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9 Surprising Items Made With Animal Ingredients

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9 Surprising Items Made With Animal Ingredients

By Paula Alvarado, TreeHugger

If you thought that by quitting meat or at least going weekday vegetarian you were doing your part to avoid the horrors of factory farming, think again.

Even though animal products might not be in as many places as some claim (most tennis rackets are made with synthetic materials now), they spread far beyond just those hidden in food: everywhere from your car to the bathroom and the sky in the 4th of July.

As the Ontario Farm Animal Council clearly puts it, “on average, 98 percent of an animal is used. From that 98 percent, about 55 percent (on average) of the animal is used for edible products and the remaining 45 percent for inedible by-products.”

1. Plastic Bags

Many plastics, including shopping bags, contain ‘slip agents’, which reduce the friction in the material. What are those made of? Animal fat.

In a more technical explanation from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News: “Although polymers are manufactured from petroleum feedstock, plastics manufacturers often use additives of animal origin to improve material properties and/or to aid in processing of raw polymers” — which blogger Beth Terry proved first-hand.

Also, watch out for new plastics coming out: Companies like Tyson Foods are experimenting with keratin protein found in chicken feathers to produce plastics, adhesives and non-woven materials.

“Someday disposable diapers or hospital gowns could be made from the materials,” said Jeff Webster, the group vice president of the renewable products division to USA Today.

Related: 6 Ways to Make Reusable Bags Even Greener

(click through to the end, or click the left arrow, for a text-only list)

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Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Green, Home, Pets, Vegan, , , , , , , ,

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6:20PM PDT on Sep 9, 2015


2:58PM PST on Dec 28, 2013

noted, and thank you.

10:37PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013


2:28AM PDT on Jun 6, 2013


6:23PM PDT on Jun 5, 2013

Thanks for posting this handy info. I knew of pretty much all of these...just unbelievable. It can be challenging 4 Vegans. I buy as many Green products possible. There was a few off the list--one being wine! Not sure if Vegans are aware of the wine fact but you can find Vegan wines in a few shops--tho very few.

3:23AM PDT on Oct 19, 2012

Unless you own an Apple Computer, your PC also has stearic acids...animal based. Since I am an omnivore I have a PC. So many ingredients, including non-animal based in so many items...such as plastics...wait for some tea bags. Yes, there are tea bags out there made with bits of plastic in them to help hold them together.

Yes Ruth R latency problems with comments are rife these days and even if one is signed in and changes to a new article I am constantly asked to sign in Again! with each new article. Oh well, forge on ahead! In modern society one often cannot avoid animal products/by products unless one inhabits a cave with the permission of resident bats. You can try but it is difficult.

2:53PM PDT on Sep 17, 2012

I only knew of 2 of these.Thank-you I will spread the word.

4:43AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Interesting, and quite surprising info. Thanks for writing this.

12:02PM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Sodium tallowate, a very common ingredient in SOAPS... Is just animal fat, spelled chemically.
And we wash with that our faces and our bodies... And our kids.

5:35AM PDT on Sep 4, 2012

Thank you So Much!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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