Sunday, 27 September 2015

Is soap suitable for vegetarians?

Recently I read a question about why soap may not be suitable for vegetarians (and vegans).
There are 2 answers, one about the ingredients and the other about testing on animals.
Many soaps are made with sodium tallowate, a fat made from animal carcasses, a "cheap" ingredient which is a waste product in slaughterhouses. Obviously not vegetarian. If you wouldn't eat meat, why would you rub meat on your body?
Assume the soap's made with animal fat unless you have checked, as most of the big names are. Some are ok, such as Imperial Leather and Simple. Tesco do a few, such as Tesco Aloe Vera And Green Tea Soap 100G also their Everyday Value Soap 125G does not contain sodium tallowate.
There are many companies which specialise in vegetarian soaps, such as Suma, Lush, Faith in Nature, Oliva, however they do tend to be expensive and not widely available.
Vegetarian soaps are also appreciated by people who want to avoid animal fat for religious reasons for example observant Sikhs and Hindus who are strict vegetarians, and Jews and Muslims don't want non-kosher and non halal ingredients to be used.
The answer about testing on animals is complicated. Many companies do still test their products on animals even though testing of cosmetics and toiletries has been outlawed in many countries. This question is beyond my level of expertise.

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