Are you a non-vegetarian without your knowledge?

“Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test…consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals.”
― Milan Kundera

For many of us, the answer to the title question is YES. We don’t know which food and cosmetic products contain animal products.

For many of the Vegetarians, the approach is either; we don’t care as long as we are not eating direct Non-Veg food. For some others, they ignore with a fear that their favourite food may contain Non-Veg ingredients and after knowing they may have to stop it. They like to remain deliberately ignorant.  Others are really ignorant.

Whosoever you may be but if you wish to lend your name to the quote below you must know this.

“My food is grown and harvested, not born and killed.”

If you are a strict Vegetarian, you should know what Non-Veg ingredients are and in which final products the same are used.

The number one ingredient which qualifies to be named first is Gelatine Powder. It is used extensively in food and cosmetic products, but many are not aware of how Gelatine powder is made:

Gelatine Powder: Gelatine is a mixture of peptides and proteins produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and fish. (Source: Wikipedia)

  1. The popular Jelly, marshmallows (white soft candy), some ice creams, and custard powder contain Gelatine.
  2. The process of making clear apple juice use Gelatine. Gelatine is not in the final product so not seen in the list of ingredients, but they use it during the process.
  3. Some chewing gum also contains Gelatine.
  4. Several kinds of cheese are not truly vegetarian. Animal rennet is traditionally used to separate the milk solids from the whey during cheese making. What’s worse, this kind of rennet can only come from the stomach of a newborn calf. Now many are made from vegetable rennet, however, be careful about certain French and Italian cheese.
  5. Some Margarine also contains Gelatine.
  6. Many chocolates contain egg and gelatine, specially imported ones. Toblerone chocolate, commonly consumed in India, contains
  7. Heart healthy and Omega 3 containing Orange Juice may contain Fish derivatives. Look out for Anchovy ingredient which is a type of fish.
  8. Capsule coating and soft capsules contain Gelatine.
  9. Many cosmetics products like face masks, body wash, nail polish remover, and shampoos contain Gelatine.

You may ask your doctor to suggest the substitute for gelatine coated capsules.

Likewise, there are many animal products, food, and cosmetic industry is using. They are not aware that you are Vegan or Vegetarian, but you are. Therefore, you need to know how unknowingly you have become a consumer of animal products.

Have a habit of checking ingredients of all food /cosmetic products you use even if it contains the green mark.

PETA has the whole list of Animal derived Ingredients list. For those who wish to read more about Animal Cruelty and how animals are used to produce these foods and cosmetic products, the book Heads and Tails by Maneka Gandhi is quite detailed and an eye opener. (Not available on online book stores).

Some NGOs might be of interest:

People for Animals

Vegetarian Society

“I choose not to make a graveyard of my body for the rotting corpses of dead animals.”
― George Bernard Shaw

If we agree with Mr. George Bernard Shaw, we can’t remain ignorant about what we use (cosmetic products) and consume (eat).

Two relevant posts:

If slaughterhouses had glass walls …

The science behind the Jain way of life


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