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The most surprising vegan and non-vegan products revealed

With veganism on the rise, people are realising that to avoid animal byproducts completely they need to change more than just their diet. As crafters we’re seeking sustainable craft projects, and we’re searching for plant-based yarns like never before!

With this in mind, we’ve had a look at the most surprising vegan and non-vegan products out there. We also take a look at the funny things people are Googling - hint, there’s a lot of people still very confused about exactly what it means to be a vegan.

Here are 13 of the most surprising non-vegan products, and 10 of the most surprising vegan products:

The most surprising non-vegan products

1. Jeans

While denim itself is vegan friendly, the patch on the back of a pair can sometimes be made from real leather.

2. Tattoos

Some common tattoo inks still use ingredients derived from animals such as bone char or glycerine. Stencil paper can also be made from lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool.

3. Paintballs

While vegan-friendly paint is available, the capsule that contains the paint is commonly made using gelatine.

4. Figs

Some consider figs as non-vegan due to the fact when female pollinator wasps lay their eggs inside a fig flower, the process kills the wasp and the fig digests it.

5. Beer and wine

While some of the bigger brands have now switched to vegan friendly production, a lot of beer and wine is still produced using animal products such as isinglass (fish bladders). Major producers including Guinness, Budweiser and Heineken have now begun switching to vegan-friendly methods of production.

6. Silk

This luxurious smooth fabric can be used in all types of clothing from pyjamas to jacket linings, yet many forget that it is produced by silkworms, which are a type of caterpillar and often have to be killed before breaking free of their cocoons as moths in order to get the best silk.

7. Red foods, clothes and lipstick

This may sound like a strange one, but a common form of natural red dye comes from cochineals, which are a type of insect that are farmed by the billions in South America.

8. Crayons

Certain crayons are derived from stearic acid (processed animal fat) and this is used to give them a waxy consistency and also gives them that distinctive smell.

9. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners

Dryer sheets and softeners tend to come with a long list of complicated chemical ingredients which can include rendered fats from animals.

10. Veggie burgers

While these will definitely be meat-free, a lot of veggie burgers will use ingredients such as eggs or dairy in the production process.

11. Padded jackets (and pillows)

While padding in items such as jackets and pillows can be done synthetically now, feather and down padding is still preferred by many. It is always worth checking the label in these cases to see if it contains any animal products.

12. Refried beans

Commonly used as an alternative to meat in Mexican dishes, these beans are sometimes flavoured with lard.

13. Soy based yoghurts

Some soy-based yoghurts can contain a milk-based protein, casein.

The 10 most surprising vegan products

1. Chicken flavoured instant noodles

Certain packs of chicken or beef flavoured noodles don’t contain any meat products and are vegan-friendly - just check the label.

2. Hot Chocolate

While most chocolate contains dairy ingredients, most cacao powder can be enjoyed dairy-free by mixing it with non-dairy milks. 

3. Yarn

While some yarn is made from animal fibers - sheep’s wool, alpaca and mohair for example, there are plenty of plant-based options, including cotton, bamboo and banana tree husks. LoveCrafts has compiled a roundup of the best plant-based yarns available.

4. Smoky bacon crisps

Meat flavoured crisps such as smoky bacon and roast chicken,often just contain flavourings which resemble meat and do not contain any animal products.

5. Cream crackers

It may sound like these crackers feature dairy products, but they are actually vegan friendly.

6. Crumpets

Most crumpets do not contain any dairy or egg products, and use basic ingredients such as flour, yeast and sugar.

7. Oreos (and other biscuits)

Despite looking like they have a creamy centre, Oreo biscuits do not contain any dairy products and are completely vegan, great for vegan baking!

8. Watches
Traditionally, watch straps have always been made from leather, however there’s lots of alternatives now for vegan watches with straps made from alternative materials such as pineapples!

9. Bisto (and other instant gravies)
Due to its common pairing with meat dishes, Bisto is often presumed to be non-vegan, however even the original Bisto doesn’t contain any animal products

10. Pasta
If you’re making fresh pasta, eggs are often used in the recipe, however the majority of shop-bought pastas are completely suitable for vegans. 

To further highlight how confused veganism is to some people we took a look at Google Search data to see what some of the most common queries were that people have been asking the search engine. Here are ten of the most surprising searches that come out on top on Google:

The top 10 most surprising vegan-related search queries

1. Can vegans eat eggs?

2. Is it vegan to have a pet?

3. What do vegans feed their dogs?

4. Can vegans eat honey?

5. Is horse riding vegan?

6. Is it vegan to kill bugs?

7. Can vegans eat honey?

8. What milk is vegan?

9. Is it vegan to smoke? 

10. What is vegan cheese made of?

“With veganism on the rise, we’ve seen an increase in makers searching for vegan-friendly craft materials. There’s a lot of genuine surprise there are so many plant-based yarns to choose from, and knitting isn’t just about wool! Veganuary is the perfect time for people to experiment with new materials, without giving up the things they enjoy.”