The development of modern medicine has been a miracle in terms of increasing quality of life and expectancy, from providing lifesaving insulin to diabetic patients to antibiotics and medicines that nearly erase paralyzing illnesses.
However, despite all of this progressive news in medicine, most medications and treatments are made with animal ingredients or tested on animals.
While we can be grateful for the scientific advancements that have completely changed the world we live in today, we can also recognize the imperfections in the process and the results.
Research and testing rely heavily on animal subjects, whether by creating ingredients or testing to ensure it is safe for human use.
As an ethical vegan, this poses the question, are you still vegan even if your medication isn’t?
In an article published by a popular vegan magazine, they dive further into this question, and the answer is short and sweet, unlike most questions.
The Vegan Society’s definition of veganism even states that you should avoid animal use as far as possible and practical. When no alternative to non-vegan medication and treatment is available, it doesn’t make you any less of a vegan because you use it.
“Sometimes, you may have no alternative to medication manufactured using animal products,” notes The Vegan Society. “Even if other medications are available, they may be less effective, have more side effects or be unsuitable for your healthcare needs.”
While it might feel upsetting to feel like you are compromising on your vegan beliefs by accepting these truths and taking these medicines, it’s important as vegans to look after our health and the health of others.
According to a registered pharmacist in the article, Sheetal Ladva, the animal ingredients used help with the long-term stabilization of the medicine and help with everything from the consistency to the absorption of the medicine.
"Unfortunately, most excipients are derived from animals,” Ladva notes in a blog post for The Vegan Society.
As a vegan myself, I agree that the future of ethical medicine still has a long way to go, and it will be a very long time before the industry is completely animal-free. Most drugs out there are tested on animals, even if they don’t contain animal products. Whether it’s medicine to treat an illness or to ensure you are healthy, you shouldn’t forego your own health and safety when there are no vegan alternatives.
However, it should be noted that not ALL medicine contains animal products. It can be hard to find a full list of ingredients, but you can check with your local pharmacist, the leaflet provided in your medicine box, or contact the manufacturer to try and find this information.
“In some cases, the manufacturer is not always able to guarantee the source of excipients or confirm non-contamination during the manufacturing process,” explains Ladva in the article.
While your medicine might not contain animal ingredients, it won’t guarantee that it wasn’t tested on animals. However, according to the article:
“It is a regulatory requirement to test potential new medicines in animals before they can be tested in humans, with most tested in two species prior to human testing,” notes the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
While medicine still has a long way to go before it is cruelty-free and ethical, we encourage vegans to look after their health and always consult their doctor should any concerns arise.
More Articles From Lavender & Macarons
Before you toss the grease from your freshly cooked bacon away, you may want to reconsider. While most of us aren’t bacon grease savers, you may be shocked to learn how much flavor it can add to your recipes. It will make your food taste richer and is an easy flavor booster. You’re Throwing Away the Best Part of Bacon - Here’s How To Use It in Your Cooking!
9 Foods You Always Thought Were Healthy but Are Actually Junk
People want healthy versions of junk food, but some foods are unhealthy even if they are not junk food. "They're Straight Up Making Sandwiches With Cake. That Stuff Is Crazy Sweet.” People Are Sharing Foods That Aren't Considered Junk Food But They Actually Are
“I Expected It To Be Some Kind Mushroom, a Bit of a Misleading Name”: People Are Sharing Their Top 8 Foods They Wouldn’t Eat, No Matter the Price
Price can sometimes deter us from trying certain foods, but there are some things that are so unappetizing that we wouldn't even consume them for free. “I Expected It To Be Some Kind Mushroom, a Bit of a Misleading Name”: People Are Sharing Their Top 8 Foods They Wouldn’t Eat, No Matter the Price
9 Beautiful Countries With The Most Disappointing Food According to Travelers
One of the best parts of traveling is trying out all the unique food items on the menu and trying new flavors and cuisines. While many destinations are packed with must-try dishes, there are plenty of disappointing meals that not nearly enough people talk about. 9 Beautiful Countries With The Most Disappointing Food According to Travelers
“I Know It’s Greasy and Unhealthy, but I Freakin’ Love It”- People Are Sharing Their Most Favorite Food and I’m Curious if You Agree With Any of Them
Man, I could eat them with every meal…for every meal…so good." “I Know It’s Greasy and Unhealthy, but I Freakin’ Love It”- People Are Sharing Their Most Favorite Food and I’m Curious if You Agree With Any of Them