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Vegans, take note! The surprising things you had no idea contained animal products

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It's no secret that veganism is booming right now. In fact, veganism in the UK has risen by a staggering 600% since 2016. Two men leading the charge are Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, who have been dubbed 'the vegan Jamie Olivers' thanks to their brand, BOSH!.

Now, after two bestselling cookbooks, including the bestselling vegan cookbook of all time and over a billion views on their YouTube channel, the duo have released their first lifestyle book, How To Live Vegan.

The book, which is released on October 3, has been penned for anyone considering a vegan lifestyle but isn’t sure where to start. They promise that their book will help you make a few positive changes that will have a huge impact on the world around you - and here at GLAMOUR HQ, where we believe in each making #OneSmallChange to save the planet - we're seriously here for that.

To mark the launch of their tome, and for anyone considering veganism, we asked them to share the surprising things that actually contain animal products.


Some banknotes around the world – including in the UK, Australia and Canada – contain tallow, an animal fat which is used to give notes their smooth texture.


Many latex condoms use casein (milk protein) in the manufacturing process to make them more comfortable. The ingredients have also often been tested on animals, and use some harsh chemicals in their production. Luckily, there are plenty of vegan-friendly condoms available now, including from the big brands. Phew! Look for The Vegan Society badge.

Craft supplies

Paints and paintbrushes, glues, crayons and even paper can all contain products derived from animals. Most acrylic paints tend to be vegan-friendly but do check online to make sure – there are some great vegan craft websites that list all the major brands and detail which are vegan and which aren’t.


A bit like the plastic issue we discuss on page 286, chlorine is an example of how it’s almost impossible to live completely, 100% vegan. Chlorine is tested on animals, so you may wish to avoid this where you can. The main culprits are swimming pools, cleaning products and tampons, but we’re not saying you can’t have a dip on your summer holiday or should give up your favourite exercise. Choose organic or vegan- approved tampons, as these will be chlorine-free. And see page 278 for more on cleaning products.


Some vitamin pills are coated with gelatine, which is an animal product so look for vitamins that are vegan-friendly. Obviously, avoid fish oils. Some children’s vitamins can be coloured, so make sure they use vegan-friendly dyes. Most of the big brands have products made with vegans in mind so it’s easy to find good alternatives.


Beeswax candles are an obvious no, but beware that most candles contain some kind of animal fat to help them harden. And some even contain oils from whales and dolphins. Cheap paraffin wax candles are not a good alternative though, as they contain high levels of toxic chemicals. Some candles are made from palm oil, which is not a very animal-friendly ingredient (see page 161), so try organic soy – which also burns for much longer, too.

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