Lanolin.)

Lanogene. (See Lanolin.)

Lanolin. Lanolin Acids. Wool Fat. Wool Wax. A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin-care products and cosmetics and in medicines. An allergen with no proven effectiveness. (See Wool for cruelty to sheep.) Derivatives: Aliphatic Alcohols, Cholesterin, Isopropyl Lanolate, Laneth, Lanogene, Lanolin Alcohols, Lanosterols, Sterols, Triterpene Alcohols. Alternatives: plant and vegetable oils.

Lanolin Alcohol. (See Lanolin.)

Lanosterols. (See Lanolin.)

Lard. Fat from hog abdomens. In shaving creams, soaps, cosmetics. In baked goods, French fries, refried beans, and many other foods. Alternatives: pure vegetable fats or oils.

Leather. Suede. Calfskin. Sheepskin. Alligator Skin. Other Types of Skin. Subsidizes the meat industry. Used to make wallets, handbags, furniture and car upholstery, shoes, etc. Alternatives: cotton, canvas, nylon, vinyl, ultrasuede, pleather, other synthetics.

Lecithin. Choline Bitartrate. Waxy substance in nervous tissue of all living organisms. But frequently obtained for commercial purposes from eggs and soybeans. Also from nerve tissue, blood, milk, corn. Choline bitartrate, the basic constituent of lecithin, is in many animal and plant tissues and prepared synthetically. Lecithin can be in eye creams, lipsticks, liquid powders, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, other cosmetics, and some medicines. Alternatives: soybean lecithin, synthetics.

Linoleic Acid. An essential fatty acid. Used in cosmetics, vitamins. Alternatives: (See alternatives to Fatty Acids.)

Lipase. Enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs. Used in cheesemaking and in digestive aids. Alternatives: vegetable enzymes, castor beans.

Lipids. (See Lipoids.)

Lipoids. Lipids. Fat and fat-like substances that are found in animals and plants. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Marine Oil. From fish or marine mammals (including porpoises). Used in soapmaking. Used as a shortening (especially in some margarines), as a lubricant, and in paint. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Methionine. Essential amino acid found in various proteins (usually from egg albumen and casein). Used as a texturizer and for freshness in potato chips. Alternatives: synthetics.

Milk Protein. Hydrolyzed milk protein. From the milk of cows. In cosmetics, shampoos, moisturizers, conditioners, etc. Alternatives: soy protein, other plant proteins.

Mink Oil. From minks. In cosmetics, creams, etc. Alternatives: vegetable oils and emollients such as avocado oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.

Monoglycerides. Glycerides. (See Glycerin.) From animal fat. In margarines, cake mixes, candies, foods, etc. In cosmetics. Alternative: vegetable glycerides.

Musk (Oil). Dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals. Wild cats are kept captive in cages in horrible conditions and are whipped around the genitals to produce the scent; beavers are trapped; deer are shot. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives: labdanum oil (from various rockrose shrubs) and extracts from other plants with a musky scent.

Myristal Ether Sulfate. (See Myristic Acid.)

Myristic Acid. Organic acid typically derived from nut oils but occasionally of animal origin. Used in shampoos, creams, cosmetics. In food flavorings. Derivatives: Isopropyl Myristate, Myristal Ether Sulfate, Myristyls, Oleyl Myristate. Alternatives: nut butters, oil of lovage, coconut oil, extract from seed kernels of nutmeg, etc.

Myristyls. (See Myristic Acid.)

"Natural Sources." Can mean animal or vegetable sources. Most often in the health-food industry, especially in the cosmetics area, it means animal sources, such as animal elastin, glands, fat, protein, and oil. Alternatives: plant sources.

Nucleic Acids. In the nucleus of all living cells. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Also in vitamins, supplements. Alternatives: plant sources.

Ocenol. (See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Octyl Dodecanol. Mixture of solid waxy alcohols. Primarily from stearyl alcohol. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Oleic Acid. Obtained from various animal and vegetable fats and oils. Usually obtained commercially from inedible tallow. (See Tallow.) In foods, soft soap, bar soap, permanent wave solutions, creams, nail polish, lipsticks, many other skin preparations. Derivatives: Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate. Alternatives: coconut oil. (See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

Oils. (See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

Oleths. (See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Alcohol. Ocenol. Found in fish oils. Used in the manufacture of detergents, as a plasticizer for softening fabrics, and as a carrier for medications. Derivatives: Oleths, Oleyl Arachidate, Oleyl Imidazoline.

Oleyl Arachidate. (See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Imidazoline. (See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Myristate. (See Myristic Acid.)

Oleyl Oleate. (See Oleic Acid.)

Oleyl Stearate. (See Oleic Acid.)

Palmitamide. (See Palmitic Acid.)

Palmitamine. (See Palmitic Acid.)

Palmitate. (See Palmitic Acid.)

Palmitic Acid. A fatty acid most commonly derived from palm oil but may be derived from animals as well. In shampoos, shaving soaps, creams. Derivatives: Palmitate, Palmitamine, Palmitamide. Alternatives: vegetable sources. Panthenol. Dexpanthenol. Vitamin B-Complex Factor. Provitamin B-5. Can come from animal or plant sources or synthetics. In shampoos, supplements, emollients, etc. In foods. Derivative: Panthenyl. Alternatives: synthetics, plants.

