Don’t be too surprised if you discover animal-derived ingredients in products labeled “no animal ingredients!” Before jumping to conclusions that the manufacturer is trying to deceive you, consider the possibility that the company might not even realize that the ingredient in question came from an animal. Or, perhaps its origin is known, but the manufacturer made the unfortunate assumption that consumers wouldn’t ever care about such an “innocuous” substance in what might be viewed as a minuscule amount.
Such an instance presents an excellent opportunity to educate. Compassionate consumerism includes explaining to manufacturers that you only purchase products that are free of animal ingredients. Companies do respond to consumer demand, but only after being made aware that a vegetarian/vegan market exists.
Communication with product manufacturers is likely to be much more fruitful If you follow the suggestions below:
- Be specific. When trying to find out if a product is free of animal ingredients, avoid asking whether or not the product or a particular ingredient is vegetarian or vegan, because the person you are speaking with may not understand the true definitions of these words. Much better is to use the term “animal-derived” in your dialogue. and to specify what this means. Explain that it includes milk and eggs or their derivatives, insects and their products, and all ingredients derived from or extracted from animal flesh.
- Get it in writing. If you are told by a customer representative that a product Is definitely vegan, then ask for it in writing. By doing so, you will be much more likely to get accurate information.