What Does 100% Vegan Mean

Animal Ingredients and Their Alternatives

Adopting a vegan diet means saying “no” to cruelty to animals and environmental destruction and “yes” to compassion and good health. It also means paying attention to the ingredients in your food, cosmetics, and other products. On the ingredients list below, the vegan alternatives were selected and used to formulate DeVita Natural Skin Care System skin care products and Absolute Minerals Color Cosmetics.

PETA’s list of animal ingredients and their alternatives helps consumers avoid animal ingredients in food, cosmetics, and other products. Please note, however, that it is not all-inclusive. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations. Furthermore, many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. If you have a question regarding an ingredient in a product, call us. 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 of these are available at most libraries.

Adding to the confusion over whether an ingredient is of animal origin is the fact that many companies have removed the word “animal” from their ingredient labels to avoid putting off consumers. For example, rather than use the term “hydrolyzed animal protein,” companies may use another term such as “hydrolyzed collagen.” Simple for them, but frustrating for the caring consumer.

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 slaughter of billions of animals 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: meat, fur, wool, dairy, egg, and fishing, as well as industries such as horse racing and rodeo, which send unwanted animals to slaughter. Contact PETA for our factsheets or check out PETA.org to learn more about the animals who suffer at the hands of these industries and what you can do to help these animals.

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 can wind up at rendering plants too.

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; in some wines and beers, is in glass (from the swim bladders of fish) is used as a “clearing” agent.

If you’re new to this, don’t be surprised if your friends and family are at first put off by all the label-reading and ingredient-checking that you’re doing at restaurants and grocery stores. Explain your choices, but don’t run the risk of alienating would-be vegans by being overly fussy with waiters or debating someone over a small amount of one ingredient: It can make the decision to go vegan seem like a chore. Relax a bit. It’s probably not feasible for most people to completely eliminate all animal ingredients from their lives. Your goal as a vegan is to avoid animal ingredients whenever possible. Our list will give you a good working knowledge of the most common animal-derived ingredients and their alternatives, allowing you to make decisions that will save animals’ lives.

Hormone from the adrenal glands of hogs, cattle, and sheep. Most often synthetically produced for medicine. Also called epinephrine.

(See Amino Acids.)

In eggs, milk, muscles, blood, and many vegetable tissues and fluids. In cosmetics, albumen is usually derived from egg whites and used as a coagulating agent. May cause allergic reaction. In cakes, cookies, candies, etc. Egg whites are sometimes used in “clearing” or “fining” wines.

(See Albumen.)

(See Allantoin.)

(See Allantoin.)

Aliphatic Alcohol.
(See Lanolin and Vitamin A.)

Uric acid from mammals and plants. In cosmetics (especially creams and lotions) and used in the treatment of wounds and ulcers. Derivatives: alcloxa and aldioxa. Alternatives: extract of comfrey root and synthetics.

Alligator Skin.
(See Leather.)

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids.
Any one of several acids used as an exfoliant and in anti-wrinkle products. They can also be found in shampoos and cuticle softeners. Lactic acid may be animal-derived. Alternatives: plant- or fruit-derived acids such as glycolic or citric.

From sperm whale intestines. Used as a fixative in making perfumes and as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Alternatives: synthetic or vegetable fixatives.

Amino Acids.
The building blocks of protein in all animals and plants. In cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: synthetics and plant sources.

Hair from the Angora rabbit or goat. Used in clothing. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Animal Fats and Oils.
In foods, cosmetics, etc. Highly allergenic. Alternatives: olive oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, safflower oil, etc.

Animal Hair.
In some blankets, mattresses, brushes, furniture, etc. Alternatives: vegetable and synthetic fibers…

Arachidonic Acid.
A liquid unsaturated fatty acid that is found in the livers, brains, glands, and fat of animals and humans. Generally isolated from animal liver. Used for nutrition and in skin creams and lotions to soothe eczema and rashes. Alternatives: synthetics, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and calendula ointment.

Arachidyl Proprionate.
A wax that can be from animal fat. Used in lipsticks and skin care products. Alternatives: peanut or vegetable oil.

Aspartic Acid. Aminosuccinate Acid.
A nonessential amino acid that can be from animal or plant sources (e.g., molasses). Sometimes synthesized for commercial purposes.

Benzoic Acid.

