Are You Eating Donkey Skin? Here’s How to Tell

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Are you ingesting donkey skin? How about rubbing it on your face? The answer may surprise you.

A PETA Asia investigation has revealed that on farms in China, donkeys are bashed in the head with a sledgehammer and skinned alive so that their skins can be boiled down to make donkey-skin gelatin and used in a Chinese “medicine” called ejiao, which is most commonly found in vitamin, herbal, and acupuncture stores, even in this country. However, donkey-skin gelatin can also be found in other medicines and in herbal teas, beauty products, candy, and energy drinks. Here’s how to spot this cruelly obtained ingredient and keep donkeys out of your cabinets.

Is There ‘Ass’ in Your Supplements? Check Your Labels!

Fortunately, ejiao products usually have an English identifier on the package, but the ingredient can also be listed under a few different names. Watch out for products that contain “donkey oil,” “donkey-hide gelatin,” “donkey hide,” “donkey glue,” or “ass-hide glue.”

It also comes in different forms: It may be in squares, blocks, or granules; mixed with nuts, seeds, or dates; or melted into tea or herbal drink mixes. No matter how it’s presented, the source is still the same.

Close-up of cute donkeys looking into camera© iStock.com/Cecilie Arcurs

Compassionate retailers are pulling ejiao off the shelves after conversations with PETA. You can shop donkey-free at these companies:

  • A&A Medical Supplies, Inc.
  • Acu-Market.com
  • Bonanza.com
  • C.A.I. Corporation
  • Dragon Herbs
  • eBay
  • HerbalShop.com
  • Jet.com
  • Maxnature
  • NuHerbs
  • Shen Clinic
  • Vita Living
  • VitaminLife
  • VitaSpring Health
  • Wabbo

PETA and PETA Asia are continuing to contact companies that sell ejiao and urging them to stop. You can use the form below to join us. You can also ask Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S., to use his influence to stop the cruel treatment of donkeys in China.

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind