I am unashamedly lifting this list from The Vegan Connection, simply because it sums up everything one would need to know about becoming or contemplating becoming a “dirty vegan”.

Clean vegans:  please look away!

Wines and Beers

Wine is clarified, or cleared, after fermentation. Some of the ingredients used include:

– edible gelatines (made from bones)
– isinglass (made from the swim bladders of fish)
– casein and potassium caseinate (milk proteins)
– animal albumin (egg albumin and dried blood powder)

[For more information see http://www.barnivore.com/]

In the UK beer (bitter) is also commonly found using isinglass. Many bottled bitters and most lagers are vegan

Beware:  Guinness is not suitable for vegans

Most spirits are vegan except for Campari (contains cochineal) and some Vodkas (passed through bone charcoal).

Sugar (Yikes!)

Some refined sugars use bone charcoal as a decolourant. 

In the UK~: Tate and Lyle and Billingtons sugars are free of animal substances. 

British Sugar, trading as Silver Spoon (the largest UK supplier) state that their white sugar is vegan, but they cannot guarantee their brown sugars as some bone charcoal may be used by their suppliers. 

No data is presently available concerning sugar in other countries.


In the UK all Kellogg’s products are unsuitable for vegans as Vitamin D3 (of animal origin) is added. 

In the US some of Kellogg’s cereals are apparently vegan, Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain cereal (plain “Wheat” variety only) is a good vegan source of B12. 

Watch out though, since the almond- raisin variety contains animal-based glycerine.


Many manufacturers use whey as the flavour carrier.

Please express caution as to what crisps are vegan.

Anything Else?

Most manufacturers are really awful when it comes to placing animal derivatives in their products.

 Learn to be a fastidious label reader and avoid doubtful products.

UK foods have “E” numbers listed in the ingredients, with no mention as to the source of these E numbers. 

Ones to definitely avoid include:

120 – cochineal
542 – edible bone phosphate
631 – sodium 5′-inosinate
901 – beeswax
904 – shellac
920 – L-cysteine hydrochloride


calcium myoinositol hex phosphate, lactose, sperm oil, spermaceti

Possibly animal derived:

101,101a,153,203,213,227,270,282,302,322,325,326,327,333,341a,3 41b,341c, 404,422,430,431,432,433,434,435,436,470,471,472a,472b,472c,472d ,472e,473, 474,475,476,477,478,481,482,483,491,492,493,494,495,570,572,627, 635


calcium heptanoate, calcium phytate, diacetone-glyceryl, glyceryl diacetate, glyceryl triacetate, glycine, leucine, monoacetate, monoacidic, ox stearin, triacetin and any unspecified flavourings.

(Adapted from the VEGAN-L FAQ by Michael Traub.)