Some people may ask what is a vegan. Is this another word for vegetarian – or for the PETA activists?
Vegetarians are individuals who prefer not to eat meat, per se. This includes red meat, fish or poultry. Pork in any form would be included in this verboten group. A vegetarian can eat dairy products such as eggs, cheese, yogurt and milk. Although, if they do eat eggs it might spur the question: what came first a chicken or an egg? For some reason eggs are not included with poultry. There are degrees within this food group where some will eat eggs but not milk, and others will drink milk but not eat eggs.
Vegetarianism is not a religion or is based on a strong belief system. Some people practice this form of eating for health reasons, for personal choice and then there are some who keep with the program because of religious or moral beliefs.
Vegans are much more extreme. Not only do they eliminate the high animal protein from their diets, they do not eat dairy, eggs, yogurt or cheese. They go even further. They will not wear clothing made from any part of an animal including silk because it comes from a silk worm. This is a personal belief system that began in 1944 by a man named Donald Watson who co-founded the Vegan Society in England. It was organized as a society that holds that man (and woman) should live without exploiting animals.
It gained more attention in 2010 when practitioners were grouped by whether they were just avoiding these foods by diet and the environmental vegans who believe that they should avoid all animal products because that harvesting or industrial farming (such as pigs, chicken and cattle) is environmentally damaging and unsustainable. They could be classified as exceptionally green.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 5 million members and supporters. Most would consider them activists. They are against the killing of any animal or rodent, including roaches. They are against inhumane treatment of animals and this including killing them for food or clothing as well as using them as test animals in medical research. If a person is an active PETA member it could be assumed they are a vegan.
What about protection of humans against disease?
Vegans may have their own beliefs and views about animals but they are not irresponsible. They know that condoms are the number one way to protect against pregnancy and STDs and AIDS (other than abstinence). Vegetarianism and veganism are big and here to stay. This is why major condom manufacturers have intentionally manufactured lines of condoms that are vegan-friendly. It is a good marketing strategy.
Many may ask what the rubber tree plant has to do with animals. Many latex condoms are processed using a product called casein. This is a protein derived from milk. Milk comes from cows – and sometimes goats. The Glyde website says, “To make condoms from raw latex, various processes are required, which in turn consist of several different steps. And one of the ‘helping hands’ during rubber-making is casein… As most manufacturers use it to make the rubber smooth and fine, most condoms cannot be called ‘vegan’ at all.”
Vegan condoms are just as reliable as non-vegan condoms. If, for some reason, you have a condom that is marked as vegan-safe, non-vegans can use them with peace of mind. You will find that the majority are priced almost the same as the non-vegan brands. They are available in latex, polyurethane or Polyisoprene.They are appropriate for all forms of sex including vaginal, oral and anal intercourse. However, if you are a vegan you do have to look for a vegan-friendly lube.
Are vegan condoms easy to find?
Yes and no. You will definitely be able to find them on line at your favorite condom retailer. It may be a little more difficult at a brick and mortar store. You really need to pay attention to certifications. Not only does the condom have to carry all the government ratings, they should be certified by The Vegan Society and/or The Vegan Action Foundation. When a manufacturer take an animal-friendly pledge it means they do no animal testing and use no animal by-products.
Glyde is an Australian company that partners with distributors around the world, including the USA, Canada, South America, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East, Japan and China. They have condoms that have been certified by The Vegan Society. Their website claims “Glydecondoms are made with a proprietary plant-based formula of thistle extract and natural rubber latex, free of additives including petro-chemicals, parabens, casein and spermicides… Our pure ingredients and ethical principles make Glyde the perfect choice for vegans, people with dairy allergies, and even mild latex allergies, which may stem from exposure to casein used by conventional condom brands.”
Vegans can easily find these on-line but it may be a bit difficult to find at an actual retailer.
Some of the offerings are:
- Organic Flavors
Also note that Glyde says their dams are vegan-friendly. Dams are a very sheer 10” x 6” sheet of natural rubber latex which are used to prevent the transmission of diseases during oral sex between either party. Reviewers say these are so thin that heat and movement are easily detected and they do not interfere with intimacy or pleasure. There are also flavored dams.
Sir Richard’s is a brand that is sold in the U.S. Not only are they available for private sale on line but are available at many big box retailers, super markets and pharmacies. This quote comes from their website so they may be a tad prejudiced. “Sir Richard’s Condom Company is the leading manufacturer of premium condoms that are free of harmful chemicals (parabens, spermicide, or glycerin) and Vegan-certified… And for every condom purchased, the founders [are] committed to donating a condom to communities in need.”
