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Got Gelatin?

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Got Gelatin?

I’ll never forget the day I first learned the truth about gelatin. I was 16, and was in a café with a new friend when I offered him one of the marshmallows destined to be stirred into the hot chocolate I was about to drink.

He shook his head no, then explained, “I’m a vegetarian.”

I thought I was a vegetarian too, so I was pretty shocked to find out that my consumption of marshmallows and other candies indicated either an innocent ignorance (not anymore!) or a profound inconsistency that I was going to have to address, as I was soon to find out that gelatin(e) is derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin, bones, and connective tissues.

From the website of Gelatin Manufacturers of America:

“Gelatin is… obtained from partial hydrolysis of collagen derived from natural sources such as skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals. The raw materials used in the production of gelatin… include cattle bone, cattle hides and fresh, frozen pigskins.”

On a commercial scale, gelatin is made from by-products of the meat and leather industry. Contrary to popular belief, horns and hooves are not commonly used. Worldwide production amounts to 250,000 tons per year.

Image: Clare Bloomfield /

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Read more: Animal Rights, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Pets, Vegan, Vegetarian,

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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.


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12:53AM PDT on Oct 28, 2014

mind blowing

1:35AM PDT on Oct 14, 2014

Thanks For Sharing

9:19AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014


9:34AM PDT on Aug 9, 2014

thanks for this useful info

4:52AM PDT on May 10, 2011

Thanks, I'm not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but I do like to know what goes into products I buy (or don't). I remember when gelatin was a selling point as it was good for growing strong finger nails.

6:23PM PST on Mar 5, 2011


2:47PM PST on Feb 2, 2011

good stufff in this posting!

10:57AM PST on Jan 13, 2011

:( im vegetarian and i didnt know that there was gelatin in so many of my everyday products
i dont think my parents will change what we have in our house though
and while i respect your opinion, i think how youre expressing your opinion is a bit harsh:
younger vegetarians, such as me, don't always have the choice to choose everything that their parents buy
just because you might have gelatin in your diet/ household products does not mean you are NOT A VEGETARIAN
because i certainly am

9:13PM PST on Dec 10, 2010

Glad I read this. I had know idea there were so many everyday items that contained that horrible stuff.

12:42PM PST on Dec 8, 2010

It's disgusting to NOT KNOW what your eating.. Candy doesn't exactly make you feel like your eating animal corpses but lo and behold; nothing is safe anymore.
There needs to be more veg friendly labels and warnings on food. Why is gelatin vital anyways? You can make food with vegetable based gelatin-replacment so why pigs skins and cow tendons instead?

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