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What manufacturers are hiding from us

Many people, for their own reasons and beliefs, decide to become a vegan (or vegetarian). Nowadays, this way of life is becoming more and more popular everywhere, especially among famous personalities. Alternative communities, catering establishments, store shelves or even entire stores are emerging that offer customers products without violence against our smaller brothers. But often a person who has set foot on a new path for him is completely unaware of all the pitfalls. After all, complete veganism is not just a rejection of meat, dairy and seafood, as well as honey, but also the exclusion from everyday use of products that violated animal rights. Here we are not talking about a healthy diet, but about an ethical attitude towards all living beings.

And so a novice vegan buys marmalade, thinking that it is a vegetable product that does not harm animals in any way. Or, having found such a popular hair product with keratin in the store, he rejoices at a wonderful purchase ... What manufacturers do not tell us about the contents of some products? Why can they secretly smash our good intentions to smithereens? The article reviews popular products that are harmless at first glance, but, to the surprise of many, are not vegan.




So let's start with the aforementioned marmalade . Who in childhood did not love these orange and lemon slices, especially on the New Year's table, and later, after the opening of Western markets, Haribo bears, still adored by everyone? In the old days, marmalade was obtained by boiling berries and fruits to a solid state, which acquired a solid consistency due to the pectin contained in the fruit. After the possibility of removing pectin separately, marmalade began to be cooked without fruits at all, but only filled with various dyes, flavors and sugar (we will talk about sugar later). But there is a type of marmalade that is even more unhealthy and not at all vegan - jelly or fruit jelly. Jelly is a mass obtained by dissolving gelatin . It has a hard, transparent, homogeneous and flexible structure. And gelatin is obtained only from chopped and boiled bones, skins and tendons of slaughtered animals (cows, pigs, fish and others). To make sure you're buying the right marmalade, the packaging should list pectin and agar-agar (vegetable gelatin substitute - seaweed extract).

Gelatin can also be found in other culinary products: layers and creams of cakes, puddings, jams, jams, mousses, marshmallows, glazes, soufflés, various aspics, capsule coatings in medical preparations. Be careful and always be interested in the composition. Better yet, cook at home! 🙂

Refined cane sugar

The next hidden, but no less cruel ingredient may be ... cane sugar ! In order to obtain a crystal-white mass of sugar from a cane semi-finished product and purify it from inorganic impurities, at the first stage of purification it must be passed through a filter, which sometimes acts as bone charcoal , i.e.  sun-dried and burnt beef/pork bones. In the process of burning bones, only a dead granular substance remains, which is 10% elemental carbon, and 90% calcium hydroxyapatite. About 4 kg of bone char can be obtained from the bones of one average cow - one commercial charcoal filter requires charcoal obtained from the bones of almost 7,800 animals. In addition, in the production of sugar, in order to kill fungal and other infections, disinfectants are used: formalin, bleach, poisons of the amine group (vazin, ambisol, as well as combinations of these substances), hydrogen peroxide and others. This method of filtering sugar is considered obsolete and does not apply to beet sugar (i.e. it does not require discoloration), but often sugar packages sold contain mixtures (cane and beet) - of course, if the composition does not explicitly state that the sugar is 100% beet. Alternatives? A lot of them:

  • learn about sugar purification / filtration methods by specific manufacturers (PETA has its own lists , but they are, of course, not for the Russian / Ukrainian / CIS market);
  • 100% beet sugar (check the explicit indication of this in the composition);
  • other types of sugar (palm, coconut);
  • vegetable syrups (agave, maple, coconut);
  • stevia;
  • fructose.

