5 Surprising Things That Have Cow Parts in Them


Image: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock

So, you're a vegan and you're mad that you can't drink Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte. Well, maybe you want to skip this post because your day ain't going to get much better. You see, almost *everything* in the world contains something made from animal parts and by-products.

Don't believe us? Here are 5 things in the world that you wouldn't believe are made from or contain animal by-products or use them in the manufacturing process:

1. Car Tires

Yes, tires are made of rubber, which are plant products but the wheel on the bus goes round and round with a little help from stearic acid.

Stearic acid is a fatty acid with many industrial applications - and when we say many, we mean a bajillion. This chemical compound is used as a surfactant and softening agent. It is found in soaps, cosmetics, detergents, lubricants, candles, food, and even fireworks. Car tires manufacturers use stearic acid as an additive to help "cure" the rubber in the tires and make them strong enough to hold their shape while under steady friction yet flexible enough to grip the road.

Oh, and that "stearic" in stearic acid is derived from the Greek word "stear" which means tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton fat.

2. Drywall

Unless you live in a brick or mud house, then chances are, your wall is made of drywall or sheetrock. These are gypsum plaster sheets used to make interior walls and ceilings. Then, unless you live in an unfinished garage, chances are your walls are painted. Well, both drywall and paint contain animal by-products.

Drywall is made by creating a slurry of gypsum with additives such as starch, paper pulp and fatty acids like stearic acid (ta-da!) and oleic acid (also made from animal fat) as emulsifier and thickener.

3. Paint

Many brands of paint (even latex-based paint) contain a binder called casein, a protein found in cow milk. Never heard of casein? You may not know it, but you are familiar with casein: in its coagulated form, casein is called cheese.

4. Sugar

Good ol' white sugar isn't white to begin with. Rather, large sugar manufacturers use a filter made from bone char - basically charred ash of animal bones (mostly from cattle) - to decolorize sugar cane to the desired white form.

Well, how about if I just use brown sugar, you say. Turns out most brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses added as brown colorant.

5. Asphalt

Yes, that black stuff used to pave roads and parking lots contain glycerin, a release agent that prevents it from sticking to the containers, as well as other animal by-product based additives to help the ease of mixing and paving as well as control rutting and cracking.

Love trivia? Find more neat trivia over at NeatoFacto

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