Flickr photo credit: Livin-Lively

The animal bones I’m talking about are the ones that gelatin is derived from, an ingredient in Jello, marshmallows, yogurt, and of course, medicine like pain killers. The prime source for these bones are pigs and cows. Animal skin is also used, another by-product of the meat and leather industry.

Livestrong.org summarizes the downside to using conventional gelatin in medicine. Obviosuly, if eating other animals and their derivatives doesn’t bother you, then you might not have a problem. For others, like the crunchy and chic among us, there’s plenty of reasons to give a pill the side-eye: There’s the issue of religious beliefs when gelatin is derived from pigs. Conventional gelatin isn’t marked as “this is from pigs” as far as I know, so unless a product is labeled kosher/halal/etc., it’s anyone’s guess whose bones make up the pudding snack you’re eating. Conventional gelatin is also a no-no for ethical eaters (veg*n). Some people even have allergic reactions to gelatin: I didn’t know before, but gelatin is used as a a stabilizing ingredient in most vaccines (which, apparently, is all from pigs). Now I wonder if there are any kosher/halal vaccinations out there. Hmm…

The point is, there’s a lot that I don’t know about what I consume, mostly because I have no control over how it’s made, nor an easy way to determine the various pieces/ingredients that make it up, and where (or whom) them come from. I’m thinking about gelatin right now because I just took some ibuprofen for a headache (no gelatin, though), but you know I’m always thinking about these kinds of things.

I’m making this a quick post today, but methinks this could easily become an Ethical Goods post for vegan/cruelty-free medicines.

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