Sir Richard has:
- Classic Ribbed
- Ultra Thin
- Pleasure Dots
- Extra Large
Sweden has a vegan offering certified by Vegan Action called RSFU. This brand is not a common household name. They are more likely to be found on actual vegan product websites than condom websites. Their brands include Profil, Mamba, Okeido and Birds ‘n Bees and are advertised as exceeding international condom safety standards, yet are described as being “unbelievably soft and sensual.”
According to their website, “RFSU condoms are imported from Sweden, and are ‘vegan safe.’ This means there aren’t any animal byproducts used in the manufacturing or testing of RFSU condoms. The elasticity in RFSU is made using only latex, thus, creating a high quality, pure latex, ‘vegan’ condom.”
The brand is also a non-profit educational organization. They say “Through sex information, education and advocacy, we can overcome prejudices, bridge the knowledge gap and improve sexual health.”
Have you ever heard of French Letter? This is a brand the supposedly is available only in the UK although people from other countries can order them if they pay the shipping. Their website claims “The natural latex used in every French Letter condom is harvested under sustainable and Fair Trade conditions. That means the rubber producers are paid a royalty to help improve their lives.” There is no notation about The Vegan Society or any other vegan certification.
B Condoms are another brand that can be purchased in the U.S. via the big box stores, super markets and pharmacies and claim they are “America’s #1 Urban Condom Brand.”The maker says that their condoms are vegan-friendly and have no casein, spermicides, glycerin or parabens. “Our condoms are crafted with premium quality latex, undergoing rigorous testing to maximize both pleasure and safety. Experience the Platinum standard for quality and feel good knowing that part of your purchase went into providing access to education, testing and prevention campaigns.”
- Classic b
- Platinum XL b
Condomi, a German manufacturer, chooses to use cocoa powder instead of casein in the preparation of their latex. They are considered to be cruelty-free condoms and have been awarded The Vegan Society’s seal of approval. Vegan Society general manager Richard Fairhall said: "Much to their frustration vegans in the UK have long been denied access to a cruelty-free condom. The launch of Condomi's range changes all that - no longer will vegans have to suppress their natural instinct to make love not war."
Condomi’s Nature is one style of vegan-friendly condom. They are in a special category because they are free of animal derivatives and meet or surpass all global and domestic quality accreditations. Each condom is transparent and made from high quality natural rubber latex. Plus the gentle lubricant does not contain spermicides. They also have an ultra-thin, an XXL size and a Max Love.
Unique Condoms is a brand that is vegan-friendly and tell their customers that they are the thinnest and stronger condom in the world (notice that they did not say thinnest and strongest). They are made of polyurethane which is supposed to be three times stronger than latex. What makes these condoms ‘unique’ is that they are made with a pull strip that allows the user to roll on the condom without touching it. One negative is that they must be rolled on a dry penis so that means no inside lube and no oral foreplay because it seals to the dry skin.
Pasante also has several selections that the company claims are appropriate for vegans. They are made high quality natural rubber and are lubricated with a non-spermicidal lubricant. They are CE certified and 100% electronically tested for safety. Some of the selections are
- Warming Sensation
- Ribs & Dots
- Extra Safe
What’s on Amazon?
Some say if it isn’t available, it doesn’t exist. There is a category for Vegan Condoms on Amazon.com.us and here are some different offerings.
Sustain Condoms: These are advertised as FDA approved and electronically tested. In addition they have a low odor and are free of nitrosamines.While they do not carry any endorsements theysay they are Fair Trade, vegan certified, non-GMO and sustainable. Sustain condoms are available in Ultra-Thin, Comfort Fit and Tailor Fit.
Cure Condoms is another brand that is not very well-known, The say they are tapered at the base for a secure fit and are soft for a sensational natural skin experience with minimal latex odor. This condom is vegan certified with no spermicides, glycerin or parabens in the lubricant. Cure says their condoms exceed FDA standards for safety and reliability.
Fair Squared is another seller of vegan condoms. These are Fair Trade condoms which are unlubricated so you can use your own vegan-friendly lube. They are transparent and cylindrically modelled with reservoir end.
Notes of Interest
If you go on line an search for vegan condoms, be warned. Not all selections making the top 20 sites will be specifically for vegan condoms. Somewhere, somehow a keyword was slipped in to make some of these sites show up under the search. Before ordering any condom, read the specifics.
For fans of My.Size condoms, Amazon.com lists them as vegan-friendly. However, there is no mention of this fact in any product description. If you are vegan and want to know for sure, visit their website where you may be able to email a question.