Whether an ingredient was derived from an animal is not always clear. Many companies remove the word “animal” from their ingredient labels in order to avoid putting off consumers. Animal ingredients are used not because they are better than vegetable-derived or synthetic ingredients but because they are generally cheaper.
Some animal ingredients do not wind up in the final product but are used in the manufacturing process. For example, in the production of some refined sugars, bone char is used to whiten the sugar, and in some wines and beers, isinglass (from the swim bladders of fish) is used as a “clearing” agent.
Double Check Vegan is the most extensive database of animal ingredients on the internet, with over 2,200 cosmetic, food additive, and pharmaceutical ingredients that are obtained from living and killed non-human animals. You can search for one ingredient or paste an entire list of ingredients (for example, copied from a manufacturer’s website) into their search box, and with one click all non-vegan ingredients that are in their database will be flagged.
- Is it Vegan? A Guide to Ingredient Lists
Learn how to tell if a packaged food is vegan, and how to tell if personal care items and cosmetics are cruelty-free and vegan.
- Ingredients List
This is a long list of ingredients found in food and cosmetics. Ingredients are marked as coming from an animal, vegan, or existing in both animal and vegan versions.
Related VegResources Guides
Guide Updated February 1, 2021