In almost all vertebrates and in berries. Most commercial use comes from plant sources. Used as a preservative in mouthwashes, deodorants, creams, aftershave lotions, etc. Alternatives: cranberries and gum benzoin (tincture) from the aromatic balsamic resin of trees grown in China, Sumatra, Thailand, and Cambodia.

content Carotene.
(See Carotene.)

Biotin. Vitamin H. Vitamin B Factor.
In every living cell and in larger amounts in milk and yeast. Used as a texturizer in cosmetics, shampoos, and creams. Alternatives: plant sources.

From any slaughtered animal. Used as adhesive in plywood, also found in cheese-making, foam rubber, intravenous feedings, and medicines. Possibly in foods such as lecithin. Alternatives: synthetics and plant sources.

Boar Bristles.
Hair from wild or captive hogs. In “natural” toothbrushes and bath and shaving brushes. Alternatives: vegetable fibers, nylon, and the peelu branch or peelu gum.

Bone Char.
Animal bone ash. Used in bone china and often to make sugar white. Serves as the charcoal used in aquarium filters. Alternative: synthetic tribasic calcium phosphate.

Bone Meal.
Crushed or ground animal bones. In some fertilizers. In some vitamins and supplements as a source of calcium. In some toothpastes. Alternatives: plant mulch, vegetable compost, dolomite, clay, and vegetarian vitamins.

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Leather.)

(See Caprylic Acid.)

Capryl contentine.
(See Caprylic Acid.)

Caprylic Acid.
A liquid fatty acid from cow’s or goat’s milk. Also from palm and coconut oil and other plant oils. In perfumes and soaps. Derivatives: caprylic triglyceride, caprylamine oxide, and capryl contentine. Alternatives: plant sources.

Caprylic Triglyceride.
(See Caprylic Acid.)

(See Urea.)

Carmine. Cochineal. Carminic Acid.
Red pigment from the crushed female cochineal insect. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, red apple sauce, and other foods (including red lollipops and food coloring). May cause allergic reaction. Alternatives: beet juice (used in powders, rouges, and shampoos; no known toxicity) and alkanet root (from the root of this herb-like tree; used as a red dye for inks, wines, lip balms, etc.; no known toxicity; can also be combined to make a copper or blue coloring). (See Colors.)

Carminic Acid.
(See Carmine.)

Carotene. Provitamin A. content Carotene.
A pigment found in many animal tissues and in all plants. Used as a coloring in cosmetics and in the manufacture of Vitamin A.

Casein. Caseinate. Sodium Caseinate.
Milk protein. In “nondairy” creamers, soy cheese, many cosmetics, hair preparations, and beauty masks. Alternatives: soy protein, soy milk, and other vegetable milks.

(See Casein.)

Wool from the Kashmir or “Cashmere” goat. Used in clothing. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Castor. Castoreum.
Creamy substance with strong odor from muskrat and beaver genitals. Commercial uses are derived from the castor bean. Used as a fixative in perfume and incense.

(See Castor.)

Tough string from the intestines of sheep, horses, etc. Used for surgical sutures. Also used for stringing tennis rackets and musical instruments, etc. Alternatives: nylon and other synthetic fibers.

Fatty acids and sugars found in the covering of nerves. Those used in cosmetics are derived from cattle or plant sources.

Cetyl Alcohol.
Wax found in spermaceti from sperm whales. Alternatives: vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut) and synthetic spermaceti.

Cetyl Palmitate.
(See Spermaceti.)

A fiber derived from crustacean shells. Used in tanning products and wound-healing emulsions.

(See Cholesterol.)

A steroid alcohol in all animal fats and oils, nervous tissue, egg yolk, and blood. Can be derived from lanolin. In cosmetics, eye creams, shampoos, etc. Alternatives: solid complex alcohols (sterols) from plant sources.

Choline Bitartrate.
Dietary supplement. (See Lecithin.)

Unctuous secretion painfully scraped from a gland very near the genital organs of civet cats. Used as a fixative in perfumes and as flavoring in some beverages, ice creams, and candy. Alternatives: see alternatives to Musk.

(See Carmine.)

Cod Liver Oil.
(See Marine Oil.)

Fibrous protein in vertebrates. Usually derived from animal tissue. Found in skin creams. Can’t affect the skin’s own collagen. An allergen. Alternatives: soy protein, almond oil, amla oil (see alternatives to Keratin), etc.

