Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Veggie friend or foe?

Since I became a vegetarian back in 2007 I have been amazed by the number of foods and cosmetic goods that aren't actually veggie friendly like I would have thought. Now I find myself regularly checking the ingredients of jellies, sauces and vitamins to see if they're me friendly. Some of the things listed below are more recent realisations than I would have liked, which unfortunately means that I have still been unwittingly consuming what I thought I had given up. It almost makes me wish that there was a manual for new vegetarians with a list of additional items we thought we could eat but actually can't. I remember a couple of years ago I went on a few dates with a guy who told me that his brother was a veggie too, but not completely because he still got spice burgers from the local chippers, honestly believing they were veggie friendly. The guy told me that his family knew the truth about the spice burgers and had decided not to tell him. Things did not work out between us as you can probably guess.


  • Spice burgers - they're actually meat
  • Marshmallows - gelatin
  • Some jellies - gelatin
  • Prewhipped cream - gelatin
  • Non-baked cheesecake - gelatin
  • Some caeser salad dressings - anchovies
  • Some Asian cooking sauces like Thai green curry - fish paste
  • Some Miso soups - fish paste
  • Minnistroni soup - usually made with chunks of ham
  • Some vitamin supplements capsules - gelatin
  • Animal suet in mince pies
  • Animal lard in pastry
  • Guinness - islinglass (a fish product) to remove the yeast
  • Chips (Fries) from Mac Donalds - animal fat used in the deep fat fryer
  • Some cheeses -  post publishing note: learnt yesterday from a cheese monger that the majority of cheeses are indeed made with animal rennet (cheddar being one), some are made with synthetic rennet, but it does take a bit of searching to find them. It would appear that some softer cheeses don't contain any rennet. I really can't be of much help to people outside of Ireland other than encouraging you to read the ingredients thoroughly or buy from a cheese monger who can point out all the veggie friendly cheeses to you. For veggies in Ireland the Vegetarian Society of Ireland has a list of veggie friendly cheeses on their website. Click the link to check it out. 

I would like to think that a majority of vegetarians make an effort to buy cosmetic products that aren't tested on animals. Whether this is the case or not, I don't know. When I was in America in January I went into a make up shop and I was amazed by the variety of  make up brushes they had for sale. But, what amazed me most about though was the number of animal hair brushes they had, raccoon being one that particularly stands out in my mind, as well as brushes with synthetic fibers. Before seeing each pot of brushes with a little label saying what kind of fibers they were made of, I genuinely had not considered that make up brushes might not be veggie friendly. I had just assumed they were all synthetic. 

I am sure that while writing this I've either forgotten 4 or 5 things and of course there is the possibility that I have included things because I not yet realised that they aren't veggie friendly. So if there's other products you know about and can't see them on here, please do leave a comment about them. 


  1. Aldi Jelly Beans, Jelly Belly jelly beans, and Jelly tots are all veggie friendly jellies :D So you can eat them to your veggie hearts content :D x

  2. True. :) I was talking to a girl today who pointed out that parmesian isn't veggie friendly because apparently there's bovine rennet used to make it. I had heard this before about other cheeses and it does make me wonder if any of the ones I like and can still eat use rennet too.