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i recently went from being a casual vegetarian, to sticking to a vegan diet.  it seems that every day i find out about something else that isn't vegan, like wine, condoms, and lotion.  my first question is this:
what things other than food are not vegan, and what makes them not vegan, and are there specific brands that are vegan?
what are some junky processed foods that happen to be vegan? (i'm thinking along the lines of oreos and swedish fish here)
ALSO, i own a lot of leather boots and jackets and belts and stuff.  what is the ethical standpoint on buying leather goods second hand? 

Almost all plain Nabisco cookies are vegan.  The exception is Chips Ahoy and Cameos.  I don't know of a substitute for Chips Ahoy, but Vienna Fingers substitute for the Cameos.  Notice I said plain Nabisco.  Chocolate covered Oreos ain't happening.

Plain, uniced poptarts are vegan.
Most Nature Valley Granola bars are vegan--no on Oats and Honey, though.
Plain potato chips and tortilla chips are vegan.  Stay away from flavored potato chips.  Hint of Lime Tostitos are not vegan.  The other day I bought Utz Jalapeno potato chips thinking jalapeno = vegetable.  Nope,  they had whey in them.  So if your going for something flavored, read your labels.  Smoked nuts are ok.

To my knowledge, all soft drinks are vegan.

Most junk food baked goods aren't vegan.  I have limited knowledge of this bc I do all my own baking.

Candy = trouble
You must give up milk chocolate.  And all the dark chocolate I know of in the regular grocery store has whey or milk fat in it.
Instead I buy Green and Blacks, Endangered Species, Tropical Source and Newman's Own dark chocolates.  Most of those are ok. 
Hard candy is mostly ok, but you have to stay away from butter flavored such as Werther's Original.  I don't think Buttered Rum Life Savers are vegan, but the rest of the plain ones are.  Not the swirled lifesavers,however.
Anything jellied such as Skittles is not vegan.  Also Starburst isn't vegan.  I think Twizzlers are vegan, though.  Chewing gum varies.  I don't chew it so can't recommend one in particular.

If I'm wrong on any of these, someone please correct me. 

I haven't bought leather, wool, silk or down since I became vegan.  I do have a down comforter I use every winter.  I will continue to wear/use the leather items I currently own until they wear out.

I don't think that normally buying these items secondhand is ok.  If I were to purchase a belt from a consignment shop, my money would be going back to the original purchaser of the item, thereby subsidizing the purchase of animal products.

I have often considered going to a charity shop to buy used wool sweaters because I get so cold in the winter.  But I've never done it.  Technically, if I were to do so, I wouldn't be contributing to animal use/cruelty.  However, I'm also concerned about the image I project to nonvegans who know I'm a vegan.  I think it would be a little hypocritical to say I was vegan and then parade around in a wardrobe of wool, albeit used, sweaters.  Especially as those who know me wouldn't understand the conditions under which I purchased the article.

I'm sure you'd find a variety of opinions regarding the use of secondhand animal products among the members of this site.

Ultimately, it's your call as to how far you want to take this and the way you want to define your veganism.


i love my alternative down comforter and anyone who's slept in my bed agrees it's JUST as comfy as regular down!!!


Vegan junk:

Oreos, all flavors, except chocolate-covered
Nutter Butter cookies
Teddy Grahams
Famous Amos sandwich cookies
Mamba (chewy candy)
Mentos (might have confectioner's glaze )
Abba Zabba
Barbecue Lays (but not barbecue baked lays (?))
Plain Lays, Fritos, Baked Lays

A good place to check is the store-brand junk food. I've almost always found that the cheap chocolate chip cookies are vegan, among many others, and I found vegan croissants at Albertson's (by their bakery), and vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cookies at Ralphs/Kroger (bakery too).

As far as stuff you've got now that is animal products (leather, wool, etc), I'd use it unless it creeped me out too much. I don't see a huge ethical issue about continuing to use what you already have, it's more of a "yuck!" issue. But you could always give things away, if you don't mind seeming like the crazy vegan who wants to give away her old smelly leather belt.
Whatever leather/wool I had left I gave away to Good Will/Salvation Army. I've had two instances where I accidentally bought something made of silk (it seemed cheap!). First time I let it sit in my closet for a few years 'til I gave it to my mom, second time I bought it secondhand and decided to keep it.


Re: leather. I kept all of mine to use. I didn't buy any new leather, but I'm just using the stuff I already have until it either 1. wears out, 2. I find something vegan I like with which to replace it (and I have the money). At which point I'll give it to Goodwill or freecycle.

As far junkfood and lotion ... I've found this interesting correalation. If something is bad for you, it's probably not vegan.  ;) Seriously, though, I've noticed a HUGE change in my skin, hair, and nails since switching to all natural, plant based lotions, shampoos, etc. My skin glows. I never had that happen on the "regular" lotions.


what about medications? i know hormone replacement therapies are often derived from horse urine, but are there any common drugs that are made from animal stuff?  things like amoxicillin, sunscreen, BC, anything that would be put in me if i were sent to the emergency room for any reason...  what about those toads that have psychedelic sweat... i think if i was given the opportunity to lick a trippy toad i would do it...  that's bad. 

