Vegan Sugar

Vegan Sugar

As a follow-up to a post about sugar, here’s a quick reference guide about veganism and sugar…

Why is some sugar not vegan?
Some sugar is refined through a process that uses dead animal parts: bones (bone char). The dead animal parts aren’t in the final sugar product, but using dead animals to make something makes that something nonvegan.

Why do some vegans eat sugar?
Many vegans try to avoid nonvegan sugar, but they will use vegan sugar.
Other vegans don’t worry about sugar at all. They simply avoid eating the obvious animal products like meat, cow’s milk, and eggs.

What is vegan sugar?
Vegan sugar is sugar that has not been made through the use of animal products.

Labels that indicate sugar is vegan:

  • vegan
  • unrefined cane sugar
  • evaporated cane juice
  • beet sugar
  • raw sugar

Why do some vegans avoid sugar?

Some vegans will omit sugar entirely because it’s easier than reading labels.
Other vegans avoid sugar because a diet without sugar is healthier.

Sugar alternatives:

  • agave nectar
  • stevia
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • rice syrup
  • fruit juice

13 Responses to Vegan Sugar

  1. An important thing to add to your list is organic sugar. As far as I know (and it’s been part of my job for the last 6 years), organic sugar is not bone-char refined. And that really opens up your options and makes things easier when shopping. Yay?

  2. Updated information for internet searchers:
    On Jan 19, 2011, I called C+H customer service, and learned something interesting.

    They have 2 factories that do *not* use bone-char whitening. Any sugar (table, brown, granulated, bulk, etc) that comes from those 2 factories will be vegan.

    The way to tell whether the sugar comes from those 2 factories is the first digit of the Lot Code. If the Lot Code begins with a 6 or a 1 it is a vegan sugar from the vegan-whitening factories.
    (6 indicates South Bay factory; 1 indicates Yonkers factory.)

  3. As long as no animal is killed specifically for use of its bones for sugar refining, then using the bones actually enables more of the animal to be used, with less waste. I think that actually makes its use more respectable.

  4. Can vegans have pets, or is that that considered under the rubric “any other purpose”?

  5. Anything contaminated with animal parts has the some sort of information about the animals, likely sickness, feelings, etc. Ultra -sensitive vegan persons can really feel those things if they eat those products.

  6. I saw that the author has a bunch of tattoos. My husband told me the other day that tattoos are NOT vegan because the dyes use animal gelatin, etc. Can you get vegan tattoos?

  7. JK – “the author”? Are you talking about me? I hae only one tattoo.

    Yes, you can get vegan tattoos. Details are here:


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