In general, it has long been proven: the less sugar intake, the more benefits your body has! 🙂

Cheese (rennet)

If you are a lacto-vegetarian, that is, you have not given up dairy products, then you most likely eat cheese a lot. Did you know that rennet, also known as rennet or chymosin , is obtained by extraction with saline from the dried stomach of a calf, which is usually no more than 10 days old? Rennin is traditionally used to curdle milk, as this enzyme in the stomach of a newborn calf allows it to release the proteins needed for growth from its mother's milk. In Italy, in addition to rennet, other enzymes are used, produced by the tonsils of calves and lambs, which gives a specific piquant taste to Italian cheeses. Since the early 1990s, as a result of advances in genetic biotechnology, cheeses have been made using an enzyme produced by bacteria that have copies of the calf rennin gene. If you don't want to give up cheese, but don't want to support the slaughter of young calves, look for cheese with microbiological enzymes: non-animal derived chymosin, mucorpepsin, microbial rennin, milase, CHY-MAX® (enzymatically derived coagulant) , Fromase® (Fromase®), Maxiren® (DSM, Dutch company), Chymogen (Genencor International company); fermented milk cheese (the so-called cheeses prepared using lactic acid fermentation).


Hematogen is such a necessary candy from a pharmacy for all children for proper growth and stimulation of hematopoiesis. It tastes like toffee due to the addition of condensed milk, honey, ascorbic acid and other substances that improve taste. And all in order to hide the real taste of this prophylactic - condensed blood of cattle, mostly bulls. Black albumin , the same dried blood, is obtained in a very cruel way, the details of which I do not want to cover in this article. Among other things, to stabilize the prepared blood, which already contains many antibiotics, hormones, etc., polyphosphates are used, which bind and remove calcium from the body. This fact is exacerbated by the fact that manufacturers actually use concentrations of phosphates that are 3-4 times higher than the norm. Think about how much benefit your children benefit from this product, especially with the huge number of plant-based alternatives? In addition, albumin is used instead of relatively expensive egg white in sausage production, as well as in the confectionery and bakery industry, since albumin whips well and forms foam in the presence of water. It is also used as an anti-wrinkle treatment: the formula containing bovine serum albumin, when dried, covers wrinkles with a film, which makes them not appear as noticeable.

Alcohol: beer, wine, champagne

What is completely unexpected is that such alcoholic drinks as wine, champagne, beer and others, quite often, can also contain animal products, namely: gelatin, casein, carmine and isingless (fish glue) .  Unfortunately, in accordance with EU legislation on the labeling of alcoholic beverages, the full list of ingredients contained in alcoholic beverages is compiled in descending order by weight, and is currently only required for beverages with an alcohol concentration of 1.2% or less, i.e. for non-alcoholic beer, wine and cider. But what about the rest, especially domestic producers, who do not consider it necessary to indicate the “vegan” label on their products? Unfortunately, you will never know what your chosen product contains - unless you contact the manufacturer's technology department directly. And it can contain anything...

For example, beer after secondary fermentation in barrels must be cleaned of yeast and other suspended particles. Not always, but quite often, this is done by adding gelatin as an adsorbent to collect the yeast and settle it in the bottom of the cask. Gelatin can also be used to clarify wine, cider and other alcoholic beverages. Another widely used substance throughout the world for cleaning and clarifying alcoholic beverages is fish glue, or isingless (isinglass). This is a natural fish collagen obtained from swim bladders and gills of fish of special breeds treated with sulfur dioxide, which favorably affects the stability of the isingless working solution to infection by foreign microflora during its storage. By interacting with negatively charged yeast cells and positive proteins, the clarifier attracts them and forms large particles that are quickly deposited under their own weight. At the same time, the process of clarification of the drink is significantly accelerated, the appearance of turbidity is prevented. Red wines may also contain the dye carmine, which is obtained from the body of the female insect Coccus cacti or Dactylopius coccus, which we will discuss below.


Honey has long been considered a product of extraordinary nutritional value, rich in vitamins and important substances for human life. But let's start with the fact that honey is a necessary food product for the bees themselves, especially during the absence of flowering plants. But did you know that in the process of producing honey on bee farms, bees are mistreated in the name of profit. For example, the queens have their wings cut off so that they cannot fly away and take the rest of the bees with them. Drones are often decapitated in order for the uterus to be fertilized, because when the head is torn off, the central nervous system receives an electrical impulse that causes sexual arousal; sometimes the head and chest of the male bees are squeezed hard to provoke the release of the penis. Also, in nature, the queens live up to 6 years, but in apiaries, to maintain the productivity of the queens, they are replaced with new ones every 2 years. It seems that these reasons (and this is not a complete list) are enough to understand that honey extraction is not a natural and harmless process.


