Vegan Lifestyle

Vegetarian or Vegan?- Watch out for these ingredients

As you may know, I’ve been Vegan since May 2017 and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made concerning my diet and health. Now, I’m not here to convert everyone because it’s your choice what you eat. However, I think it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating.Something I have noticed recently. People claiming they are Vegetarian, aren’t actually Vegetarian or Pescatarian as they regularly consume dead animals without realising.

So, I decided I would create a list of key ingredients to avoid and look out for as both a Vegetarian or a Vegan. This could never be a complete list as there are too many to name, but there are plenty of articles, apps and websites out there that are very helpful and with more detail, than I can provide. If you would like any of these then comment below and I will create a separate post with my list of handy websites.

Here are a few areas where you could be going wrong. Some are less of an issue than others depending on which country you live in.

Vegetarians take note

  • Worcestershire sauce – Often contains Anchovies
  • Cheese – May contain Rennet, made from a baby calves stomach
  • Authentic sauces – Such as pad Thai may contain fish sauce
  • Caesar dressing  – Usually contains Anchovies
  • Refried beans – Prepackaged may contain lard
  • Sweets and gum – May contain gelatine, the leftovers of pigs and cows.
  • Yoghurt – Some contain Gelatine.
  • Medication – Gel cap medicines are usually coated in Gelatine.
  • Processed Sugar – May be refined with Bone Char.
  • Chips – and other processed foods such as potatoes, pastries, may contain chicken fat and pork enzymes.
  • Pastries – may contain lard.
  • Orange Juice – May contain added Omega 3 which is derived from fish such as anchovies.

In an ideal world everyone would be Vegan, but, it can be difficult as there are a lot more things to be wary of. As well as the above non-vegetarian ingredients, there are also plenty to avoid as a Vegan. This isn’t considering the obvious, milk, eggs and honey.

Vegans take note

  • Soy cheese – May contain casein, a milk protein.
  • Wine and beer – Often not listed in the ingredients. Some contain isinglass which is from fish. Others can be filtered with bone char.
  • Red foods and colouring – Carmine which is crushed bugs
  • Hard shells – on sweets, and also red colouring used in some foods. Derived from shellac, which is also crushed bugs.
  • Additives and Natural flavourings – E Numbers and flavourings may be animal derived.
  • Omega 3’s – As mentioned above in Orange Juice. Most Omega 3 comes from fish.
  • Vitamin D3 – Most Vitamin D2 is suitable for Vegans but D3 is from fish oil or Lanolin (sheep’s wool)
  • Bread & Pasta– May contain eggs or L-cysteine (derived from feathers)
  • Deep-fried foods – May contain eggs
  • Pesto – May contain cheese
  • Crisps– May contain cheese or dairy products such as whey
  • Roasted Peanuts – May contain gelatine
  • Dark chocolate – Sometimes contains dairy derivatives such as whey
  • Waxed Fruit – Some fresh fruit and veg is waxed to give it a shiny coat which can be beeswax or shellac.


I am not meaning to attack, belittle or accuse anyone. I’m only meaning to make you aware. You should know where your food has come from. Every nitty-gritty detail. READ YOUR LABELS!  I can’t express how important it is to read labels and know what’s gone into your food. You will be surprised how many absurd things are in some products and how bad many of these can be to your health.

Bear in mind this is just food. Other than the obvious fur there are so many other materials and items we use in the world that may be created through the death and cruelty inflicted on other animals. Silk, down pillows, goose feathers, glue, some makeup. All come from animals in one way or another. Not to mention animal testing, animals used for attractions and our entertainment. This list goes on.

As I said above, if you would like me to compile a list of helpful websites then let me know by either commenting or liking this post.

If you feel I missed anything important then please do let me know. 

Is there anything that surprised you? Have you been caught out by any hidden ingredients before? Most of us have at one point or another. I would love to hear your stories. 

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