Animal Ingredients and E-numbers

A lot of animal additives that are used in foods and cosmetics go by a different name so you may not know they are not vegan. Look out for these ingredients:

  • Beeswax/E-901: A wax made by bees. Some vegans don’t see beeswax as not-vegan because it didn’t come from the bee itself, while others avoid it because it exploits bees. Can be found in some foods as a glazing agent (jelly beans, candy coated sweets, etc.); found in other products such as candles, lip balm, and lotion.
  • Carmine/cochineal/E-120/Natural Red 4: Made from crushed cochineal beetles. Used in red food colouring. Often found in food and sweets that are red and pink.
  • Casein: A milk protein that is mostly found in dairy products. It was once widely used in many soy cheese alternatives. That is rare now but always check the label as it has been in the ingredients of some foods labelled “dairy-free” before.
  • Collagen: Made from skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals. Often used as lip fillers, as you may already know.
  • Gelatin/E-441: Made by boiling the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals. Found in a lot of gummy sweets, including Haribo and marshmallows. I have found Beef Gelatine in strong mints, and Fish Gelatine in those silver ball cake decorations.
  • Honey: Similar to beeswax, it doesn’t exactly come from bees but is made by bees so can be seen as exploitation. It is found in some cereals, granola bars, and various other sticky/sweet foods.
  • Keratin: The protein that is the main constituent of hair, feathers, wool, horns, claws, hoofs, etc. Found in a lot of hair products.
  • L-cysteine/E-910/E-920/E-921: An amino acid synthesised from hair, feathers, horns, etc. Used as a proving agent and preservative in some factory made breads.
  • Lactose: A sugar found in milk. Not to be confused with Lactic acid, which is vegan friendly.
  • Lanolin/E-913: A waxy, greasy substance found on sheep’s wool. Can be found in moisturisers and cosmetics, and some multivitamins and fortified food.
  • Lard: Animal fat. Can be found in baked goods.
  • Shellac/E-904: A resin secreted by the lac beetle. Found on the coating of sweets (Jelly beans and tic tacs come to mind).
  • Tallow: Animal fat. Can be found in soap, crayons, candles, and a small amount is present in the new UK bank notes.
  • Whey: A milk by-product. Found in some cereals, protein bars and powders, and crackers.
  • Vitamin D3: can be made with Lanolin. If the product doesn’t specify that it is vegan, it probably isn’t.

If I have missed any out, please let me know in the comment section.

I will soon be doing a series of lists of vegan alternatives to certain foods like different types of meat and cheese. Let me know what you would like to see on those lists.

Farewell, until we meet again.


Sources and further reading

Loneliness

I think this is something that needs to be talked about.

The end of one year, coming into the beginning of a new one, really messes with my head. Another year gone. It has been a really distressing and painful experience. I’m not sure why. I guess I figured that I would be better by now and would be back to my old self. Instead, I am worse than ever, in some ways, and I don’t even remember who I was before all off this…or who I am now. Distressing.

With all of that, I think about the friends that have come and gone over the years, how much I miss them, how much everyone has changed and maybe I have too. I don’t forget friends, they stay in my heart even many years after they have moved on and forgotten me. I know I am an afterthought for most people (due to my severe lack of social skills) so I try not to check in on people or try to repair an old friendship because they aren’t interested. I have tried many times in the past and keep getting shut down. And what with university and more years passing, the last of my high school friends have slipped away. That just leaves me with the agonising realisation of just how alone I am. Not alone – lonely.

I have tried going out but I am so so bad in social situations. Even in my own family, I get ignored, ridiculed, and shunned, so I eventually give up. In public, with strangers, it is so much worse. I can barely get any words out and when I do, it is something stupid that nobody finds funny and we end up in an even deeper awkward silence.

So I think, maybe I could try to meet people online. Have some online friends. That would be nice. Skype, messenger, games. But how the hell do you meet people online? Seriously? I have made online friends in the past but now I don’t know how to do it. I’m so out of touch with reality and my social skills are getting worse than they already are with lack of practice. So with the two people I do talk to online, I am very bad at talking and it would probably take years to meet them in person, if ever. I can’t stress how difficult it is for me to be around people.

On top of all of that, last night, I was lying in bed and randomly a memory popped into my head. A bittersweet memory. I tried to remember the year, I think it was 2012 or 2013. I had a small group of friends, we were sitting in the entrance area of one of the drama rooms in the school during lunch and we would join in on Diablo Club held by what was probably my favourite teacher in the school. We used to go every thursday until there was a small falling out amongst the group and eventually diablo club was closed once we reached exam season. [As I’m writing, I just realised that it was 2012 because The Amazing Spider-man and Ice Age: Continental Drift were released the same year which I remember because the school did a thing where we could watch one of those movies]. Anyway, it’s not that exciting of a memory but life was good. 2012 was my favourite year and that time was genuinely the last time I was happy. Sure, I have been happy, smiled, and enjoyed myself since then but 2012 was the last time I was actually content in my life and happy about the way things were going. Things only got worse after that until now, as gradual a change as it may have been.

I’m telling you, loneliness messes with you. I thought I was moving on from those memories but in my loneliest moments, the memories creep back in and I will miss people I haven’t spoken to for years. On the off chance that you were one of my old friends and you’re reading this, I never forget how much my friends mean to me, they will always mean the world, and I will always be available to talk to. I know I may come off too strong but that is only because I have so much love in my heart and I think everyone deserves to feel loved but sometimes I come across a bit like an excitable puppy that jumps all over you. I have the best intentions but it doesn’t translate well to the humans who maybe have boundaries.

I guess the point of this rambly post was really to let out some of my thoughts over the last month. I’ve had a lot on my mind and I don’t want to be stuck in my head anymore and that’s why I have this blog. I don’t have anyone I can really talk to or confide in so this blog is all I have. Ironically, I’ve been feeling so lonely that I haven’t felt like writing anything, if that is irony?

My final word will be:

Make sure, if you ever feel lonely, or if you just want to talk to someone, reach out to me because I don’t want anyone to feel that way and I could use the company too.

Farewell, until we meet again.