7 Foods You Didn’t Know Contained Meat

You probably know that certain gelatin, like the kind used in Jell-O, is made from animal hooves, but you may not know about other animal products lurking in your favorite foods and drinks. We’ve got seven surprising products that all you vegetarians and vegans – and anyone else freaked out by the thought of meat in your orange juice – will want to put on your watch list starting now.

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments section, below.

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    • Hannah B.

      I have an issue with Yoplait yogurt as well. Their strawberry products are still made with carmine, same as the Smarties, when they could just as easily use beet juice like other brands do. Some cosmetics, especially lipsticks, also contain carmine, yet call themselves organic or natural and fool people into thinking that they’re vegan.

      • Jamie

        Your comment doesn’t even make sense. yogurt is from animals anyways(it is dairy after all) so does it really matter that it contains carmine? and as for the cosmetics that’s the consumers fault if they don’t know that organic or natural doesn’t meal vegan it means it doesn’t contain unnatural chemicals it has nothing to do w/ not having animal products.There are organic meats after all.

      • Sonia

        For a vegan yogurt would be something to avoid anyways, but for many vegetarians or even meat-eaters who like to be aware of what’s going into their mouths, products made of beetles are icky anyways, yes? In our society at least.

    • Jamie

      I don’t get the objection to lanolin. It’s collected from the wool of sheep, after shearing, which harms the animal itself not a bit.

      • Clare

        Unfortunately wool production is nowhere near as simple and painless as a sheep ‘just getting a haircut’:


        (Please excuse the link to PETA, but its the most informative site on wool industry practices).

      • Kate

        Clare – please excuse me as I go laugh my head off.


        Right. *clears throat*

        PETA doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about. Again. Cutting the wool off of sheep isn’t a big issue, really. It makes it easier for them to move around, and it helps keep them cool (especially when they’re being raised in climates that are hotter than where they would be naturally). Yes, sometimes they can get nicked when they’re being sheared, and it does hurt them, but it’s something that’s forgotten within a few minutes, like when you cut yourself. Are there other countries where cruel practices are the norm? Yep. But we can’t help that – all we can do is show them better animal husbandry practices and hope they improve.

        (BTW – I majored in Animal Science, and I have some experience with the industry – not just spouting opinions)

    • Happy Herbivore

      I posted a discussion about this on Happy Herbivore’s facebook page & some of the answers were really frightful — there apparently is fish juice in some peanut butters so it can advertise as “rich in omegas” (much like the OJ does) — animal fat is in many generic icings, sprinkles are made from melted bug juices, some brands of popcorn are laced with animal fat or fish juices… etc etc.

      nasty. a lesson to always read labels and avoid processed junk!

      • Pat

        Omega-3 is literally fish oil, it’s not processed and it’s good for you. Some food dyes come from crushed beetle carapaces, i never really considered Beetles meat and if the proteins remain it probably makes the sprinkles healthier.

      • Sarah

        In regards to Pat – Omega 3 is a fatty acid that you can get from a wide variety of sources – flaxseed, fish oil, evening primrose, dairy, eggs, etc. Almost everything has some Omega 3′s in it. Supplement pills you tend to see ARE fish oil, but there are alternatives that work just as well.

    • P

      Most candy contains shellac (aka “confectioner’s glaze”), a resin harvested from the female lac bug.

      Yes, it’s the same shellac that’s been historically used to finish furniture.

      • Amanda

        There is a shellac manicure out now… the polish is supposed to last for a month without chipping!

    • Geoff

      The vats Guiness is brewed in contains shanks of red meat. This is done because sometime ago they discovered dead rats in the vats, when they removed them, loyal drinkers started to complain about the change in taste. The easiest remedy? Place raw, red meat in the vats.

      • Sparkadelic

        Complete and utter b.s.

      • RF

        Hahaha (Sparkadelic…calm down, mate.)

    • hana

      Responding to Clare-I come from a family of vegetarians and we have been for a long time. Donot believe everything PETA says. They are a horrible organization, even to those who care for animal rights. My family has owned sheep for years and we shear them. It is not painful to the animal, and is quite important so they do not become over-heated in summer months.

    • AnnaLynn

      I have heard that Wendy’s Frosty has chicken parts in it. I dunno…..

    • Clare

      Kate and Hana – You can’t just look at shearing (where yes, cuts do occur but this is ‘minor’ compared to other things the sheep go through) and say wool production is not cruel, the whole life cycle must be taken into consideration.

      Mulesing is common practice in Australia, the largest producer of wool, of which a majority is Merino. Hundreds of years of selective breeding has led to Merinos having many folds of skin to increase wool productivity per sheep, however this leads to problems such as fly-strike. Rather than using proper husbandry practices and selectively breeding plain-bodied Merinos to suit the hot Australian climate and be naturally resistant to fly-strike, farmers opt for the cheaper method of mulesing to prevent fly-strike. As shown in the PETA video, mulesing involves cutting the ‘excess’ wrinkled skin from the breech area (docking of the tail is often done simultaneously) with no pre- or post-operative pain relief measures used (Australian law does not require the use of antiseptics, anaesthesia or painkillers). Sheep husbandry also involves the castration of male lambs without anaesthetics, and millions of sheep are exported live to the Middle East (weeks of suffering on multi-leveled ships ending with unregulated slaughter).