White bread , in addition to flour, yeast, salt and water, often contains eggs and milk , and sometimes also sugar (especially in Southeast Asian countries where it is considered a dessert). These additives appear in order to improve the taste of the flour product, increase the protein content in it. The minus of eggs in the composition of wheat bread is a reduction in the shelf life of the product.

Food additives, dyes, medicines

Lecithin, food additive E322 ,  translated from Greek - egg yolk . Widely used in food and cosmetic industries. It was first isolated in 1845 by the French chemist Gobli from egg yolk. At the moment, commercial lecithin is obtained mainly from soybean oil. But usually when using vegetable lecithin, the source is specified in the composition (for example, soy). If the word “lecithin” is simply written, it may well be an egg yolk.

Lysozyme (muramidase, English lysozyme), food additive E1105 is an antibacterial enzyme of the hydrolase class, which is contained mainly in places of contact of the body with the external environment (mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract), as well as tissues of some organs and in breast milk. The substance is included in the list of food additives as a preservative, acceptable for use in the food industry of the Russian Federation as an auxiliary agent for the production of food products. The most popular in the food industry and medicine is egg white-derived lysozyme (HEWL). Lysozyme is used in the production of cheese and some other fermented milk products. In medicine, the antibacterial properties of lysozyme make it possible to use it in the treatment of infectious-inflammatory and purulent-septic diseases.

Carminic acid, carmine or E-120 is a natural red pigment used in cooking (jams, marmalade, yogurt, sweets, drinks (Coca-Cola), etc.), alcohol production, as well as in cosmetics, perfumes and art paints. Carmine is obtained from cochineal - female insects of the cactus false scale Dactylopius coccus or Coccus cacti. Insects are harvested in the period preceding the laying of eggs, since it is at this moment that they acquire their red color. Females are scraped from cacti with a special hard brush, dried, and a powder is obtained from their crushed bodies, which is then treated with a solution of ammonia or sodium carbonate, after which it is filtered in the solution. To obtain one pound (373.2 g) of this pigment, 70,000 insects must be collected.

Chitosan is a polysaccharide, a type of insoluble fiber. The only source of chitosan is chitin, which is obtained from the shells of red-legged shrimp, lobster and crabs , as well as from lower mushrooms by removing acyl (carboxylic compounds). Chitosan is used as an additive in animal feed, it is used in the manufacture of food and cosmetics, used in biomedical products, and in agriculture. It is also known as a weight loss agent due to its ability to bind to fat molecules in the digestive tract to a certain extent.

Disodium guanylate , food additive E627 is an expensive preservative commonly used in conjunction with monosodium glutamate (MSG). This substance is obtained from dried sea fish or dried seaweed. It is used in the production of expensive sausages, various types of meat, salty snacks (crackers, chips), canned food (including vegetables), instant food (vermicelli, soups).

Inosinic acid, E630 is a natural acid derived from meat or sardines and is used to enhance taste and smell. Can be found in instant foods, spice and seasoning blends.

Cysteine, food supplement E920 is an amino acid that is part of proteins and peptides, plays an important role in the formation of skin tissues. In medicine, it is used to treat cancer, diabetes, diseases of the circulatory system and respiratory tract. Also included in creams and nail and hair care products. Obtained from bird feathers and animal hair .

Vitamin A (retinol) ,  found in large quantities in fish oil and liver, dairy products and egg yolks . It is used as an additional supplement for visual defects, malfunctions in the immune system, damage to the skin, etc.