Colors. Dyes.
Pigments from animal, plant, and synthetic sources used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. Cochineal is from insects. Widely used FD&C and D&C colors are coal-tar (bituminous coal) derivatives that are continuously tested on animals because of their carcinogenic properties. Alternatives: grapes, beets, turmeric, saffron, carrots, chlorophyll, annatto, and alkanet.

(See Cortisone.)

Cortisone. Corticosteroid.
Hormone from adrenal glands. That used in medicine is obtained from hogs. Alternatives: synthetics.

Cysteine, L-Form.
An amino acid from hair, often obtained from animals. Used in hair care products and creams, in some bakery products, and in wound-healing formulations. Alternatives: plant sources.

An amino acid found in urine and horsehair. Used as a nutritional supplement and in emollients. Alternatives: plant sources.

(See Panthenol.)

(See Monoglycerides and Glycerin.)

Dimethyl Stearamine.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Goose or duck insulating feathers. From slaughtered or cruelly exploited geese. Used as an insulator in quilts, parkas, sleeping bags, pillows, etc. Alternatives: polyester and synthetic substitutes, kapok (silky fibers from the seeds of some tropical trees), and milkweed seed pod fibers.

(See Colors.)

Egg Protein.
In shampoos, skin preparations, etc. Alternatives: plant proteins.

Protein found in the tendons of cows. Similar to collagen. Used in hair and skin products. Can’t affect the skin’s own elasticity. Alternatives: synthetics and protein from plant tissues.

Emu Oil.
From slaughtered, flightless ratite birds native to Australia. Used in cosmetics and creams. Alternatives: vegetable and plant oils.

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Vitamin D.)

(See Estrogen.)

Estrogen. Estradiol.
Female hormones from pregnant mares’ urine. Considered a drug. Can have harmful systemic effects if used by children. Used for reproductive problems and in birth control pills and Premarin, a menopause drug. In creams, perfumes, and lotions. Has a negligible effect in the creams as a skin restorative; simple vegetable-source emollients are considered better. Alternatives: oral contraceptives and menopause drugs based on synthetic steroids or phytoestrogens (from plants, especially palm-kernel oil). Menopausal symptoms can also be treated with diet and herbs.

(See Animal Fats.)

Fatty Acids.
Can be one or any mixture of liquid and solid acids such as caprylic, lauric, myristic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Used in bubble baths, lipsticks, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, and food. Alternatives: vegetable-derived acids, soy lecithin, safflower oil, bitter almond oil, sunflower oil, etc.

FD&C Colors.
(See Colors.)

From exploited and slaughtered birds. Used whole as ornaments or ground up in shampoos. (See Down and Keratin.)

Fish Liver Oil.
Used in vitamins and supplements. In milk fortified with Vitamin D. Alternatives: yeast extract, ergosterol, and exposure of the skin to sunshine.

Fish Oil.
(See Marine Oil.) Fish oil can also be from marine mammals. Used in soap-making.

Fish Scales.
Used in shimmery makeups. Alternatives: mica, rayon, and synthetic pearl.

Obtained from animals (usually minks, foxes, or rabbits) cruelly trapped in steel-jaw leghold traps or raised in intensive confinement on fur farms. Alternatives: synthetics. (See Sable Brushes.)

(See Gelatin.)

Gelatin. Gel.
Protein obtained by boiling animal skins, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. Used in shampoos, face masks, and other cosmetics. Used as a thickener for fruit gelatins and puddings (e.g., “Jello”). In candies, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, and yogurts. On photographic film and in vitamins as a coating and as capsules. Sometimes used to assist in “clearing” wines. Alternatives: carrageen  (carrageenan, Irish moss), seaweeds (algin, agar-agar, kelpused in jellies, plastics, and medicine), pectin from fruits, dextrins, locust bean gum, cotton gum, and silica gel. Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the marsh mallow plant. Vegetarian capsules are now available from several companies. Digital cameras don’t use film.

(See Glycerin.)

Glycerin. Glycerol.
A byproduct of soap manufacture (normally uses animal fat). In cosmetics, foods, mouthwashes, chewing gum, toothpastes, soaps, ointments, medicines, lubricants, transmission and brake fluid, and plastics. Derivatives: glycerides, glyceryls, glycreth-26, and polyglycerol. Alternatives: vegetable glycerina byproduct of vegetable oil soap and derivatives of seaweed and petroleum.