Panthenyl. (See Panthenol.)

Pepsin. In hogs' stomachs. A clotting agent. In some cheeses and vitamins. Same uses and alternatives as Rennet. Placenta. Placenta Polypeptides Protein. Afterbirth. Contains waste matter eliminated by the fetus. Derived from the uterus of slaughtered animals. Animal placenta is widely used in skin creams, shampoos, masks, etc. Alternatives: kelp. (See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

Polyglycerol. (See Glycerin.)

Polypeptides. From animal protein. Used in cosmetics. Alternatives: plant proteins and enzymes.

Polysorbates. Derivatives of fatty acids. In cosmetics, foods.

Pristane. Obtained from the liver oil of sharks and from whale ambergris. (See Squalene, Ambergris.) Used as a lubricant and anti-corrosive agent. In cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils, synthetics.

Progesterone. A steroid hormone used in anti-wrinkle face creams. Can have adverse systemic effects. Alternatives: synthetics.

Propolis. Tree sap gathered by bees and used as a sealant in beehives. In toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, supplements, etc. Alternatives: tree sap, synthetics.

Provitamin A. (See Carotene.)

Provitamin B-5. (See Panthenol.)

Provitamin D-2. (See Vitamin D.)

Rennet. Rennin. Enzyme from calves' stomachs. Used in cheesemaking, rennet custard (junket), and in many coagulated dairy products. Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.

Rennin. (See Rennet.)

Resinous Glaze. (See Shellac.)

Retinol. Animal-derived vitamin A. Alternative: carotene.

Ribonucleic Acid. (See RNA.)

RNA. Ribonucleic Acid. RNA is in all living cells. Used in many protein shampoos and cosmetics. Alternatives: plant cells.

Royal Jelly. Secretion from the throat glands of worker honeybees. Fed to the larvae in a colony and to all queen larvae. No proven value in cosmetics preparations. Alternatives: aloe vera, comfrey, other plant derivatives.

Sable Brushes. From the fur of sables (weasel-like mammals). Used to make eye makeup, lipstick, and artists' brushes. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Sea Turtle Oil. (See Turtle Oil.)

Shark Liver Oil. Used in lubricating creams and lotions. Derivatives: Squalane, Squalene. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Sheepskin. (See Leather.)

Shellac. Resinous Glaze. Resinous excretion of certain insects. Used as a candy glaze, in hair lacquer, and on jewelry. Alternatives: plant waxes, Zein (from corn).

Silk. Silk Powder. Silk is the shiny fiber made by silkworms to form their cocoons. Worms are boiled in their cocoons to get the silk. Used in cloth. In silk-screening (other fine cloth can be and is used instead). Taffeta can be made from silk or nylon. Silk powder is obtained from the secretion of the silkworm. It is used as a coloring agent in face powders, soaps, etc. Can cause severe allergic skin reactions and systemic reactions if inhaled or ingested. Alternatives: milkweed seed-pod fibers, nylon, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments (kapok), rayon, and synthetic silks.

Snails. In some cosmetics (crushed).

Sodium Caseinate. (See Casein.)

Sodium Steroyl Lactylate. (See Lactic Acid.)

Sodium Tallowate. (See Tallow.)

Spermaceti. Cetyl Palmitate. Sperm Oil. Waxy oil originally derived from the sperm whale's head or from dolphins but now most often derived from petroleum. In many margarines. In skin creams, ointments, shampoos, candles, etc. Used in the leather industry. May become rancid and cause irritations. Alternatives: synthetic spermaceti, jojoba oil, and other vegetable emollients.

Sponge (Luna and Sea). A plantlike animal. Lives in the sea. Becoming scarce. Alternatives: synthetic sponges, loofahs (plants used as sponges).

Squalane. (See Shark Liver Oil.)

Squalene. Oil from shark livers, etc. In cosmetics, moisturizers, hair dyes, surface-active agents. Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, etc.

Stearamide. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearamine. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearamine Oxide. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearates. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearic Acid. When animal-derived, a fat from cows, pigs, and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. May also be of plant origin, including from cocoa butter and shea butter. Can be harsh, irritating. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, food flavoring. Derivatives: Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, Stearone, Stearoxytrimethylsilane, Stearoyl Lactylic Acid, Stearyl Betaine, Stearyl Imidazoline. Alternatives: Stearic acid can be found in many vegetable fats, coconut. Stearic Hydrazide. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearone. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearoxytrimethylsilane. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearoyl Lactylic Acid. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Acetate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Alcohol. Sterols. A mixture of solid alcohols. Can be prepared from sperm whale oil. In medicines, creams, rinses, shampoos, etc. Derivatives: Stearamine Oxide, Stearyl Acetate, Stearyl Caprylate, Stearyl Citrate, Stearyldimethyl Amine, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Stearyl Heptanoate, Stearyl Octanoate, Stearyl Stearate. Alternatives: plant sources, vegetable stearic acid.

