A well stocked vegan pantry is full of whole foods like beans, brown rice and quinoa, as well as lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to fall into the processed food trap and buy lots of prepared vegan foods, but I don’t recommend it. Stick with fresh, whole foods and use processed foods sparingly, if at all.


Even processed foods that look vegan can be harboring animal based ingredients. Here is a list of things that may or may not be vegan. Check the package for an indication of the origin of questionable ingredients. When it doubt, don’t buy it!


Activated Carbon – Source: cow bones or vegetable

Albumin – Source: egg whites or animal blood

Amino Acid – Source: animal, vegetable, bacterial, fungal or synthetic

Amylase – Source: bacterial, fungal or pig

Beeswax – Source: insect

Biotin – Source: yeast, milk, egg yolk, nuts, vegetables, grain, animal

Calcium Caseinate – Source: animal milk

Calcium Stearate – Source: animal, usually cow or pig

Carmine – Source: insect

Capric Acid – Source: animal or vegetable fat

Casein – Source: animal milk

Cochineal – Source: insect

Clarifying Agent – Source: egg, animal milk, gelatin, fish or mineral

Cysteine – Source: animal and human hair

Diglyceride – Source: animal or vegetable

Disodium Inosinate – Source: animal, vegetable or fungal

Emulsifier – Source: cow, pig, egg, animal milk, vegetable

Fatty Acid – Source: cow, pig, vegetable

Folic Acid – Source: fungal, synthetic, animal or vegetable

Gelatin – Source: animal bone, cartilage, tendons and skin

Glycerides – Source: cow, pig, synthetic

Glycerols – Source: cow, pig, vegetable

Isinglass – Source: fish

Lactose – Source: animal milk

Lactic Acid – Source: animal milk, molasses, vegetables

Lanolin – Source: sheep’s wool

Lard – Source: pig

Lecithin – Source: animal, plant, egg

Lipase – Source: cow, pig, fungal

Magnesium Sterate – Source: cow, pig, mineral or vegetable

Monoclyceride – Source: animal, vegetable or synthetic

Myristic Acid – Source: animal and vegetable fat

Oleic Acid – Source: animal tallow, vegetable fat, oil

Palmitic Acid – Source: cow, pig or vegetable fat

Pancreatin – Source: cow and pig digestive enzymes

Pepsin – Source: pig stomachs

Propolis – Source: bees

Processing Agent – Source: egg, animal milk, cow, pig, vegetable, mineral, synthetic

Protease – Source: animal, vegetable, bacterial, fungal

Rennet – Source: cows’ stomachs, plants, bacteria, mold

Royal Jelly – Source: insect

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate – Source: animal milk, vegetable, milk

Stearic Acid – Source: animal fat, vegetable

Suet – Source: cow and sheep fat

Surface - Active Agents – Source: animal, vegetable or synthetic

Tallow – Source: sheep and cow fat

Tripsin – Source: cow or pig digestive enzyme

Tyrosine – Source: poultry feathers

Vitamin A – Source: vegetable, synthetic, egg yolks, fish oil

Vitamin D – Source: sheep’s wool, fish, fungal

Whey – Source: cheese and cows’ milk


For a complete list of animal based ingredients, I recommend Animal Ingredients A to Z.