Article: Why Condoms Might Not Be Vegan (And Some Cruelty-Free Brands)

Condoms? Not vegan? What the hay!?

Some of you might be wondering how this is even possible. I mean, outside of the obvious lambskin offering that Trojan provides, how can a regular ‘ol latex condom not be vegan?

What Makes A Condom Not Vegan?

Latex itself is a rubber derived from a plant-based source, but the material isn’t necessarily the problem – it’s the preparation that matters.

In order to soften latex the preparation product often involves using a protein called casein, which is derived from cow’s milk. This is the same stuff that a lot of body-builders and fitness junkies (among which I identify, to much love there) get their protein supplementation from. It’s also a known promoter of cancer (among other things). Yikes.

My face when I found out condoms weren’t vegan by default.

Granted, you don’t have to worry about the cancer scare if using casein-softened latex condoms, but you do have to tackle with the unethical nature of the dairy industry and…yeah, for vegans it’s a no-go.

Because, remember, veganism isn’t just about a plant-based diet. That’s a big part of it but the main goal is, to quote the Vegan Society:

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

And, in this endeavor, vegans take a pretty comprehensive approach.

In addition to casein, a lot of conventional condoms may also just be bad for you in general. Here’s the thing about condoms: Most of them come pre-lubricated, which begs the question: What goes in to that lubricant?

We’re typically so careful about making sure that we select bottled lubricants that are free from spermicide, parabens, and other irritants, but if these are being added to our condoms anyway then the whole process is detracted from without us really even consenting to it.

It’s frustrating.

And, remember – humans are an animal. You deserve just as much love, care, and free from suffering as is possible, which means you’re totally justified in trying to avoid products that could make you suffer from infections and other nasty reactions. Veganism is just as much about self care as it is care for other individuals. Remember that.

So Are Vegans Fucked (Or Not) When It Comes To Safer Sex Practices?

No, but it does change things a bit.

As with all aspects of veganism (and any lifestyle change, really) the notion of having to consider your safer sex practice with more scrutiny might seem like a hassle or deterrent at first but knowledge is power, practice makes perfect, and having a few good reliable condom brands can really help.

And, thankfully, there are quite a few ethical companies that take a cruelty-free approach to their condoms while trying to avoid all the other nasty stuff too.

Some of these are easily accessible, others are online-only products, and others may vary depending on your current location. Always keep this in mind when ordering these condoms, but don’t let that hinder you. Remember – you (and the animals/environment) deserve the best safer sex products on the market!

Who wants to worry about how much cruelty has gone in to their condoms anyway?

Glyde

Key Facts*: Latex, Vegan Society accredited, gluten-free, palm oil free, paraben free, glycerin free, formaldehyde free, pH neutral.

Glyde Condoms are the #1 go-to vegan condom option. Not only do they offer a bunch of amazing options (including different thicknesses and flavors) but they also offer oral dams for other types of vegan play.

Most importantly they have that official certification from The Vegan Society and that shit is hard to get. You have to be diligent (for example, Innocent Smoothies can’t earn this accreditation due to the very small chance that some of their fruits might be coated with an animal-based wax).

Glyde is also coated with 100% silicone lubricant, but not to a degree that would damage any toys used alongside them.

Not everyone gets along with this brand, but the fun thing is that there are enough choice that you can play around with the variety and see if any of them suit your needs.

And, if not, there’s always…

Sustain

Key Facts: Latex, certified by Vegan.org, Non GMO Project verified, paraben free, nitrosamine free, FDA approved, silicone lubricant.

Sustain have a whole list of accreditation which, although I’m not personally familiar with, speaks quite well for their company ethos.

Their condoms can be a tailored fit, ultra thin, or large fit, giving options for those who struggle with condom sizing.

Sustain also offers a slew of other cruelty-free products, which are great for the health conscious or ethical individual. Some sanitary products, for example, are tested on animals by standard and that just makes me shudder, so I’m overjoyed that companies such as Sustain exist.

Hero Condoms

Key Facts: Latex, vegan friendly, made from recycled material, non-spermicidal lubricant, 1 for 1 donations.

G’day mate! These condoms come from down under and are a great vegan option for covering that didgeridoo (am I annoyingly ‘Aussie’ enough yet?)

Okay, serious talk.

For every Hero condom purchase a condom is donated to developing countries to help prevent the spread of STIs such as HIV. How amazing is that!?

To date, HERO has provided more than $2,215,000 condoms locally in Botswana and now they’re expanding.

That is taking the vegan message to a proactive level and I adore Hero for doing this.

They have two different condom types on offer, and a lubricant to accompany them.

If you are an ethical activist then this might be the best option for you.

b condoms

Key Facts: Latex, vegan-friendly, zinc enhanced, silicone lubricant,

b condoms is another brand that like to be proactive, this time in advocating for the best safer sex options available and by going out on the streets to raise awareness.

b condoms are completely plant-based in terms of their latex and are also entirely self-funded and independent: The only US condom company to boast this status. They do what they do because they care and opt to add zinc in their condom production due to its reported ability to boost libido and the production of natural lubrication.

b condoms don’t have many condom options but what they offer is high grade a no-compromise.

The ‘b’ of their brand apparently stands for ‘bSafe, bYourself, bTrue or b whatever you want to b, as long as you bHealthy.’

I can get behind that.

Fair Squared

Key Facts: Latex, Vegan Society certified, can be purchased unlubricated.

Fair Squared don’t offer much in terms of details, but I have tried their condoms and I did find them to be good (if not a little bit of a tight fit by default, so you may need to opt for XL if that concerns you).

Fair Squared don’t give many details in terms of lubricant, but they do offer an unlubricated condom, giving you the option to add your lubricant of choice.

I think this is a really great way to allow people with any sort of sensitivity to cater to their own needs, so this is a good all-round condom.

Sir Richard’s

Key Facts: Latex, glycerin, parabens, spermicide and petrochemical free, Vegan certified, PETA approved.

This is a brand that many will know, and it is considered by many to be the best condom brand on the market full stop.

Sir Richard’s provide a fair amount of options, a lot of comfort, and the sort of word-of-mouth approval that money just can’t buy. They’re also easy to purchase in the US, which isn’t the case with all these condoms.

Alas, UK vegans may find these a bit trickier to get hold of, but they may very well be worth it.

SKYN Condoms

Key Facts:  Non-latex, ‘accidentally’ vegan, paraben-free.

Finally! A vegan condom for those with latex allergies!

Granted, it’s accidentally vegan (like many of the junky snacks that vegans love) and we can’t really isolate which lubricant is being used, but we do know that it’s paraben-free and thus not a cancer scare.

If you have a latex allergy then accidentally vegan may be the best option for you, because like fuck am I recommending the also vegan Unique Condom. Just…no.

I use these condoms by default and I adore them. A great fit, barely noticeable, easy to get, and they always leave me and the user pleased.

Skyn condoms make me a very happy vegan indeed.


And that’s all for now!

Another accidentally vegan brand would be the two Durex non-latex condoms on the market but, again, lubricant content can’t be verified, which isn’t ideal, and the variation between the US and UK non-latex offering might mean there are some further uncertainties, so support at your discretion.

Brands such as L. Condoms also get a shout out but sadly didn’t make this list due to lack of extensive information.

But, as you can see, with so many options out there it’s easier than you might imagine to have safer sex in an ethically and environmentally responsible way.

So let’s not harm animals when we fuck by selecting one of these great brands (and pairing them with some Sliquid lube).

Huzzah for compassion!

*Key facts may vary depending on what information the company have provided.