"Excuse me, is this vegan?"

Here are our 10 red flags for those embracing a fully-fledged vegan lifestyle.


#1. Common Wound Dressings:

Some bandages and wound dressings contain beeswax and glycerin.

Glycerin is an organic compound known more formally as glycerol. Its common sources are animal fat and vegetable oil.

Bandages, unlike medications and supplements, don’t list their ingredient lists, so it’s difficult to figure out which of the products are animal-free and which are not.

Our quick tips:

  • Research online before purchasing.
  • Check out our PATCH Strips they do offer a vegan wound dressing!

#2. Beer & Wine:

May contain:

– Isinglass (A type of collagen made from the dried swim bladder of a fish).
-Blood and Bone Marrow
-Casein and Lactose
-Chitin (Fiber from crustacean shells.)

Green Tips:

  • Research online before purchasing.
  • Look for a vegan logo on the label. As someone who looks for this label, they’re definitely becoming more available.
  • Brooks are a great example of a winery using ingredients that are exclusively from the earth.

#3. Paint Brushes:

Might be made with:

Sable hair
Hog hair
Squirrel hair (to name just a few).

Inexpensive, lower grade brushes can be made of unbleached hog bristle. The most expensive animal hair brushes are of sable. (madehow)

Green Tips:

  • Read those labels
  • Opt for synthetic brushes which last longer, and are easier to clean.

#4. Sugar:

May contain Bone Char.

Often referred to as natural carbon—is widely used by the sugar industry as a decolorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve a white color. (hummingbirdmarket)

Green Tip:

  • Visit a bulk store where it’s easier to chat with staff.
  • Read labels and check for ‘Natural Carbon.’

#5. Tattoos:

May contain glycerin.  The glycerin is mostly used as a stabilizer. It is an animal fat.

Seek out a vegan tattoo artist.

#6. Some bank notes:

May be coated in Tallow. A fatty substance made from rendered animal fat.

#7. Drier Sheets:

Some drier sheets may contain animal fat.

Almost all dryer sheets list “Fatty acid” as an ingredient. 

Our tip: Skip them completely, or try laundry tumblers and lint collectors.

#8. Toothpaste & Dental Floss:

Toothpaste may contain glycerin (it’s every where!).

Glycerin (or glycerol) is sometimes vegan, but not always. It is derived from fats, and those fats can come from plant or animal sources. (vegfaqs)

Dental Floss may be coated in bees wax.

Green tips: 

  • In addition to the ingredients, personal products may come from brands who test on animals.
  • Read labels. Check for vegan and cruelty free brands (like our business members The Green Beaver).


#9. Vitamins:

Some vitamins (think, the chewy kids kinds) can contain gelatin.

Opt for vegetarian or vegan labelled brands. 

(If you’re on the Random Acts of Green app, redeem your green-points agains Healthy Planet and get 10% off your next vitamin purchase).

#10. Plastic Bags:

May contain beef fat which is used as an anti-slip agent – yuk.

Our green tip (always): Bring your resuable tote.

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