(See Glycerin.)

(See Glycerin.)

(See Glycerin.)

Guanine. Pearl Essence.
Constituent of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid and found in all animal and plant tissues. For commercial use, it may be obtained from the scales of fish, but synthetic pearl or aluminum and bronze particles are more common. In shampoo, nail polish, and other cosmetics.

Hide Glue.
Same as gelatin but of a cruder, impure form. Alternatives: dextrins and synthetic petrochemical-based adhesives. (See Gelatin.)

(See Animal Hair.)

Hyaluronic Acid.
A protein found in umbilical cords and in the fluids around the joints. Used in cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils. An anti-wrinkle cream made with a non-animal form of hyaluronic acid has been approved for use in Canada, Europe, and Australia.

(See Cortisone.)

Imidazolidinyl Urea.
(See Urea.)

From the pancreas of hogs and cattle. Used by millions of diabetics daily. Alternatives: synthetics, vegetarian diet and nutritional supplements, and human insulin grown in a lab.

A form of gelatin prepared from the internal membranes of fish bladders. Sometimes used in “clearing” wines and in foods. Alternatives: bentonite clay; “Japanese isinglass”; agar-agar (see alternatives to Gelatin); and mica, a mineral used in cosmetics.

Isopropyl Lanolate.
(See Lanolin.)

Isopropyl Myristate.
(See Myristic Acid.) Used in skin creams.

Isopropyl Palmitate.
Complex mixtures of isomers of stearic acid and palmitic acid. Used as a lubricant and in makeup, hair and nail products, and cologne.  (See Stearic Acid.)

Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, and permanent wave solutions. Alternatives: almond oil, soy protein, amla oil (from the fruit of an Indian tree), and human hair from salons. Rosemary and nettle give body and strand strength to hair.

Lactic Acid.
Found in blood and muscle tissue. Most commercial uses are derived from the fermentation of whey, cornstarch, potatoes, and molasses.

Milk sugar from the milk of mammals. In eye lotions, foods, tablets, cosmetics, baked goods, and medicines. Alternatives: plant milk sugars.

(See Lanolin.)

(See Lanolin.)

Lanolin. Lanolin Acids. Wool Fat. Wool Wax.
A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool. Used as an emollient in many skin care products and cosmetics and in medicines. An allergen with no proven effectiveness. (See Wool for information about cruelty to sheep.) Derivatives: aliphatic alcohols, cholesterin, isopropyl lanolate, laneth, Lanogene™, lanolin alcohols, lanosterols, sterols, and triterpene alcohols. Alternatives: plant and vegetable oils.

Lanolin Alcohol.
(See Lanolin.)

(See Lanolin.)

Fat from hog abdomens. In shaving creams, soaps, and cosmetics. In baked goods, French fries, refried beans, and many other foods. Alternatives: pure vegetable fats or oils.

Leather. Suede. Calfskin. Sheepskin. Alligator Skin. Other Types of Skin.
Subsidizes the meat industry. Used to make wallets, handbags, furniture and car upholstery, shoes, etc. Alternatives: cotton, canvas, nylon, vinyl, ultrasuede, pleather, and other synthetics.

Lecithin. Choline Bitartrate.
Waxy substance in nervous tissue of all living organisms but frequently obtained for commercial purposes from eggs and soybeans. Also from nerve tissue, blood, milk, and corn. Choline bitartrate, the basic component of lecithin, is in many animal and plant tissues and prepared synthetically. Lecithin can be found in eye creams, lipsticks, liquid powders, hand creams, lotions, soaps, shampoos, other cosmetics, and some medicines. Alternatives: soybean lecithin and synthetics.

Linoleic Acid.
An essential fatty acid. Used in cosmetics and vitamins. Alternatives: see alternatives to Fatty Acids.

Enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs. Used in cheese-making and in digestive aids. Alternatives: vegetable enzymes and castor beans.

(See Lipoids.)

Lipoids. Lipids.
Fat and fat-like substances that are found in animals and plants. Alternatives: vegetable oils. Marine Oil.
From fish or marine mammals (including porpoises). Used in soap-making. Used as a shortening (especially in some margarines), as a lubricant, and in paint. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Essential amino acid found in various proteins (usually from egg albumen and casein). Used as a texturizer in cosmetic creams and for freshness in potato chips. Alternatives: synthetics.

