So, yeah… vegan toothpaste. You're probably wondering why we're about to talk about vegan toothpaste, considering that toothpaste is automatically vegan, right? Yeah, um, as it turns out, it's not. But we'll get back to that in a moment. First off, if there's anybody out there reading this that's either new to veganism or is curious about how veganism works, let us give you a quick breakdown.

Ok, So What's Veganism?

One thing we'd like to clarify is that veganism is more like a lifestyle meaning that it's a bit (a lot) more complex than just "no meat and/or fish". Vegans abstain from consuming any and all animal products or by-products. This means that meat - both red and white, poultry, eggs, seafood, honey; anything that comes from animals is off-limits to them. This animal product exclusion rule also applies to wool, leather, and silk.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, what does this have to do with toothpaste, you might be wondering? Well...

Why Aren't Many Brands of Toothpaste Vegan?

Lots of toothpaste brands actually have either propolis, which comes from bees, or animal-based glycerin listed as ingredients. There is also the matter of many brands not being "cruelty-free" meaning that they test the products on animals to ensure that they aren't harmful to humans. For those of you not in the know, one reason why some people choose to be vegan is that they feel ethically disinclined to harm animals in any way. In this instance, this means that they don't abide by animal testing.

What Makes A Toothpaste Vegan-Friendly?

To put it simply, a vegan-friendly toothpaste is one that doesn't either test on animals or contain any animal products. A vegan-friendly toothpaste, for example, would contain glycerin made either synthetically or from plants. There are also toothpaste brands that are, in fact, cruelty-free. We should note that, however, that a toothpaste that's 100% vegan won't necessarily be cruelty-free.

Let's take a look at Colgate, they actually do have a toothpaste line that's totally vegan, but the company as a whole does animal-testing when they are required to do so (by the law). While many reading this may not consider something that does animal-testing as "vegan", we're using these terms as defined by the cosmetics industry and they do use them as separate terms.

Good Vegan and Cruelty-Free Toothpaste

Another thing that we'd like to put out there is that vegan/cruelty-free toothpaste doesn't have to come without things like fluoride or activated charcoal. Tom's of Maine Fluoride Toothpaste has a very large selection to choose from and they're all ADA approved.

If you want toothpaste to whiten your teeth, then Tom's has got that covered too. If you want another option, then there's Desert Essences Activated Charcoal Toothpaste. It's made with coconut shell charcoal and is carrageenan (a thickening additive that may cause damage to the digestive system) free.

For those of you that have got sensitive teeth, then there's the Kiss My Face Sensitive Orange Mint Gel. The Kiss My Face Toothpaste doesn't have any SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) which is corrosive and has been linked to canker sores when used in toothpaste.

If we've broken the glass ceiling on toothpaste for you, then we're sorry, but hey, at least you know now. And if you already knew that all toothpaste isn't automatically vegan or cruelty-free, then we're hoping that we at least put you on the right path to finding a toothpaste that you can use.

We were happy to help you with your vegan informational needs today and we'll be here if you need any more info in the future. If you'd like to share your favorite kind of vegan toothpaste, let us know in the comments! There is no such thing as too many suggestions!