The Ted talk from last week has been sticking with me and it got me to research further into where else animal products may be hidden. Part of me thinks that companies which produce products with animal products in them should take on the owness of informing their consumers, and part of me thinks that it is the responsibility of the consumer to know what they are buying. This is easier said than done however, because even if you are a person who makes an effort to avoid animal products, they appear in items so obscure you might not even think to look into the vegan-ness of the item. One example I learned about of such a product is Tattoo ink. Tattoo ink, especially black ink, is often made from bone char or gelatin from horse hooves which is what gives it its defined black pigment. I just got a tattoo a few months ago and did not think twice about weather ink had animal products in it because I assumed all ink is made from plant pigments. I am vegan and the fact that I may have put bone char into my skin permanently is very distressing for me. I have my tattoo artist's card and I could call him and ask, but I would rather not know and sooth myself with the possibility that the ink was vegan, especially because what I did can not be undone.
This experience has made me think about how people might act if they knew how certain animal products were being imbedded in their daily routine. Would the fact that animal fat is in a lot of soaps make people switch soaps or at least give them an ick? I would also be interested to know if products with specific use of animal parts such as horse hooves are derived from animals used for other things or if an animal is used only for its one specific body part. I know a lot of people who justify their use of leather or animal fur through the fact that the whole animal is being used and not wasted for only its meat. However, in the United States, Fur Farming is not illegal which means that fur coats from the United States can come from animals killed only for their fur. The conclusion I have reached through the ted talk and through other research is that I need to devote more energy into ensuring the ethics behind my purchases because there is very little transparency in the marketplace and I should not expect non-animal items to advertise themselves as such.