Stearyl Betaine. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Caprylate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Citrate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyldimethyl Amine. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Heptanoate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Imidazoline. (See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Octanoate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Stearate. (See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Steroids. Sterols. From various animal glands or from plant tissues. Steroids include sterols. Sterols are alcohol from animals or plants (e.g., cholesterol). Used in hormone preparation. In creams, lotions, hair conditioners, fragrances, etc. Alternatives: plant tissues, synthetics.

Sterols. (See Stearyl Alcohol and Steroids.)

Suede. (See Leather.)

Tallow. Tallow Fatty Alcohol. Stearic Acid. Rendered beef fat. May cause eczema and blackheads. In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, etc. In candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, other cosmetics. Chemicals (e.g., PCB) can be in animal tallow. Derivatives: Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Amide, Tallow Amine, Talloweth-6, Tallow Glycerides, Tallow Imidazoline. Alternatives: vegetable tallow, Japan tallow, paraffin, ceresin (see alternatives to Beeswax). Paraffin is usually from petroleum, wood, coal, or shale oil.

Tallow Acid. (See Tallow.)

Tallow Amide. (See Tallow.)

Tallow Amine. (See Tallow.)

Talloweth-6. (See Tallow.)

Tallow Glycerides. (See Tallow.)

Tallow Imidazoline. (See Tallow.)

Triterpene Alcohols. (See Lanolin.)

Turtle Oil. Sea Turtle Oil. From the muscles and genitals of giant sea turtles. In soap, skin creams, nail creams, other cosmetics. Alternatives: vegetable emollients (see alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils).

Tyrosine. Amino acid often of plant or synthetic origin but sometimes hydrolyzed from casein (milk). Used in cosmetics and creams. Derivative: Glucose Tyrosinase.

Urea. Carbamide. Typically synthetic. When extracted from animals, it is excreted from urine and other bodily fluids. In deodorants, ammoniated dentifrices, mouthwashes, hair colorings, hand creams, lotions, shampoos, etc. Used to "brown" baked goods, such as pretzels. Derivatives: Imidazolidinyl Urea, Uric Acid. Alternatives: synthetics.

Uric Acid. (See Urea.)

Vitamin A. Can come from fish liver oil (e.g., shark liver oil), egg yolk, butter, lemongrass, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics. An aliphatic alcohol. In cosmetics, creams, perfumes, hair dyes, etc. In vitamins, supplements. Alternatives: carrots, other vegetables, synthetics. (Please note that Vitamin A exists in two forms: see also Carotene, Retinol.)

Vitamin B-Complex Factor. (See Panthenol.)

Vitamin B Factor. (See Biotin.)

Vitamin B12. Can come from animal products or bacteria cultures. Twinlab B12 vitamins contain gelatin. Alternatives: vegetarian vitamins, fortified soy milks, nutritional yeast, fortified meat substitutes. Vitamin B12 is often listed as "cyanocobalamin" on food labels. Vegan health professionals caution that vegans get 5–10 mcg/day of vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements.

Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol. Vitamin D2. Ergosterol. Provitamin D2. Calciferol. Vitamin D3. Vitamin D can come from fish liver oil, milk, egg yolks, and other animal products but can also come from plant sources. Vitamin D2 is typically vegan. Vitamin D3 is always from an animal source. All the D vitamins can be in creams, lotions, other cosmetics, vitamin tablets, etc. Alternatives: plant and mineral sources, synthetics, completely vegetarian vitamins, exposure of skin to sunshine.

Vitamin H. (See Biotin.)

Wax. Glossy, hard substance that is soft when hot. From animals and plants. In lipsticks, depilatories, hair straighteners. Alternatives: vegetable waxes.

Whey. A serum from milk. Usually in cakes, cookies, candies, and breads. Used in cheesemaking. Alternatives: soybean whey.

Wool. From sheep. Used in clothing. Ram lambs and old "wool" sheep are slaughtered for their meat. Sheep are transported without food or water, in extreme heat and cold. Legs are broken, eyes injured, etc. Sheep are bred to be unnaturally woolly and unnaturally wrinkly, which causes them to get insect infestations around the tail areas. The farmer's solution to this is the painful cutting away of the flesh around the tail (called "mulesing"). "Inferior" sheep are killed. When sheep are sheared, they are pinned down violently and sheared roughly. Their skin is cut up. Every year, hundreds of thousands of shorn sheep die from exposure to cold. Natural predators of sheep (wolves, coyotes, eagles, etc.) are poisoned, trapped, and shot. In the U.S., overgrazing of cattle and sheep is turning more than 150 million acres of land to desert. "Natural" wool production uses enormous amounts of resources and energy (for breeding, rearing, feeding, shearing, transport, slaughter, etc.). Derivatives: Lanolin, Wool Wax, Wool Fat. Alternatives: cotton, cotton flannel, synthetic fibers, ramie, etc.

Wool Fat. (See Lanolin.)

Wool Wax. (See Lanolin.)

"Don't sweat the small stuff. It's ALL small stuff. Now there's a conundrum!"