Golden Krust Vegetable = Beef Suet (Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef or mutton found around the loins and kidneys).


You probably thought your yogurt’s redness came from the strawberries. Nope. It comes from insects. Cochineals are insects that are grounded to make a red dye.


Vanilla Ice Cream

Your ice cream may have the words “vegan” on it, but is it really vegan? Part of the flavor and smell that you identify as vanilla in ice cream comes from the sacs of beavers. Beavers secrete a substance called castoreum that smells like vanilla. Because of this smell, it is used as part of a vanilla substitute


Some candies like Gummi bears, Starburst and candy corn contain gelatin. Gelatin is obtained from the bones and skin of animals. Also, if the candy is red, it might contain red dye from the Cochineal insects.


Potato Chips

For chips, it really depends on the flavor, Some contain animal products such as whey, cheese or skim milk. One ingredient that is surprising is chicken. Yep, you read that right. Chicken is commonly found in some BBQ-flavored chips.


Orange Juice

The culprit here is the added omega-3s. The omega 3s come from fish oil and fish gelatin. I guess you can always rely on a vegan smoothie to start your mornings right.


Salad Dressing

Salad dressing? Duh. Some salad dressings contain eggs and dairy products. But, the salad dressings you have to watch out for are the ones with fish in them. The fish labeling may be concealed in the Worcestershire sauce labeling.


Nope, peanuts are not safe either. The animal product they contain is gelatin. Gelatin is used in some peanuts in order to make the salt stick to the peanuts.



Some breads, like sourdough, are made with milk products such as evaporated milk. Luckily, it doesn’t take long to make your own bread.



Some pastries are made with suet. Suet is the fatty tissue on the kidneys and loins of animals like cows and sheep. Gross.



Beer can have ingredients like gelatin, lactose and red dye from the Cochineal insects, and the milk protein, casein


This list is, in my opinion, a reason not to go vegan. But for my vegan friends who plan to stick it out with the no animal diet, always look at the ingredients label on food and watch out for ingredients that contain animal products.

Cochineal. dye. Cochineal, red dyestuff consisting of the dried, pulverized bodies of certain female scale insects, Dactylopius coccus, of the Coccidae family, cactus-eating insects native to tropical and subtropical America

Carmine is a bright red dye commonly used to color food, cosmetics and textiles.Carmine is made from beetles, and is therefore not vegan. The pigment is produced by drying, crushing, and then boiling the bodies of cochineal beetles to extract carminic acid.

Carnuba Wax = Waxes are either derived from natural or synthetic processes, but all are organic compounds

Caesar dressing

Most Caesar salad dressings contain anchovy paste, but there are vegetarian brands available, so be sure to read the label before you pour.


It’s fairly common knowledge that Jell-O contains gelatin, but did you know you can make vegan Jell-O by using agar-agar, a gelatinous substance made from algae? Here’s our vegan jello recipe.


Do you know what kind of marshmallows you’re burning?

Gelatin strikes again, but luckily you can make your own vegan marshmallows with agar-agar, so you won’t miss out on any of the gooey s’mores goodness.

Non-dairy creamer

Although it has non-dairy in its name, many such creamers contain casein, a protein derived from milk.


Omega-3 products

Many products with labels that boast their heart-healthy ingredients contain omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish. For example, Tropicana’s Hearth Healthy orange juice’s label lists tilapia, sardine and anchovy as ingredients.


Some brands of peanuts, such as Planters dry roasted peanuts, also contain gelatin because the substance helps salt and other spices adhere to the nuts.

Potato chips

Some flavored potato chips, especially those flavored with powdered cheese, can contain casein, whey or animal-derived enzymes. PETA maintains a list of popular vegan-friendly snacks.

Refined sugar

You don’t really want to know what makes refined sugar white. (Photo: Handmade Pictures/Shutterstock)

Sugar isn’t naturally white, so manufacturers process it using bone char, which is made from the bones of cattle. To avoid sugar filtered with bone char, purchase unrefined sugar or buy from brands that don’t use bone-char filters.

Refried beans

Many canned refried beans are made with hydrogenated lard, so check labels to ensure you’re buying vegetarian beans.

Vanilla-flavored foods

Although it’s rare, some foods are flavored with Castoreum, a beaver anal secretion. As gross at that sounds, the FDA classifies it as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe,” and Castoreum is typically listed as “natural flavoring.” The additive is most often used in baked goods as a vanilla substitute, but it’s also been used in alcoholic beverages, puddings, ice cream, candy and chewing gum.

Worcestershire sauce

This popular sauce is made with anchovies, but vegetarian-friendly brands are available.