Ingredients in Detail
Albumen Derived from eggs, probably
Alcohol Many alcoholic drinks are fined
(ie clarified) using animal ingredients, see beer and wine.
Spirits are suitable for vegetarians except for some Russian
and Eastern European Vodkas which may have used bone charcoal
in their production. Watch out for cochineal in Campari.
Alpaca Animal derived clothing material.
Anchovies Small fish, found on pizzas
and in some brands of worcester sauce.
Angora Animal derived clothing material.
Animal Fat Carcass fat not milk fat.
Aspic Savoury jelly derived from meat
- Beer All cask conditioned "real" ales will have been
fined with isinglass, and some keg, bottled and canned bitters,
milds and stouts also. Lagers are generally chill filtered,
but some brands may use isinglass on occasion.
- Biscuits Quite likely to contain animal fats.
- Bone Used in bone china and cutlery handles.
- Bread Most large producers use vegetable based emulsifiers
(E471, E472 etc), but local bakers may not. Some bakers may
grease the tins with animal fat.
- Breakfast cereals Often fortified with vitamin D3.
- Brushes Animal hair is commonly used for paint and
- Butter Pure butter is suitable for vegetarians.
- Capsules Usually made from gelatine, vegetarian alternatives
are coming onto the market.
- Cashmere Animal derived clothing material.
- Catering/Cookery Training may require the handling
of meat. See: The Cordon Vert Cookery School
- Caviar Fish eggs. The fish must be killed to obtain
- Cheese Likely to have been produced using animal
- Chewing gum Often contain glycerine. Wrigleys use
a vegetable glycerine.
- Chips May have been fried in animal fat.
- Chitin Produced from crab & shrimp shells.
- Chocolate Watch out for whey and emulsifiers.
- Clothing Many materials derived from animals, others
causing environmental problems.
- Cochineal E120, made from crushed insects.
- Crisps Often use whey as a flavour carrier, ready
salted are the only clearly vegetarian flavour, though some
beef crisps are flavoured with yeast extract and are therefore
- Down Usually from slaughtered ducks or geese, though
some live plucking does occur, used in bedding.
- E Numbers European food additives numbering system,
not all vegetarian.
- Edible Fats Can mean animal fats.
- Eggs Some vegetarians may wish to avoid battery eggs
and/or barn eggs. The Vegetarian Society does not award its
seedling symbolto any products containing eggs other than
- Emulsifiers May not be vegetarian.
- Fast Food Watch out for Bean/Vegetable burgers being
cooked with fish/chicken/meat products.
- Fatty Acids May be of animal or vegetable origin.
- Feathers Clothing material
- Felt Made from wool or fur.
- Fur Clothing material
- Gelatin/Gelatine A gelling agent derived from animal
ligaments, skins, tendons, bones etc. Alternatives such as
Agar Agar, Carrageenand Gelozoneexist.
- Glycerine/Glycerol May be produced from animal fats,
synthesised from propylene or from fermentation of sugars.
- Gravy Vegetarian gravy mixes are available. Be careful
- Honey Avoided by most vegans.
- Ice Cream Look out for non dairy fats, E numbers,
- Isinglass A fining agent derived from the swim bladders
of certain tropical fish, especially the Chinese sturgeon.
- Jelly Usually contains gelatinethough Alternativesare
- Lactose Produced from milk, sometimes as a by product
of the cheese making process.
- Lanolin Produced from sheep's wool. Used to make
- Leather Around 10% of the value of an animal at slaughter
is in its skin.
- Lecithin Nearly always produced fromsoyabeans, though
can be produced from eggs.
- Margarines May contain animal fats, fish oils, vitamin
D3, E numbers, whey, gelatine.
- Mohair Animal derived clothing material.
- Olive Oil No problems! Just worth knowing about.
See also Fats and Cholesterol.
- Pasta May contain egg.
- Pastry May contain animal fat.
- Pepsin Enzyme from a pig'sstomach, used like rennet.
- Pet Foods Dogsare omnivorous and can be fed on an
exclusively vegetarian diet. Canned and dried dog foods are
- Photography All Photographic film uses gelatine.
- Postage Stamps The backing glue is free from animal
- Rennet An enzyme taken from the stomach of a newly
killed calf used in the cheese making process. Vegetarian
cheese is produced using microbial or fungal enzymes.
- Restaurants Watch out for non-vegetarian cheese,
battery eggs, stock. See the Leisure & Lifestyle Directoryand
the Food & Drink Guildfor local restaurants.
- Roe Fish eggs, see caviar.
- Shellac Secreted under tree bark by insects. To be
treated in a similar way to Honey.
- Shoes Quality synthetic shoes are becoming more widely
- Silk Harvesting silk used in invariably causes the
death of the silk worm.
- Soap Many soaps are not vegetarian since they use
animal fats and/or glycerine. Vegetable oil based soaps are
quite widely available.
- Soft Drinks Some canned Orange drinks use gelatine
as a carrier for added Beta Caratine. (This would not appear
on the ingredients panel).
- Soup Watch out for the stock.
- Spirits (alcoholic that is!) possible problems with
fining and filtering.
- Stearic Acid May be vegetarian or not.
- Stock May contain animal fat.
- Suet Usually made from animal fat, vegetable versions
- Sweets Look out for gelatine in boiled sweets and
mints, and cochineal in boiled sweets and Smarties. (some
vegetarian sweets are listed by chocolate manufacturers.)
- Toothpaste Many brands contain glycerine.
- Vegan The Vegan Society produces The Animal Free
Shopper which lists branded products suitable for vegans (available
from The Vegetarian Society).
- Vitamins Vitamin D2 is produced by sunlight acting
on bacteria, however D3 is derived from lanolin from sheeps'
wool therefore only D3 which is guaranteed sourced from wool
sheared from live sheep is considered acceptable.
- Seedling Symbol You can be sure that any products
carrying the Vegetarian Society's V symbol have been thoroughly
checked to ensure they are suitable for vegetarians.
- Washing powder Soap based powders may contain animal
- Whey Whey and whey powder are usually by-products
of the cheese making processwhich mainly uses animal rennet.
- Wine May have been fined using isinglass, dried blood,
egg albumen, gelatine, chitin. Vegetarian alternatives include
bentonite, kieselguhr, kaolin and silica gel. Non vintage
port is fined with gelatine.
- Wool may not be so sheep friendly.
- Worcester Sauce Most brands contain anchovies.
- Yoghurts Some low fat yoghurts contain gelatine.