Milk Protein.
Hydrolyzed milk protein. From the milk of cows. In cosmetics, shampoos, moisturizers, conditioners, etc. Alternatives: soy protein and other plant proteins.

Mink Oil.
From mink. In cosmetics, creams, etc. Alternatives: vegetable oils and emollients such as avocado oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.

Monoglycerides. Glycerides. (See Glycerin.)
From animal fat. In margarines, cake mixes, candies, other foods, etc. In cosmetics. Alternatives: vegetable glycerides.

Dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer. In perfumes and in food flavorings. Alternatives: labdanum oil (which comes from various rockrose shrubs) and other plants with a musky scent. Labdanum oil has no known toxicity.

Myristal Ether Sulfate.
(See Myristic Acid.)

Myristic Acid.
Organic acid found in most animal and vegetable fats and in butter acids. Used in shampoos, creams, cosmetics, and food flavorings. Derivatives: isopropyl myristate, myristal ether sulfate, myristyls, and oleyl myristate. Alternatives: nut butters, oil of lovage, coconut oil, extract from seed kernels of nutmeg, etc.

Natural Sources.
Can mean animal or vegetable sources. Most often used in the health food industry, especially in cosmetics, where it means animal sources such as animal elastin, glands, fat, protein, and oil. Alternatives: plant sources.

Nucleic Acids.
In the nucleus of all living cells. Used in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Also in vitamins and supplements. Alternatives: plant sources.

Octyl Dodecanol.
Primarily from stearyl alcohol. Used in hair products.  (See Stearyl Alcohol.) Oils.
(See alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils.)

Oleic Acid.
Usually obtained commercially from tallow. (See Tallow.) In foods, soft soaps, bar soaps, permanent wave solutions, creams, nail polish, lipsticks, and many other skin preparations. Derivatives: oleyl oleate and oleyl stearate. Alternatives: coconut oil (see alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils).

(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Alcohol. Ocenol.
Found in fish oils. Used in the manufacture of detergents, as a plasticizer for softening fabrics, and as a carrier for medications. Derivatives: oleths, oleyl arachidate, and oleyl imidazoline.

Oleyl Arachidate.
(See Oleyl Alcohol.)

Oleyl Imidazoline.
(See Oleyl Alcohol.) Oleyl Myristate.
(See Myristic Acid.)

Oleyl Oleate.
(See Oleic Acid.)

Oleyl Stearate.
(See Oleic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

(See Palmitic Acid.)

Palmitic Acid.
From fats and oils (see Fatty Acids). Mixed with stearic acid. Found in many animal fats and plant oils. In shampoos, shaving soaps, and creams. Derivatives: palmitate, palmitamine, and palmitamide. Alternatives: palm oil and vegetable sources.

Panthenol. Dexpanthenol. Vitamin B-Complex Factor. Provitamin B-5.
Can come from animal or plant sources or synthetics. In shampoos, supplements, emollients, etc. In foods. Derivative: panthenyl. Alternatives: synthetics and plants.

(See Panthenol.)

In hogs’ stomachs. A clotting agent. In some cheeses and vitamins. Same uses and alternatives as Rennet.

Placenta. Placenta Polypeptides Protein. Afterbirth.
Contains waste matter eliminated by the fetus. Derived from the uterus of slaughtered animals. Animal placenta is widely used in skin creams, shampoos, masks, etc. Alternatives: kelp (see alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils).

(See Glycerin.) Derived from lard and tallow. Also from soybean oil, corn, cottonseed, and other plants. Used as a cosmetics emulsifier.

From animal protein. Used in cosmetics. Alternatives: plant proteins and enzymes.

Derivatives of fatty acids. In cosmetics and foods.

Obtained from the liver oil of sharks and from whale ambergris. (See Squalene and Ambergris.) Used as a lubricant and anti-corrosive agent. In cosmetics. Alternatives: plant oils and synthetics.

A steroid hormone used in anti-wrinkle face creams. Can have adverse systemic effects. Alternatives: synthetics.

Tree sap gathered by bees and used as a sealant in beehives. In toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, supplements, etc. Alternatives: tree sap and synthetics.

Provitamin A.
(See Carotene.)

Provitamin B-5.
(See Panthenol.)