Trypsin is an enzyme of the hydrolase class, widely used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory, anti-burn, regenerating agent. Because this enzyme is produced and secreted by the mammalian pancreas as an inactive trypsinogen, which is then converted to trypsin in the duodenum, it is extracted from bovine pancreas followed by lyophilization.

Shark Squalene (from Latin squalus - shark) is a triterpene hydrocarbon derived from the liver fat of deep-sea blue sharks. A feature of squalene is that it serves to purify and supply the blood of sharks with oxygen in conditions of low oxygen content at great depths. Due to its low density, squalene is easily transported along with the blood to the tissues of various internal organs and is involved in protein metabolism. Squalene contains alkyl glycerol (AKG), which is responsible for immunity and suppression of cancer cells. That is why squalene is widely used as a medicine with a wide spectrum of action, to strengthen the immune system, and also as a dietary supplement. Shark oil is also very popular as an ingredient in placental and collagen masks, skin moisturizing cosmetics, wrinkle smoothing, hair balms.

Cosmetical tools

Collagen is the main component of connective tissue and the most abundant protein in mammals, accounting for 25% to 35% of protein in the entire body. Absent in plants, fungi, protozoa. Collagen has the ability to maintain the tone and elasticity of the skin and tissues, and therefore is often used in anti-wrinkle cosmetics, to combat certain skin diseases, and also in the food industry as a food additive. There are three types of collagen: animal (derived from the skin of cattle ), marine (derived from the skin of fish ), vegetable (an alternative to natural collagen derived from wheat proteins). The production of the latter type is very laborious and costly, and therefore it is not very popular.

Stearic acid is one of the most abundant fatty acids of animal origin in nature. It is the most popular compound used in most cosmetic and food oils to thicken stock emulsions. Stearic acid was discovered in lard in 1816 by the French chemist Chevrel. The content of stearic acid in animal fats is maximum in mutton fat (up to ~30%), in vegetable oils - up to 10% (palm oil). The largest amount of stearic acid (from 10 to 25%) is found in laundry soap, which contributes to foaming and comfortable storage of soap, and also prevents its surface from softening.

Lanolin (from lat. lana - wool, oleum - oil), E913 - wool wax obtained by boiling sheep wool . Other names are animal wax, acetylated or anhydrous lanolin. The main uses of lanolin are cosmetic creams (especially for nursing mothers to treat cracked nipples), hair conditioners, confectionery glaze, softening base for medical ointments, plasters and adhesive bandages, and products for protecting clothes from dirt and water. In the food industry, the use of lanolin is not allowed in all countries due to the lack of an evidence base for the safety of the substance. It is also widely used to coat many fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons, apples, nectarines, pears, etc. to keep them fresh and have a longer shelf life.

Keratin is a protein that is part of the horny derivatives of the epidermis of the skin - such structures as hair, nails, rhinoceros horns, feathers. According to the secondary structure of the protein, the keratin family is divided into two groups: elastic alpha-keratins (α), which are part of the hair, wool, nails, needles, horns, claws and hooves of mammals, and beta-keratins (β), which are found in scales and claws of reptiles (including turtle shells), as well as feathers, horn beak covers and claws of birds, whalebone, silk fiber. Widely used in hair care cosmetics, hair straightening products. the most common way to extract keratin is from sheep wool and animal feathers, from meat industry waste .

Beaver stream (castoreum) - the secret of paired beaver pouches , which belongs to the aromatic substances of animal origin. These are paired, highly folded pear-shaped epithelial sacs with a wrinkled surface, filled with a yellowish-greenish substance, emit a strong musky odor. The alcoholic infusion of the beaver stream is widely used in folk medicine for the treatment of many diseases, in veterinary medicine, and also everywhere in perfumery for the manufacture of highly resistant perfumes, giving the so-called "animal note", as a fixative in compositions with the smell of chypre, tobacco and in "oriental bouquets". ”, in perfumes for men, etc.

But how is this valuable substance mined? The carcass of the beaver is placed on its back and the dense preputial sacs are felt, they are pulled along with the muscle tissue, and this tissue is incised alternately around each sac. These pouches are then hung on twine and dried at room temperature for 2-3 months.