      I am a country girl who grew up around sheep farms in Australia and have a Bachelor of Science in zoology and ecology, so certainly don’t base my claims on PETA material (the link to PETA was used for the mulesing video; I do not agree with everything PETA does). As a vegan I am against all forms of animal exploitation.

    • april

      true cochineal, made from beetles, is very expensive. the red food colouring called carmine is chemical, a much cheaper option. I’m pretty sure that these foods do not contain cochineal.

      • Melissa

        Cochineal and carmine are different names for the same product – crushed female red scale insects. Not vegan/veg.

    • april

      true cochineal is made from beetles- it is very expensive. carmine is a chemical substitute. I’m pretty sure the carmine red in these products is artificial.

    • zoe

      fish swim bladders are also used in many white wines.

    • Stephan Klose

      If these are your only problems you should be very happy

    • http://www.ziicka.com ziicka

      Woah, I did not know about Kraft. Not going to lie, KD is a sick addiction of mine. Here’s to wheel power.

    • angel

      I agree that vegan is good, but it is not the best way of healthy life… Our body needs meat…

      • Sarah

        The body doesn’t “NEED” meat. The body NEEDS protein, which is readily available in all sorts of foods, and is something most people actually get too much of in their diets. Look at the vegetarian and vegan athletes, business people and celebrities out there (as well as the rest of us) who get my totally fine and healthfully – with lower cholesterol levels – on a plant based diet.

    • selena

      lanolin comes from a sheep’s coat. so that’s as much ‘meat’ as milk is

    • Christine

      Don’t animal meat and animal products (lanolin, for example) differ? The slideshow is not accurate if it says “meat”.

    • Mike

      What a disgrace to this site. So intellectually dishonest.

      Gawker writes headlines to draw hits, but somehow stays on the other side of the line of what’s journalism.

      I don’t think you should try harder or do better next time. I think you should declare bankruptcy, reset your names, and try to start completely anew. I don’t think you can ever shrug this stain.

    • PO’d

      D3 is often sourced from fish. Examples if lurking D3 include cereals, 8th Continent Soymilk, and GalaxyFood brands of Veggy Slices (cheese substitutes that also often contain casein).

    • Liz Dee

      Smarties® are inappropriately and incorrectly listed. They are not dyed using carmine, and they do not contain Red 4. Smarties® are vegan. Personally, I follow a vegan diet, and so I appreciate your efforts to educate the public regarding animal-free food choices. However, the information is incorrect and I request that you remove it and add a correction as soon as possible.

    • ed cummings

      Warning:- an alterative source of animal products such as rennet is from genetically modified organisims such as bacteria and fungi.

    • Liz Dee

      Correction: Smarties candy contain no animal products (full disclosure: I work there!). They are not dyed using carmine nor do they contain Red 4. Smarties are vegan. Personally, I follow a vegan diet, and so I appreciate efforts to educate the public regarding animal-free food choices. However, the information is incorrect and I have requested that this be removed with a correction… to no avail. Hopefully this will be made right soon.

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    • Sam

      Guinness is a stout beer, not an ale. (Makes you wonder how much truth to this list there actually is…)

    • memyselfni1708


    • Liz Dee

      Smarties are inappropriately and incorrectly listed. Our product is not dyed using carmine, and it does not contain Red 4. Smarties® are vegan. We are licensed in the USA, and our product is made of pressed dextrose. It is possible that you have our product confused with the other “Smarties” candy product made by Nestlé and licensed and sold elsewhere throughout the world. Personally, I follow a vegan diet, and so I appreciate your efforts to educate the public regarding animal-free food choices. However, the information is incorrect and I request that you remove it and add a correction as soon as possible, and please confirm once this has been completed.

    • Guest

      Serious question: if you don’t eat meat, why are you using Worcestershire sauce? I only use it on steaks, marinades, and ground beef.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sandra.palkowski Sandra Palkowski

      These are all true. As a vegan, I can attest to the validity of these claims. Anyone eat ground beef in the US; either from the grocery store or restaurants? Then you may want to do some research on “pink slime”. Just sayin’. There are a lot of “ingredients” being added to *all* food that isn’t edible and is very harmful to the public (separate tangent than this article, as I don’t believe making an issue of one who eats meat or one who doesn’t or putting one group down for what they eat or don’t or trying to prove vegetarians don’t know much about their food). Try to buy organic wherever you can to avoid what they are doing to food. It’s just disturbing. And makes me wonder what they eat…and I’ll bet it’s organic.

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    • GiggleWiggle

      I have a friend who is a vegetarian and he eats like all this stuff