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Blog for Last Chance for Animals, an international non-profit dedicated to ending animal cruelty and exploitation.

8 Shocking Animal Ingredients Hiding in Everyday Products

HiddenIngredientsHeaderLurking in the ingredients lists of many food and personal care items are animal-derived ingredients with unrecognizable names. While veganism is not about purity or perfection, most of us would prefer to leave bugs, hair, and anal secretions out of the products we consume. The following animal ingredients make their way into countless items—from bread to cosmetics— disguised behind deceptive names concealing their revolting contents.








Milked from the anal glands of beavers, castoreum is used in products ranging from perfume to pudding. Described as “brown slime,” castoreum surprisingly has a pleasant smell with notes of vanilla and raspberry. 


L. Cysteine

L. Cysteine is an amino acid used to extend the shelf life of commercially sold bread items. Shockingly, this commonly used ingredient is derived from duck feathers, cow horns, and even human hair.L. Cysteine


Lanolin is the grease secreted by the oil glands of sheep. This byproduct of the wool industry can be found in numerous cosmetic products, including lip balm, lotion, and makeup. Lanolin is also used in many brands of orange juice.


Confectioner’s glaze

Confectioner’s glaze, also known as shellac, is a coating used to give shine to candy items and protect them from moisture exposure. Chocolates, chewing gum, and hard candies are the most likely products to include this ingredient. Confectioner’s glaze is sourced from the excretion of female Asian beetles.

Confectioners glaze


Many people are aware that gelatin is used in gummy candies, marshmallows and Jell-O, but did you know this animal derived product is added to many brands of peanuts? An ingredient used to help salt and spices adhere to the nuts, gelatin is made by boiling the skin tendons, ligaments and bones of cows, pigs and other animals.


Carmine/ Natural Red #4/ Carminic acid

Carmine, an ingredient represented by many different names, is a dye used to give red pigmentation to makeup, candy, applesauce and countless other products. This product is sourced from crushed female cochineal insects. Roughly 70,000 beetles must be killed in order to produce one pound of red dye.Carmine


Many companies sneak milk into food under the name casein or caseinate. Casein is a milk protein that is used in a wide variety of products, including “nondairy” creamers, protein powders, “dairy-free” cheeses, and many types of beauty products.



Beer and wine are seemingly free of animal products, but many brands actually contain isinglass, an ingredient derived from dried fish bladders. Isinglass is used to give beer and wine a clean, bright appearance.



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