Turtle oil is an animal fat obtained by extraction from the muscle, adipose and genital tissues of a special species of sea turtles . Due to the high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids, it is widely used in cosmetology (soap, face, hand and nail cream, balms) for moisturizing and nourishing. In cosmetics, only deodorized turtle oil is used at a concentration of no more than 10%, since it has an extremely unpleasant odor.

Emu Oil is an animal fat that comes from the Emu ostrich . Due to the high concentration of linoleic and oleic acids, it has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, helps with burns, bedsores and diaper rash, reduces inflammation and irritation in eczema. A very famous wrinkle smoother. It also has a beneficial effect on the condition of hair and nails. It is obtained by separating fat from the dead flesh of an ostrich, followed by melting, filtering, refining and deodorizing.

Shellac, food additive E-904 is a natural resin secreted by females of the Kerriidae family that parasitize some tropical and subtropical trees in India and Southeast Asia. Shellac is nothing more than tree sap processed and isolated from the food tract of insects. When scraping varnish crusts from trees, many insects die. It is widely used as a nail polish, insulating materials and photography, as a coating for tablets, candies, etc., in the furniture and footwear industry.

The placenta is an embryonic organ of females that exchanges substances between the mother and the fetus during its intrauterine development. The placenta provides nutrition to the child with all biologically active and vital substances: proteins, fats and polysaccharides, which are present in it in high concentration. It is separated from the mother's body in the form of an afterbirth after some time (10-60 minutes) after childbirth. Due to the high content of nutrients, this organ is widely used in cosmetology as an indispensable source of rejuvenation and regeneration of the skin and hair. the placenta of pigs and sheep is most often used for cosmetics . When the human placenta is included in cosmetic products, its description should contain the word “allogeneic”.

Snail extract , or rather, its mucus ( mucin ) is now a popular ingredient in many cosmetics against wrinkles, skin defects, scars, acne and age spots. To obtain mucin, edible garden snails of the Helix Aspera Müller species, which are grown on special farms, are used. Sellers claim that when extracting mucus, an act of murder is not committed. Snail mucus is produced in response to stimulation, most often by bright light, shaking, or rotation.

Unfortunately, this is not a complete list of animal components that mankind uses for its own purposes (here we have presented ingredients that were intentionally used, and not accidentally affected in the production of living beings). This also includes testing of medical and cosmetic products on animals, which are carried out by most companies, since without testing the product cannot be allowed on the market, and not all companies can afford to test on humans (and in some countries such testing is prohibited). There are a number of vegan cosmetics and medicines that avoid the use of animal products and animal testing - in which case they must indicate this fact on the packaging. Unfortunately, there are very few such companies among domestic manufacturers, mainly the Western market is rich in them. Therefore, if you do not want to be upset by buying cosmetics or medicines with particles of living beings, you can use delivery from abroad. A full list of vegan companies can be viewed on the PETA website .

If you know of other food additives or animal components of cosmetics and medicines, feel free to share information in the comments!

May all living beings be happy! 🙂


See also anekdotig:

Victoria Shurupova Victoria Shurupova


  1. That is why a raw food diet, fruitarianism - eating only natural fruits, giving up purchased cosmetics, fur and leather clothes and shoes, are the most correct way of life.

    1. Yes, let's live in the forest - in caves. Not everyone is ready to give up civilization. Especially when there are children - I want to give them development - self-realization. Yes, and it would not hurt to develop and be realized. And this is possible only in civilization. Giving up shoes, clothes and other things in itself will not give anything - what is the point of this?

  2. Aelita, of course, the refusal of shoes, clothes and other things in which gross exploitation or the killing of animals is involved will not give anything and the world will not become better. This is a kindergarten. The meaning is this: asking yourself a question, how do I feel about this? You live as you lived. There is nothing wrong with that. Sooner or later you will start thinking differently, or maybe you won't. And there is nothing wrong with that either. All for now.

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