Provitamin D-2.
(See Vitamin D.)

Rennet. Rennin.
Enzyme from calves’ stomachs. Used in cheese-making, rennet custard (junket), and in many coagulated dairy products. Alternatives: microbial coagulating agents, bacteria culture, lemon juice, or vegetable rennet.

(See Rennet.)

Resinous Glaze.
(See Shellac.)

Ribonucleic Acid.
(See RNA.)

RNA. Ribonucleic Acid.
RNA is in all living cells. Used as a skin conditioner in cosmetics. Alternatives: plant cells.

Royal Jelly.
Secretion from the throat glands of honeybee workers that is fed to the larvae in a colony and to all queen larvae. No proven value in cosmetics preparations. Alternatives: aloe vera, comfrey, and other plant derivatives.

Sable Brushes.
From the fur of sables (weasel-like mammals). Used to make eye makeup, lipstick, and artists’ brushes. Alternatives: synthetic fibers.

Sea Turtle Oil.
(See Turtle Oil.)

Shark Liver Oil.
Taken from the livers of sharks. Used in lubricating creams and lotions. Derivatives: squalane and squalene. Alternatives: vegetable oils.

Sheepskin. (See Leather.)

Shellac. Resinous Glaze.
Resinous excretion of an insect called the lac bug. Used as a candy glaze, in hair lacquer, and on jewelry. Alternatives: plant waxes.

Silk. Silk Powder.
Silk is the shiny fiber made by silkworms to form their cocoons. Worms are boiled in their cocoons to get the silk. Used in cloth. Used in silk-screening (other fine cloth can be and is used instead). Taffeta can be made from silk or nylon. Silk powder is obtained from the secretion of the silkworm. It is used as a coloring agent in face powders, soaps, etc. Can cause severe allergic skin reactions and systemic reactions (if inhaled or ingested). Alternatives: milkweed seed pod fibers, nylon, silk-cotton tree and ceiba tree filaments (kapok), rayon, and synthetic silks.

In some cosmetics (crushed).

Sodium Caseinate.
(See Casein.)

Sodium Steroyl Lactylate.
(See Lactic Acid.)

Sodium Tallowate.
(See Tallow.)

Spermaceti. Cetyl Palmitate. Sperm Oil.
Waxy oil derived from sperm whales’ heads or from dolphins. In many margarines. In skin creams, ointments, shampoos, candles, etc. Used in the leather industry. May become rancid and cause irritations. Alternatives: synthetic spermaceti, jojoba oil, and other vegetable emollients.

Sponge (Luna and Sea).
A plant-like, sea-dwelling animal. A favorite food of some sea turtles. Becoming scarce. Alternatives: synthetic sponges and loofahs (plants used as sponges).

(See Shark Liver Oil.)

Oil from shark livers, etc. In cosmetics, moisturizers, hair dyes, and surface-active agents. Alternatives: vegetable emollients such as olive oil, wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, etc.

(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearamine Oxide.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearic Acid.
Derived from tallow. Can also come from palm kernel oil. Used in cosmetics, soaps, lubricants, candles, hairspray, conditioners, deodorants, creams, chewing gum, and food flavoring. Derivatives: stearamide, stearamine, stearates, stearic hydrazide, stearone, stearoxytrimethylsilane, stearoyl lactylic acid, stearyl contentine, and stearyl imidazoline.

Stearic Hydrazide.
(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearoyl Lactylic Acid.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Acetate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Alcohol. Sterols.
A mixture of solid alcohols. Can be prepared from sperm whale oil. In medicines, creams, rinses, shampoos, etc. Derivatives: stearamine oxide, stearyl acetate, stearyl caprylate, stearyl citrate, stearyldimethyl amine, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, stearyl heptanoate, stearyl octanoate, and stearyl stearate. Alternatives: plant sources and vegetable stearic acid.

Stearyl contentine.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Caprylate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Citrate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyldimethyl Amine.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Heptanoate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Imidazoline.
(See Stearic Acid.)

Stearyl Octanoate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Stearyl Stearate.
(See Stearyl Alcohol.)

Steroids. Sterols.
From various animal glands or from plant tissues. Steroids include sterols. Sterols are alcohol from animals or plants( e.g., cholesterol). Used in hormone preparation. In creams, lotions, hair conditioners, fragrances, etc. Alternatives: plant tissues and synthetics.

