Everyone loves animal crackers -- but are they vegan? It's kind of a funny question to ask, but we're here to answer it in great detail.
This article will cover...
- Whether or not animal crackers are always vegan.
- The vegan brands of animal crackers.
- The meaning of the ingredients.
- What's the deal with the sugar in animal crackers?
Are Animal Crackers Vegan?
ANSWER: Yes. The purpose of veganism is to cause the least amount of suffering as possible or practicable with your food choices. Animal crackers aren't real animals of course, nor do the original ones by Stauffer's contain any direct animal ingredients such as milk or eggs.
However, there are a few things to be aware of when it comes to confectionery and baked products including animal crackers.
Some people have concerns that eating animal crackers is not vegan because it's exemplary of how animals are exploited. However, when it comes to reducing animal suffering - we think it's best to view things as black and white as possible.
Do the ingredients contain labeled animal products? If yes - it's not vegan. If no - it's vegan.
Most rational vegans would agree with that sentiment.
That said, let's move onto vegan brands of animal crackers...
Vegan Brands of Animal Crackers
Animal Crackers with Organic Sugar*
Conventional Animal Crackers
In the section above, we've listed the most popular vegan brands of animal crackers. Beware of other brands with frosting and double check if they have any milk, eggs, gelatin, or any other animal products. We've separated the organic from the conventional animal crackers as some more experienced vegans may choose to avoid conventional sugar. More on sugar in the final section.
What Are Animal Cracker's Exactly?
Animal crackers are a bit of a cross between a cracker and a cookie. They are a slightly sweet, but with the texture of a cracker. As the name implies, they are shaped like animals such as horses, giraffes, bears, etc. The Original Animal Crackers by Stauffer's actually contain 13 different shapes according to their website.
What Does the Ingredient Statement Look Like for Animal Crackers?
Here's the Stauffer's Animal Cracker's ingredient statement (please note that other smaller brands might be different):
ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, BAKING SODA (LEAVENING), SOY LECITHIN (AN EMULSIFIER), NATURAL FLAVOR, SPICE.
As you can see they are mainly comprised of flour, sugar, and oil. There's no milk, eggs, or anything that can be stated with 100% certainty that it was animal derived. You don't have to feel guilty about eating them, especially if you're new to veganism. Sugar is a controversial ingredient within veganism and there's a chance that if the sugar isn't organic that animal products were involved in the processing of it.
Why Mention Sugar in Animal Crackers*?
Conventional sugar is sometimes processed with animal bone char, but it is not something that you should put too much thought into, especially if you are having trouble eliminating all labeled animal products from your diet. Veganism is about maximum harm reduction and if you're in the transition phase, you don't want to make things even more confusing.