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Are Your Condoms Vegan?

Are Your Condoms Vegan?

Wait, what?

Yes, you may be surprised to learn that the majority of condoms available on the market are produced using the animal product casein. Casein, a highly profitable byproduct of dairy farming, is the principal protein in milk, and it finds its way into all sorts of places one would never expect.

Case in point… As explained on the website of Glyde Condoms:

“To make condoms from raw latex, various processes are required, which in turn consist of several different steps. And one of the ‘helping hands’ during rubber-making is casein… As most manufacturers use it to make the rubber smooth and fine, most condoms cannot be called ‘vegan’ at all.”

Quite right, Glyde! As we know from issues such as the refining of sugar and alcohol, the use of ingredients such as bones, gelatin and casein in processing is another way the animal industry makes money from their “waste“, contributing to the profitability of animal-using businesses.

Thankfully, just as with many other traditionally non-vegan items, there is an abundance of animal-free alternatives available.

 

Glyde

Glyde is a company that proudly describes its product as “the vegan condom,” and is certified vegan by The Vegan Society.

“GLYDE condoms are made with a proprietary plant-based formula of thistle extract and natural rubber latex, free of additives including petro-chemicals, parabens, casein and spermicides… Our pure ingredients and ethical principals make GLYDE the perfect choice for vegans, people with dairy allergies, and even mild latex allergies, which may stem from exposure to casein used by conventional condom brands.”

Glyde products may be hard to find in stores, but they’re easily available online. In some countries they even offer a door-to-door delivery service! GLYDE is an Australian company that partners with distributors around the world, including the USA, Canada, South America, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and China.

 

Sir Richard’s

In the US, (at least in places where retail outlets recognize the need for vegan contraceptives) a more readily-available vegan condom is Sir Richard’s.

“Sir Richard’s Condom Company is the leading manufacturer of premium condoms that are free of harmful chemicals (parabens, spermicide, or glycerin) and Vegan-certified… And for every condom purchased, the founders [are] committed to donating a condom to communities in need.”

Sir Richard’s condoms are available online, and at retailers nationwide, including CVS, Krogers, Whole Foods and other natural products stores. There is also a store locator on their website.

 

RFSU

RFSU luxury condoms (from Sweden) are certified vegan by Vegan Action. One presumes they might be more readily accessible to European consumers than other brands, but I can’t say. (Let us know if you’re reading this from Europe!) They can be difficult to find in the US, but they are available in various vegan online stores:

“RFSU condoms are imported from Sweden, and are ‘vegan safe.’ This means there aren’t any animal byproducts used in the manufacturing or testing of RFSU condoms. The elasticity in RFSU is made using only latex, thus, creating a high quality, pure latex, ‘vegan’ condom.”

RFSU’s brands (Profil, Mamba, Okeido and Birds ‘n Bees) exceed international condom safety standards, yet are described as being “unbelievably soft and sensual.” (I read something similar in several reviews, which makes you wonder who on earth decided condom manufacture requires casein for smoothness.)

RFSU is also a non-profit educational organization dedicated to raising awareness about safe sex and other issues to do with sexuality: “Through sex information, education and advocacy, we can overcome prejudices, bridge the knowledge gap and improve sexual health.”

 

 

French Letter

For our readers in the UK (or those able to pay extra for shipping), French Letter boasts that their condoms are not only vegan and made from fair-trade rubber, but are also carbon neutral. Way to go!

“The natural latex used in every French Letter condom is harvested under sustainable and Fair Trade conditions. That means the rubber producers are paid a royalty to help improve their lives.”

French Letter ships within the UK and Europe, as well as the rest of the world for a reasonable cost. They also have an assortment of vegan skin products and lip balms.

 

B Condoms

B Condoms, “America’s #1 Urban Condom Brand,” are completely vegan and free from casein, spermicides, glycerin or parabens. The company also supports STI prevention campaigns in underserved communities.

“Our condoms are crafted with premium quality latex, undergoing rigorous testing to maximize both pleasure and safety. Experience the Platinum standard for quality and feel good knowing that part of your purchase went into providing access to education, testing and prevention campaigns.”

As well as being sold on their website, B Condoms are available at Walmart, Kmart, Walgreens, Whole Foods and Amazon.

 

L Condoms

Next in the alphabet, L Condoms is a company founded by Talia Frenkel, a photojournalist inspired by her coverage of the effects of HIV/AIDS on women and girls in Africa. The company is Green America Approved, with some impressive standards for environmental and social responsibility.

“L. condoms are made with sustainably tapped high grade natural latex: providing advanced durability and comfort, barrier protection and elasticity. All of our condoms are uniquely formulated of purified low scent latex, which is extremely low in proteins. All L. condoms are formulated to optimize protection while being Vegan-friendly.”

