As far as i know they are. It's basically just sugar water heated up to a high tempature and then kneaded to put air into it. Flavorings and colorings are then added.
Most have red 40 which might be from an animal,i haven't checked. And the alcohol used for the peppermint extract might be animal containing. Who knows, if your truely worried about that i guess your best bet would be to call the company.
But for the most part ,besides the chance of the flavorings and colorings having animal-by products, it should be vegan.
Your white sugars are filtered through dead animal bone char to make them the white they become. Otherwise, the sugar would have a slight beige color to it (like some vegan/"natural" sugars do).
As for the artificial colors, most are derived from (you ready for this?) PETROLEUM. Yes, the same stuff from which we derive our gas. DEFININTELY not healthy. If you want a naturally colored candy cane (though I can't guarantee if it's a truly vegan sugar they use... haven't looked it up b/c I'm simply not a fan of mint candies), I can look up a source from which you may order. (I'm a member of an association that avoids artificial colors, flavors, certain preservatives, etc. They give members like me a food list so I can look up "safe" foods that have been properly researched, as well as web sites for resources like finding additive-free holiday candy.)
You can find, at health food stores, and even Walmart, sugars that were not processed in this way. Turbandino sugar (raw sugar, comes in chunky crystals with a brownish haze to them) is an easily available one that isn't processed like that.
And if you have health food stores (Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage, Wild Oats), you can buy it by the lb from the bins, or buy it pre-packaged in the sugar aisle. They offer natural/vegan brown sugar alternatives, too, if you like to bake.
Evaporated cane juice is a really good alternative... but some of them can be expensive, so go with what you can afford, or parents are willing to pay.
natalie, since you appear to be new at this vegan thing, don't beat yourself up if you have trouble achieving the standards others on VB have. Some people focus on eliminating the eggs and dairy and then as time progresses, they work on the sugars, additives and miniscule ingredients.
I agree with Skylark. It's best to take huge changes like this "one bite at a time". (Pardon the pun.) You'll have better success by going a little slower and learning as you go. It's okay... I think most of us who went vegan did the same thing.
I agree with the others, do what you can, AS you can. The bone char is a by-product of the meat industry. They don't kill the cows just to make sugar. They kill them for the meat and then they found a use for the bones as well.
And I, as an adult, am using up my non-vegan things before I buy new. When do buy new, I look for vegan. If I can't find it, I buy the "regular" and look more online, later.
I call myself a "vegetarian, no eggs, no diary". Vegan can be such a strict thing, and I'm not quite *there* yet....
Thank you =] But after I know what goes on with my food, I have huge guilt issues after eating them. So far I have had a fun and sucessful time going vegan and trying new foods, but I feel like I'm completley changing my diet, and it's hard staying away from foods like pizza and quesedillas and such. Anyways, thank all of you so much for the information and support!
Plain, inexpensive non-bone-char sugar is easier to find than people are making it sound - if you do a little checking...
Beet sugar (rather than cane sugar) is commonly used by many companies and it is NOT bone char processed.
The "generic" or "store brand" of plain white sugar sold by Fred Meyer, Safeway, Albertsons and under the Western Family and Haggen brand names are all sugar-beet sugar, not cane sugar (*UNLESS it specifically says "cane sugar" on the bag which on occasion it will) and as long as it's beet sugar, it will not have used bone char in the processing.
Again, as Skylark said (and she always has good advice) take things a step at a time. And my advice, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY. Food is too much fun to have every bite you take plagued by guilt!
She may not know. Regular bags of white sugar aren't usually going to say. You can contact the company or go online though.
And again, don't stress over sugar right now - veganism is a path and we kind of make our way along that path the best we can... the amount of bones used is miniscule, the sugar is filtered thru the bone char so you don't actually consume an animal product when you eat sugar, and as mentioned above - it is a by-product, not a direct reason for animals to be slaughtered.
So relax and read labels for things like eggs, milk and whey - the easier ingrediets to avoid...
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