Continued from Animal Ingredients List
Whether an ingredient was derived from an animal is not
always clear. Many companies remove the word "animal" from their
ingredient labels in order to avoid putting off consumers and to increase
profit margins. Animal ingredients are used not because they are better than
vegetable-derived or synthetic ingredients but because they are generally
cheaper. Today's slaughterhouses must dispose of the byproducts of the billions
of animals killed every year and have found an easy and profitable solution in
selling them to food and cosmetics manufacturers.
Animal ingredients come from every industry that uses
animals, including the meat, dairy, egg, fishing, fur, and wool trades as well
as others such as the horseracing and rodeo industries, which send unwanted
animals to slaughter. Browse the "Issues" section of PETA.org to learn more about the animals who
suffer because of these industries and what you can do to help.
Rendering plants process the bodies of millions of tons of
dead animals every year, transforming decaying flesh and bones into profitable
animal ingredients. The primary source of rendered animals is slaughterhouses,
which provide the "inedible" parts of all animals killed for food.
The bodies of companion animals who are euthanized in animal shelters wind up
at rendering plants, too. One small plant in Québec renders 10 tons of dogs and
cats per week—a sobering reminder of the horrible dog and cat overpopulation problem with which animal shelters must cope.
Some animal ingredients do not wind up in the final product
but are used in the manufacturing process. For example, in the production of
some refined sugars, bone char is used to whiten the sugar, and in some wines
and beers, isinglass (from the swim bladders of fish) is used as a
Kosher symbols and markings are not reliable indicators on
which vegans or vegetarians should base their purchasing decisions. This issue
is complex, but the "K" or "Kosher" symbols basically mean
that the food manufacturing process was overseen by a rabbi, who ensures that
the food meets Hebrew dietary laws. Kosher foods may not contain both dairy
products and meat, but they may contain one or the other. "P" or
"Parve" means that the product contains no meat from land animals or
dairy products but may contain fish or eggs. "D," as in "Kosher
D," means that the product either contains dairy ingredients or was made
with machinery that also processes dairy ingredients. For example, a chocolate and
peanut candy may be marked "Kosher D" even if it doesn't contain dairy
ingredients because the nondairy chocolate was manufactured on machinery that
also made milk chocolate. For questions regarding these and other Jewish
symbols, please consult Jewish organizations or publications.
Thousands of products on store shelves have labels that are
hard to decipher. It's nearly impossible to avoid tiny amounts of animal
ingredients, but it's getting easier. Our list will give you a good working
knowledge of the most common animal ingredients and their alternatives,
allowing you to make decisions that will help save animals' lives.
Good sources of additional information are A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic
Ingredients, A Consumer's
Dictionary of Food Additives, or an unabridged dictionary. All these are
available at most libraries.
Return to Animal Ingredients List
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.