L. condoms are made without harmful additives. For every condom you purchase, one is distributed in a developing country in need. They offer free shipping for orders over $10, and offer $5 one-hour delivery in San Francisco, New York City and LA. Now that’s convenient if you forget to plan ahead!

 

Unique

For vegans who prefer an alternative to latex, Unique Condoms are made from a synthetic polyethylene resin called At-10, which is approximately three times stronger than latex and can be manufactured to one third the thickness. In the reviews I read, people were raving about them!

According to the webstore Roots of Compassion:

“The condoms are not certified vegan, but the producer assures us that they’re vegan. They never came in touch with animal products and have not been tested on animals.”


For those in Europe, be aware that there are conflicting reports about Condomi condoms, which were once recognized as vegan by the Vegan Society. Some sources say they are no longer vegan, even though the website states that the product contains no animal ingredients. As explained above, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the condoms aren’t produced using casein.

There are also condoms made from Polyisoprene, which contain no casein because they contain no latex. If you have no other alternative, Pasante, Lifestyles SKYN and Durex Avanti Bare RealFeel* are probably easier to find in stores than the brands listed above. There also appear to be other “accidentally vegan” brands, especially in the UK. However, these companies do not necessarily make any claims about being vegan, and may include other ingredients or be involved with animal testing.

*Not to be confused with Durex Avanti Bare Latex.

 

Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Health, Love, Sex, Sexual Health, , , , , ,

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World – a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.

122 comments

+ add your own
6:51AM PDT on Jun 13, 2014

Dale O
Or their actions.

8:12PM PDT on Jun 12, 2014

Sadly, Jo J, the Pronatalist Ps of the world never seem to worry about the consequences of their thinking.

3:04PM PDT on May 30, 2014

To everyone who wonders how condoms are tested on animals:
I don't know but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the one to try to put in on a 'horny' animal....Oh wait, I already do, my boyfriend, he is such an animal! LOL!

To Theres W:
You definitely are not hooking up with the right partner!

3:35PM PDT on May 29, 2014

Continued for Pronatalist P:
Did you know that a women dies Every 2 Minutes do to complications from pregnancy and childbirth? Did you know that the #1 killer of teenage girls is not drugs but complicaitons do to pregnancy and childbirth? Their young bodies have not matured enough to give birth or be pregnant safely. So I have a suggestion for you Mr. Pronatalist, visit care.org or everymothercounts.org and read about the issues women face all over the world regarding Maternal Health. Go to youtube and watch a documentary called 'No Woman, No Cry' created by Christina Turlington Burns. It will show you the issues facing woman of diifferent cultures that do not have the means for proper and safe prenatal and birthing care. It will show you effects of families do the the loss of woman that died during childbirth. So while it may 'feel good' without using the condom, the consequences last lifetime and affect so many people other than just you!

3:21PM PDT on May 29, 2014

Just a few words for Pronatalist P.:
Herpes, HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Lymphogranuloma Venereum (chlamydia),or better yet,how about Safety and Responsiblility which are much better words.
So next time your under-aged daughter or niece goes out with her boyfriend make sure and tell her "Have fun and make sure your boyfriend does NOT use a condom, because 'No guy likes condums'! They will prevent him from enjoying it and be restricting. I hope you become pregnant because we need more children being raised by children! It is only Natural! In fact, don't worry because Uncle Pronatalist will provide for all the needs of the children you birth. Just call me the #1 Uncle. I'm am the hippist, coolest uncle. So don't worry, there is no way you will come down with any of the before mentioned diseases, because that could never happen to you, you are The Pronatalist's daughter/niece!
So while you are busy thinking of 'your pleasure' and all the children we should uncontrollably populate the earth with, go to the bank and and withdrawal a much money to feed and cloth an orphanage or go to Care.org or everymothercounts.org and see women who shamed because they can not have children, who are forced to give birth and resume the planting and feeding of their families minutes after but thanks to these organizations have a chance of safer pregnancies and child bith. And Mr. Pronatalist a little bit of information that I feel everyone would find amazing. Did you know that a women dies eve

4:25AM PDT on May 29, 2014

Some wonderfull comments ,jokes and positive feedback on this article all excepet one person who must be very limited in the head to make such statements and we all know who he is!!!! Either way vegan or not always use a condom for safe sex and to help the spread of sexualy related diseases.

10:23AM PDT on May 27, 2014

Thanks for posting, sharing!

4:21AM PDT on May 27, 2014

Anybody know of a supplier of gluten-free condoms???

3:02AM PDT on May 26, 2014

And even if they are, after use they're not anymore.

4:25PM PDT on May 24, 2014

*Pronatalist P* - you are being facetious, but it got you the attention you crave.
Obviously you have the money to feed all these extra little humans running around and even further displacing other animals.

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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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