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Five Items You Use Every Day That Contain Animal Ingredients

When you start to read the fine print, it becomes very clear that avoiding animal products in non-food items is nearly impossible. It’s hard enough trying to navigate through food items to avoid eating something containing animal byproducts; avoiding animal products in non-food items is an entirely different challenge. A growing number of individuals are becoming part-time vegetarians and opting for meatless meals one or more days a week. This growing trend is a welcomed one since it will help lead to healthier lifestyles, less livestock-produced methane and happier animals. However, many individuals are not aware of the many animal-derived ingredients used in common everyday products, some of which you’d never guess contain animal ingredients.

Glycerine, also known as glycerin or glycerol, is a common ingredient in toothpaste. It’s present in nearly every brand of toothpaste as well as in many beauty products. Glycerin can be sourced from animals or vegetables, which makes it tricky when trying to avoid animal products. Animal-derived glycerine comes from the fatty tissue of animals. The fat contains triglyceride molecules, each of which contains three fatty acid chains all connected to a glycerol base. When processed, the bonds between the fatty acids and the glycerol are broken and glycerine results as a byproduct.


The majority of all bar soaps contain animal-derived tallow. This is what gives them the ability to moisturize. Some individuals choose to use tallow soap because of specific allergies. However, most people using bar soap won’t ever realize that they’re washing with animal fat. If you’re using a large brand of bar soap, chances are, your soap has tallow in it. Current Dove soap bars list the ingredient as “sodium tallowate.”

Glycerin may not be the only animal-derived ingredient in your personal care products. According to information from PETA, there may be over 20 animal-derived ingredients in your shampoo. Ingredients may include “panthenol,” “vitamin B” and “amino acids,” all of which can be derived from animals.

Fabric softener
Tallow or tallowate is the fat derived from animals such as cows, sheep, pigs and horses. The fat is rendered down and after a few chemical alterations is added to fabric softeners like Downey. On the bottle, it’s labeled as “dihydrogenated tallow dimethyl ammonium chloride.” What it really is: fat coating your clothing.


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