Ingredients To Avoid On A Vegan Diet

Happy Monday Everyone!

I just want to send you all love and light before we get started with this blog post.

As a new vegan, I am still learning every single day on ingredients. Before I buy something I always quickly check google on the ingredient, however this sometimes this can take a while, so to make it easier for you guys I have compiled a list below. I find that when i’m reading or writing, it’s easier for me to remember, this is why I’ve done this for you guys! When you go through the list, a lot of these will stick in your head, then when you’re buying products you can remember or relate back to the blog for more information. For additional information or a more detailed list, feel free to get the “Animal-Free” app 🙂

Please note that any products that state they are “cruelty-free” are not necessarily vegan and vice versa. Cruelty-free means that the product has not been tested on animals. Vegan means there are no animal ingredients or by-products. Be careful as some logos look quite similar, such as the bunny stating something is cruelty-free as well as cruelty-free and vegan.

This blog has some great points about cruelty-free vs vegan and vice versa, check it out!

Anything with a “ * ” below means it is sometimes derived from animals, can also be derived from plants.


– 0% Cholesterol in most cases means that the food is vegan/animal-free
– Always look for a Vegan or Vegetarian symbol or sticker. In most cases if something is vegetarian and none of the ingredients indicate dairy, then you’re good to go!
-Additives or preservatives can also be animal-derived such as Riboflavin (may contain milk)

Vegan Easy has an awesome list on food additives and numbering. Check it out here!

Watch Out For:
-“Non-Dairy” Creamers, Soy Cheeses (can contain Casein or other milk products/powders)
– The ingredients below in cosmetics, perfumes vitamins or medicine
-“Natural Flavours” can be derived from animal genitals for vanilla flavour/other
-“Natural Flavours” can also be an animal fat or by-product

Animal Fats:
☠️ Lard
☠️ Lauric Acid
☠️ Myristic Acid
☠️ Oleic Acid or Oleyl Oleate, Oleyl Stearate
☠️ Palmitic Acid or Palmitamide, Palmitamine, Palmitate
☠️ Stearic Acid or Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearone
☠️ Suet
☠️ Tallow or Sodium Tallowate, Tallow Acid, Tallow Glycerides

Hidden Animal Ingredients & By-Products:

☠️ Adrenaline or Epinephrine [hormone from adrenal glands of hogs, cattle or sheep.] *
☠️ Albumen or Albumin [derived from egg whites, in egg whites, milk, muscles, blood..etc]
☠️ Ambergris [derived from sperm whale intestines]
☠️ Amino Acids or Alanine *
☠️ Artificial *
☠️ Benzoic Acid *

☠️ Beeswax, Bee Pollen, Cera Flava or Honeycomb
☠️ Calcium Lactate 
[derived from Lactic Acid]
☠️ Carmine or Crimson Lake, Carmine Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4 [red pigment derived from crushed insects, specifically females]
☠️ Casein or Caseinate [milk protein]
☠️ Castoreum (“Natural Flavours” on Ingredients) [derived from muskrat or beaver genitals]
☠️ Civet (“Natural Flavours” on Ingredients) [derived from the genitals of civet cats]
☠️ Collagen [derived from animal tissue]
☠️ Cortisone [hormone derived from adrenal glands]
☠️ Cystine [amino acid in urine and horse hair]
☠️ Elastin [derived from tendons of cows]

☠️ Emulsifier 471 or E471 *
☠️ Estrogen 
[derived from pregnant mare’s (horse) urine]
☠️ Gelatin or Gel 
[derived by boiling animal skin, tendons, ligaments and bones]
☠️ Glycerin, Glycerol, Glycerides *
☠️ Insulin
[derived from pancreas of hogs and cattle]
☠️ Iron Lactate [derived from lactic acid] *

☠️ Isinglass
[derived from internal membranes of fish bladders]
☠️ Keratin
 [derived from ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills and hair]
☠️ Lactic Acid or Sodium Steroyl Lactylate [derived from blood and muscle tissue. also derived from fermentation of sugars in whey, corn starch, potatoes or molasses ] *

☠️ Lactose 
[derived from milk of mammals]
☠️ Lecithin [derived from nervous tissue of living organisms. Also can be derived from eggs, nerve tissue, blood, milk and corn] *

☠️ Lanolin or Isopropyl Lanolate
 [extracted from sheep wool]
☠️ L-Cystine
[amino acid derived from hair, often animal hair]
☠️ Mono and Di Glycerides 
[derived from animal fat] *
☠️ Nucleic Acid 
[derived from nucleus of living cells] *
☠️ Paracasein 
[combined with soluable salts to make cheese curd]
☠️ Pepsin 
[enzyme derived from stomach’s of calves or pigs]
☠️ Rennet or Rennin 
[enzyme derived from calves’ stomachs]
☠️ Shellac or Confectioner’s Glaze, Pharmaceutical Glaze, Resinous Glaze 
[derived from the lac insect]
☠️ Silk or Silk Powder 
[derived from silkworms]
☠️ Trypsin [derived from digestive system of vertebrates]
☠️ Tyrosine [amino acid] *
☠️ Uric Acid or Urea, Carbamide 
[excreted from urine and other bodily fluids] *

☠️ Vitamin D or Vitamin D-2 *, Vitamin D-3
☠️ Vitamin B12
☠️ Whey
[derived from milk]

Some other symbols to memorize when you’re a newbie vegan:

Just remember, it is the intention behind the food, your mindset and veganism in itself. If you accidentally consume something with dairy, or something that isn’t vegan, it’s okay, mistakes happen. It’s important to educate yourself on the ingredients and hidden animal products/by-products. There are many ways companies like hiding animal ingredients in our food, it’s just a matter of educating yourself and moving forward.

Tips On Eating Out As a Vegan:
– The easiest thing to do when you’re starting out is to cook at home or simply go to vegan or vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian restaurants are more likely to know the difference between vegetarian and vegan.

– Many Asian restaurants DO NOT consider fish sauce, oyster sauce or fish oils..etc as animal products and will tell you that the meals are “vegan-friendly”. I have come across this myself.

– Some sushi places DO NOT consider their nori (seaweed) to be an animal product, however some do contain shrimp, fish and other oils for flavouring. A lot of sauces can also contain fish or oyster sauce.

All footage/images in this blog are used legally for educational purposes and are protected by the Copyright Act of Canada (sections 29, 29.1 or 29.2)

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