AND what are some vegan wines and beers, and is there any hard alcohol that is not vegan?


...You must give up milk chocolate...

Five words--Terra Nostra Rice Milk Chocolate. Two more words--ohmygod yummy!  ;D :-* (Won't find it at a regular grocery, however.)


I think I had that once.  That is, unless there's another brand of rice milk chocolate bar out there.  But I had been eating dark chocolate so long and I was so accustomed that when I ate the rice milk chocolate bar it was so unchocolatey I thought what's the point?


I think I had that once.  That is, unless there's another brand of rice milk chocolate bar out there.   But I had been eating dark chocolate so long and I was so accustomed that when I ate the rice milk chocolate bar it was so unchocolatey I thought what's the point?

I let each square melt in my mouth and it's very satisfying to me. :) I like dark, sweetened chocolate okay, but I love creamy things and this is creamy.


Lime Green, travel this journey at a pace that is right for you.

When I went vegetarian, I got rid of all my down, silk & leather - anything made with an animal. I hated wool & had none. I never cared much for leather, so I didn't have much -- mostly shoes. I had one down coat. But I had some beautiful silk garmets that I loved. When I learned about silkworms I could no longer wear them. I gave it all to the local Humane Society thrift shop & never felt better. Ironically, I still ate dairy. It was many, many years after when I learned how cruel the dairy industry is.

Not everyone can afford to just give away all their animal based items. There were not nearly as many vegan shoe selections 20 years ago! I can tell you that I wore some butt ugly shoes for many years! And there were no truly warm alternatives to down & wool coats. They were just starting to invent those super warm synthetics they use in coats & sleeping bags. Everything about being vegan just gets easier!

Browse Vegan Essentials & Pangea -- fun stuff! And if you go through VegWeb's VegLinks,, VegWeb gets a kick back. I'm sure Yvette wouldn't call it that,  ;)  but it supports this site.

It's a journey. Do what you feel comfortable with & what you can.

ps - Gelatin is the Antichrist of vegetarianism. It shows up in the most unlikely places, from avacado dip to nail polish remover.  ???


Yes.  I remember it was very creamy.

Good point about availability of vegan products.  Just in past 7 years since I've known about veganism--difference is remarkable.


:) :) :) Check this out!!!  :) :) :) I love duvet covers (with 7 cats, I have to have a washable bedspread) and I recently turned up this website for an alternative to the down comforters that usually go inside of a duvet cover.

So I was this close to buying a new queen comforter (not to replace a down one, just a really ugly one that needs to go away ;) ) and was excited to see how much cheaper down alternative is, and then I saw that the comforter I was going to buy had silk trim. Not sure if this is true for all of them, but just wanted to give a heads up to those interested. I'm going to keep browsing their site--they have some nice stuff!


confectioner's glaze )

???  Really?  Is there a way of telling whether or not confectioner's glaze on a product is vegan?  ie:  is it ever labeled as something else?


my main conflict with clothing items is this:
i became vegetarian, and then vegan (food-wise) for mainly environmental reasons, however animal rights are still a concern.  and so, vegan shoes will never decay once you throw them out, whereas leather shoes not only fit my feet better, but when they eventually get thrown out at least they will rot and be returned to the earth. 
also, the only goods that i buy brand-new are underwear, socks and shoes.  everything else i buy used or make out of material from a second-hand store. 
i guess what i'm saying is that i would rather buy a used wool sweater than a brand new hemp sweater, because i'm that anti-megaconsumerism


i used to do that-- get wool at the thrift shop-- but i stopped because a) itches and b) it seems like a contradictory message to me. granted, i don't know if most people would be "on the clue bus" enough to notice.

Excellent point - I usually have to explain that no, I don't eat shrimp. Wool is not even on the radar screen.

Additionally, when I have brought up wool and honey to omnis (I myself use both, as I am not "sold" on the issue myself)- I find that often they are less sympathetic to veganism than if I just discuss the more obvious issues.


For me I decided to wear my leather belt and shoes until they wore out and then buy vegan replacements.  Same thing with makeup.  The only new thing I purchased was an extreme temp down winter coat and gloves because for whatever reason I have only one good working vein in my lower right leg and therefore am on 2 blood thinners and a veisodilator (sp?) so I have really thin blood, no cold tollerance and have to be really careful about frostbite.  That was the only coat and gloves that helped me stay warm.  Was I happy about buying them?  No, but I have to keep myself healthy.

As far as medicine, that is one thing I try not to dwell on.  The medicine I take for crohn's disease is in a gelatin capsule.  It's like above, I'd prefer to not have to take them but have to keep myself healthy.

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