Being vegan can be a tricky business sometimes. It’s a great choice to make but it means that life becomes a little less simple than just grabbing the first thing you see in the store off the shelves.
You have to stop, check the ingredients, and ensure that it doesn’t contain any animal products.
And even then sometimes, it still isn’t even quite that easy. There is a whole host of different secret animal byproduct ingredients or the wrong types of sugar.
And picking up items can become a really exhausting headache-inducing activity.
And no one’s lifestyle should have to be that difficult every time they’re doing a task as simple as picking a nice cold soda on a boiling hot day.
That’s why throughout this article, I’m going to talk about soda.
We’ll take a look at which sodas are suitable for vegans as well as the important ingredients to watch out for to ensure there are no animal products or byproducts in your selection.
Coke Vs Pepsi (+ Root Beer)
There has long been a debate over which of these popular brands reign supreme in terms of taste. That’s something you can make your own call on, today we’re not too interested in taste.
Instead, we’re focusing on the ingredients that Coke and Pepsi use.
Typically, it seems that Coke is more transparent about their ingredients. Or at least the ingredients are a lot more accessible.
They are very responsive to the public about any questions they may have and also have a designated Product Page, the purpose of which is to highlight which soft drinks are and are not vegan-friendly.
Pretty much all of their sodas, including the Fanta range, contain no animal products and use vegan-friendly sugar too.
Some of their juices are not vegan-friendly too, so be sure to investigate the ingredients list further before purchasing them.
Some sodas classified by the company as vegan-friendly include:
- Diet Coke
- Coke Zero
- Fanta (all varieties)
- Dr. Pepper
Unlike Coke, Pepsi has not always been as candid about why certain varieties of their sods are not considered vegan.
There isn’t really a proper breakdown of the ins and outs of production and rather just a list of vegan and non-vegan options. No further detail was given.
And the range of sodas available for those maintaining a vegan diet is pretty abysmal with just two vegan-friendly options.
- Pepsi Max
Yes. Another win for the vegan community – you love to see it. Root beer is another soda option that is considered vegan. It uses raw sugars and none of the ingredients contain animal products, byproducts, or animal testing in any way.
A Word To The Wise
It’s worth noting that all of these sodas are considered vegan. But veganism can mean different things to different people and so you should always evaluate the ingredients list for yourself.
Sometimes ingredients may seem more vegan-friendly than they actually are.
Some ingredients may not contain animal products but they may contain small trace amounts of byproducts or animal products may be used in the facility meaning that absolutely no cross-contamination can not be guaranteed.
Sometimes ingredients that don’t contain animal products are tested on animals somewhere during the production process.
And this is what I mean by veganism can mean different things to different people. For some vegans, minuscule traces may not be problematic while for others this might be out of the question.
This is why checking the ingredients to make your own judgment call is imperative.
With this in mind, I thought I would create a list of some of the more problematic ingredients that you may want to keep in mind while evaluating whether or not a product is the right choice for you.
Ingredients To Be Aware Of
- Ester Gum – Ester Gum is derived from glycerol. Glycerol is a type of sweetener that while sometimes lab-made is often emanated from animals or animal products. Since it is often not stated in ingredients lists how glycerol is produced it is often best to steer clear of Ester Gum when sticking to a vegan diet.
- Cochineal – Cochineal is a red food dye or coloring that, you guessed it, turns products a red color. What a lot of people don’t actually know is that Cochineal is actually derived from bugs. Some vegans view insects and bugs as vegan-friendly, however, most do not. So it’s something to keep in mind when looking at ingredient lists – cochineal is obtained by bugs.
- Vitamin D3 – You’ll find this ingredient in pretty much any sports drink or energy drink. While this ingredient doesn’t contain any actual animal products, it is created from the oil found in sheep’s wool. For some vegans, this might not be seen as problematic since no animals are harmed however many vegans steer clear of any ingredient that requires animal interference.
- Yellow 5 – You’ll often find this ingredient in the likes of Mountain Dew. This ingredient isn’t seen as vegan since the production process involves testing on animals.
- Artificial Flavoring – Artificial flavors such as cherry, vanilla, orange, and blue raspberry are all considered non-vegan as they are all derived from animals.
- Honey – This ingredient is often debated amongst the vegan community. So, depending on your stance this may or may not make a product non-vegan or vegan-friendly for you.
Picking out products that are vegan-friendly can be a real hassle sometimes.
Especially when you can’t always rely on what the labels say for the clarification that you need. Hopefully, though, from reading this article things should be a little easier and less confusing.
I’ve gone over which sodas are typically classified as vegan-friendly so that you know which drinks to choose from. And then I’ve also gone over most of those sneaky secret ingredients that cause a little more controversy.
Based on this information, it should be much easier for you to make your soda selections.
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