Surprising Things that Aren’t Vegetarian


Messing up. It happens to every vegetarian! It happens to me almost once a month it’s so bad! When it comes to Vegetarianism I’m not that strict. If I receive a beef patty over a veggie patty by accident I will eat it because I would rather have the animal die for a reason, not to be thrown into the trash. However, just because I accidentally eat meat or make a judgement call on it, doesn’t mean I want to or should eat meat. A lot of surprising things aren’t Vegetarian like you may have thought.

Like I said before, I messed up a lot and still do as a vegetarian. When I first became a vegetarian I even ate Chicken in a Biscuit crackers because I thought it was just a name! I didn’t know there actually was chicken in it!! Even though that is obvious to most, a lot of things are not obvious because they contain ingredients that don’t stand out as belonging to animals.

Things That Aren’t Vegetarian



Collagen obtained from various animal parts, usually by grinding up bones

1. Yogurt

Not all yogurt but rather popular brands like Yoplait contain gelatin.

2. Cereal

Most cereals do not contain gelatin, however cereals such as mini wheats, lucky charms, etc. most certainly do.

3. Marshmallows

If you love camping like I do you will be saddened to find out that marshmallows also contain gelatin. There are vegan marshmallows however which taste just as good!

4. Pop Tarts

I don’t know about you, but I never liked pop tarts because they just tasted like cardboard covered in toothpaste. But, if you do you will be saddened to find out that the frosting on a pop tart contains gelatin.

5. Jell-o

I love Jell-o so much! However, like everything else, this jiggly substance contains gelatin.

6. Gummy Bears, Worms, etc.

A favorite candy of many, however, some brands such as Haribo contain gelatin. There are alternatives though!

7. Skittles & Starbursts

Yep! Both contain gelatin as well! Some other candies may also contain gelatin but these are the big ones.

8. Frozen Vegetables

WHAT!?!? Vegetables are supposed to be our friends!!! Some companies such as Green Giant have frozen vegetable packs that contain gelatin. Not even our veggies are safe!

9. Cream Cheese

I am an avid eater of cream cheese, so I was shocked to see this. While doing research I couldn’t find what brands were in the clear or not. As long as you see no Gelatin you are set.

10. Frosting

Again! Some pre-made frostings contain gelatin. Back off of my cupcakes meat eaters!


Dried, crushed, then boiled beetles to make foods a GORGEOUS red color

1. Yogurt

Here we go again! Oh you didn’t think that your yogurt was pink because of the strawberries right? Nope. It’s crushed beetles.

2. Ketchup

Woah woah woah?!?! But I thought tomatoes made my ketchup red? Nope! Again, we need to go to the farthest possible measure to get the exact color we want. Make sense right?

3. Jams

That’s not your raspberries dying this spread red. Again some brands put Carmine in their jam to improve the color.

4. Drinks Galore

Soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice, even dairy beverages have a chance that they contain crushed up bug corpses as well.

5. Soup

Some canned soups contain Carmine to again, improve the color.


Curdled milk from the stomach lining of an unweaned calf

1. Cheese

Not all cheeses and thankfully the most common kinds are safe. But these following cheeses may contain Rennet: Gruyere, Manchego, Emmenthaler, Pecorino Romano, Gorgonzola, Mimolette, Grana Padano, Camembert, Boucheron, and Vacherin.


Fat from the abdomen of a pig

1. Cake Mix

Some boxed cake mixes contain pig and beef fat, listed as lard.

2. French Fries

For the most part, you are safe here. However, in many fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s they fry their fries in lard.

3. Pie Crust

Store bought and many bakeries sell pie crusts that contain lard to have a flaky texture.

4. Twinkies

Or really any Hostess product really. Thankfully, this brand does clearly label “beef fat” on the ingredient list so we aren’t left guessing.

5. Potato Chips

Some brands and kinds of chips contain lard to “improve” the flavor

6. Refried Beans

Refried Beans contain pork fat. Thankfully, most stores sell vegetarian refried beans which are uber good!


Small salt water fish with a strong flavor

1. Cesar Dressing

Totally have made this mistake in the past. A lot of Cesar dressings served in restaurants and the higher end ones in stores contain anchovies.

2. Worcestershire Sauce

I actually have never had this. At least not to my knowledge that is. So if I can live without it, you can too!

Animal Stock

Usually a broth made from soaking the bones, meat, etc. from various animals such as chicken and beef

1. Baked Beans

Thankfully there are vegetarian baked beans which are a little thicker but taste just as good.

2. Soups

UGGGGH this always annoys me. The worst thing in the world is to buy a can of soup that is labeled “Vegetable Soup” only to read later on that it contains chicken stock.

3. Stuffing

Another thing to cross off the Thanksgiving list of food options. You can eat a vegetarian stuffing, but when I had one it was super dry and just tasted like I was eating croutons.


Anal sac secretion from the Beaver

1. Vanilla Ice Cream

Some brands of Vanilla Ice Cream contains beaver butt juices. As a former Coldstone employee however, I can assure you that their vanilla is free from anal juices.

Omega- 3’s

Sometimes derived from fish oil

1. Orange Juice

No meat eaters! Back off of my fruit!! I personally don’t enjoy oranges in any form so for me it’s not an issue.


Gelatin derived from fish and used to make gelatin (Mainly found in Sturgeon, an endangered species!!)

1. Beer

Used to make beer clearer. So killing off an entire species of fish is justifiable when it comes to making your beer look clearer??

2. Wine

Like beer, wine also uses isinglass to be clearer. Honestly so stupid!

“It’s Impossible to be a Vegetarian”

There are a lot of food and beverages that contain some unpleasant ingredients. However, even if an ingredient is vegetarian doesn’t mean it is still good for the planet or good for us to put into our bodies. Living in America, we are surrounded by unhealthy, unsafe, and cruel foods. You may look at this list, and feel defeated. I sure felt defeated after researching this. Even though you may now be having second thoughts on if being a vegetarian is even worth it, DON’T!!  Being a vegetarian is hard and is a true commitment and I would argue that it is almost a religion to some people, in fact to some religions it is a part of it! By doing your best to not eat meat you are making a HUGE difference. Even for people who participate in “Meatless Mondays”, are making a difference. You aren’t perfect, neither am I or any person in the world. We eat mistakes. Here I have been declaring myself as a vegetarian for over years only to find out that almost every month I eat meat either due to a mess up with an order, a tiny piece of pepperoni hidden under my cheese, or just because I honestly had no idea what was in my candy!

The point is you’re trying. You are committing yourself as much as anyone can expect you to and that is very admirable. By just giving up just one quarter pound burger, you are saving 6.7 pounds of feed, 52.8 gallons of water, 74.5 square feet of land, and 1,036 Btu’s of Fossil Fuel Energy. Keep at it! You can help our planet!


If I missed anything please let me know in the comments! If you have any questions, concerns, or just want somebody to talk to feel free to message me.


One thought on “Surprising Things that Aren’t Vegetarian

  1. Animal stock is always a big problem because often people who are serving in cafetarias don’t know about it. I learnt quickly enough that in America you have to specifically ask if something has animal stock, in addition to if the dish has meat.

    Liked by 1 person

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