(See Stearyl Alcohol and Steroids.)

(See Leather.)

Tallow. Tallow Fatty Alcohol.

Stearic Acid.
Rendered beef or sheep fat. In wax paper, crayons, margarines, paints, rubber, lubricants, etc. In candles, soaps, lipsticks, shaving creams, and other cosmetics. Chemicals (e.g., PCB) can be in animal tallow. Derivatives: sodium tallowate, tallow acid, tallow amide, tallow amine, talloweth-6, tallow glycerides, and tallow imidazoline. Alternatives: vegetable tallow, Japan tallow, and paraffin and/or ceresin (see alternatives to Beeswax for all three). Paraffin is usually from petroleum, wood, coal, or shale oil.

Tallow Acid.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Amide.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Amine.
(See Tallow.)

(See Tallow.)

Tallow Glycerides.
(See Tallow.)

Tallow Imidazoline.
(See Tallow.)

Triterpene Alcohols.
(See Lanolin.)

Turtle Oil. Sea Turtle Oil.
Primarily from the muscles and genitals of green sea turtles. In soaps, skin creams, nail creams, and other cosmetics. Alternatives: vegetable emollients (see alternatives to Animal Fats and Oils).

An amino acid used in creams and dietary supplements.

Urea. Carbamide.
Excreted from urine and other bodily fluids. Commercial uses are derived from synthetics. Derivatives: imidazolidinyl urea and uric acid.

Uric Acid.
(See Urea.)

Vitamin A.
Can come from fish liver oil (e.g., shark liver oil), egg yolk, butter, lemongrass, wheat germ oil, carotene in carrots, and synthetics. It is an aliphatic alcohol. In cosmetics, creams, perfumes, hair dyes, etc. In vitamins and supplements. Alternatives: carrots, other vegetables, and synthetics.

Vitamin B-Complex Factor.
(See Panthenol.)

Vitamin B Factor.
(See Biotin.)

Vitamin B-12.
Usually comes from an animal source. Some “vegetarian” B-12 vitamins are in a stomach base. Alternatives: some vegetarian B-12-fortified yeasts and analogs are available. Also, plant algae containing B-12 is now in supplement form( spirulina). Some nutritionists caution that fortified foods or supplements are essential.

Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol. Vitamin D-2. Ergosterol. Provitamin D-2. Calciferol.

Vitamin D-3.
Vitamin D can come from fish liver oil, milk, egg yolks, etc. Vitamin D-2 can come from animal fats or plant sterols. Vitamin D-3 is always from an animal source. All the D vitamins can be in creams, lotions, other cosmetics, vitamin tablets, etc. Alternatives: plant and mineral sources, synthetics, completely vegetarian vitamins, and exposure of the skin to sunshine. Many other vitamins can come from animal sources. Examples: choline, biotin, inositol, riboflavin, etc.

Vitamin H.
(See Biotin.)

Glossy, hard substance that is soft when hot. From animals, plants, and insects. Used on fruits and vegetables and in lipsticks, depilatories, and hair straighteners. Alternatives: vegetable waxes.

A serum from milk. Usually in cakes, cookies, candies, and breads. In cheese-making. Alternative: soybean whey.

From sheep. Used in clothing. Ram lambs and old “wool” sheep are slaughtered for their meat. Sheep are transported without food or water in extreme heat and cold. Their legs are broken, their eyes are injured, etc. Sheep are bred to be unnaturally woolly and wrinkly, which causes them to get insect infestations around their tail areas. Farmers’ solution to this is the painful cutting away of the flesh and skin around the tail (called mulesing). When being sheared, the sheep are pinned down violently and sheared roughly. Derivatives: lanolin, wool wax, and wool fat. Alternatives: cotton, cotton flannel, synthetic fibers, ramie, etc.

Wool Fat.
(See Lanolin.)

Wool Wax.
(See Lanolin.)

Information in this factsheet was derived from the following sources:

American Meat Institute, “Fact Sheet: Products Derived From Animals.”

Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Cow Parts,” Discover Aug. 2001.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, “Cosmetic Products and Ingredients,” 9 May 2006.

U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, MedLinePlus, 4 Feb. 2003.

Ruth Winter, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives(New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004).

Ruth Winter, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients(New York: Three Rivers Press, 2005).