29 things you thought were vegan, but are actually not

Basically, you can’t eat, drink or do anything

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Vegans must think they have it really hard. Just planning meals or eating out is a struggle when nothing is suitable, and most menus at restaurants have only one vegan dish on them. Well, not to be the bearer of even more bad news for the vegans of the world, but there are actually a lot of things that aren't vegan – and you might have thought they are. In summary – you can't eat, drink or do anything if you are vegan. Sorry.

Here's some of the everyday things you might have thought are vegan, but aren't.


Smoking is most definitely not vegan. For one, the act of smoking itself is harmful to the planet and the animals within it, but also the manufacturing methods of cigarettes routinely involves animal testing.

She's not a vegan

It is known cigarette companies test on animals to try and prove there isn't a correlation between smoking and developing cancer. This is because there was a test where beagle dogs were made to smoke, and they didn't develop cancer.

Animal experiments are used a lot on the tobacco industry.


Avocados are surprisingly not vegan. This is because they can't exist without bees.

Part of being a vegan is not to have any products made by animals, and avocados rely on the "immoral labour" of bees to grow.

So if you claim to be vegan but eat loads of avocados, I hate to tell you, you are nothing but a hypocrite.

Not today x


The spray used to extend the shelf-life of bananas contains a bacteria-fighting compound called chitosan, which is taken from crab and shrimp shells.

Starbucks Frappuccinos



A lot of the black dyes used to do tattoos are made from charcoal, which is derived from burning animal bones.

So vegans, you can't get tatted.

Hope she doesn't think they're vegan!!!


The new £5 notes contain tallow, which is derived from animal fat.

So unfortunately, you can't buy anything either!!

Carrier bags

Carrier bags often contain chicken fat, used to make them more slippy so they don’t stick together during manufacture.

Never mind, not like you can buy anything anyway.

Makeup and cosmetics

Makeup brushes are often made with goat hair, eyeshadow contains fish scales and beeswax, which is also in foundation and lipsticks, and cosmetic companies test on animals. So is it vegan?

There are so many ingredients in cosmetics that are actually not vegan – for example, Carmine is a red dye often used in lipsticks and other makeups, and it's made from crushed insects and their eggs.


Oreo themselves have confirmed their cookies are NOT vegan.

They say this is because "Oreo have milk as cross contact and therefore they are not suitable for vegans."

Put them back in the cupboard


Vegans are most definitely not allowed to practice safe sex. A lot of latex products contain glycerin.

But apparently vegans and vegetarians have less sex anyway?


Tampons have a rocky history of being tested on animals.

They’re bleached with chlorine, which is used in animal testing – and sometimes they’re directly tested on animals. As in, put inside rabbits.


Apart from the moral thing that fireworks literally petrify dogs, fireworks themselves are not vegan. They contain stearic acid which is derived from animal fat.

I regret to inform that bonfire night is unfortunately cancelled for the vegan community.

Orange juice

Lots of juices from a carton promise extra vitamins, which sounds great but they often contain vitamin D3 which is from lanolin, a waxy substance from sheep's wool.

And if your juice says it's good for your heart be even more aware, added omega-3 fatty acids are derived from fish oil and fish gelatin.

Literally anything at Greggs

If there's one reason people should feel genuinely sorry for vegans, it's their lack of choice of Greggs. There is literally nothing on the menu for them.

Yes, Greggs has started serving a vegan wrap, but that is all. And here it is, being advertised with some orange juice. Which is NOT VEGAN. YOU CAN'T FULLY ENJOY ANYTHING.


No medication in the UK is truly vegan, and that's because by law they have to be tested on animals.

As well as this, a lot of medicines and tablets contain lactose and gelatine, both of which are unsuitable in a vegan diet.

So, unless you can find some vegan medication, you have to live your life in pain!!

Clothes and shoes

Vegans can't wear any clothes or shoes that contain fur, leather, wool, feathers or silk.

As if being vegan wasn't exhausting enough, there's actual guides on how to create a vegan friendly wardrobe.

Chewing gum

Some gums use bases which are made of gelatin or stearic acid, derived from animals. So vegans can't even quickly freshen up their breath after tucking into their dinner of absolutely nothing.

Bread and pizza

Many breads, bagels and pizzas contain a L-cysteine, an amino acid most commonly derived from human, duck or hog hair.


It is with great sadness that I have to inform you not all alcohol is vegan.

Some wines and beers are clarified with fish bladders, bone marrow, casein, and gelatin.

And in sadder news, I can confirm K Cider, Echo Falls, Guinness Porter and Guinness Black Lager are among those that are not vegan friendly.

But don't worry, Dark Fruits is, VKs are, and Sainsbury's basics Vodka is – so all is not lost.

You can search to see if your favourite alcohol is vegan friendly or not here.

Hey sorry guys but put those down

Fizzy drinks

A lot of these products contain insect-derived dyes.

Basically you drink clear water and that is all.


Surely not the obvious vegan alternative to butter?? Actually, it often contains traces of whey, gelatin and milk proteins.


Most white sugar is processed using bone char to make it look whiter.

Worcestershire sauce

Anchovy is a key ingredient, so that's your vegan cheese on toast lunch ruined forever.


You guessed it – paint balls contain gelatin.

No fun days out for you either.


Fun days in with a colouring book are strictly forbidden also, because of beef fat – that's what makes crayons smell so funny.

But they look so innocent???


You basically just aren't allowed a hobby either. Bike tyres contain stearic acid, derived from animal fat.

So if you're trying to help the environment, your best bet is to just walk.


Yeah, sorry but you're not allowed to wash with anything either.

That's because soaps are made from animal fats, so unless you buy vegan friendly soaps, you're going to have to be dirty.

Dryer sheets and detergents

And you're going to have to live in dirty clothes too.

Animal byproducts are used in a lot of cleaning products – dryer sheets and detergents often list these "fatty acids" in their ingredients.


After a tough day of being a vegan and avoiding everything in the world, all you want is to come home and relax and light a candle. Well you can't.

Candles often contain beeswax, stearic acid and tallow – which is animal fat. All of which are not vegan.

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