So as Soapers; is Palm oil vegan?

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by BroknArrw, Jan 14, 2018.

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  1. Jan 14, 2018 #1

    BroknArrw

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    The simple answer isn't always the right answer. Yes it vegetable based but there is the issue of destroying habitats of rain Forrest of orangutans and elephants as well as many types of fish.
    Guessing most vegans would not realize the average vegan is said to be responsible for the deaths of .3 animals a year through food they eat.
    I saw people selling Vegan and asked them. I certainly won't knock their belief system.
    My base of Palm, coconut and Olive oil technically could be called vegan but what do you all think?
     
  2. Jan 14, 2018 #2

    mx6inpenn

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    My husband is vegan and he and many others will not use palm. In fact, I don't know any that will. That is why my vegan soaps are also palm-free.
     
  3. Jan 14, 2018 #3

    Cellador

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    "Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals."--Wikipedia definition

    So, since palm oil is not an animal product, I would consider it vegan friendly. I actually have several friends who are both vegan & fairly eco-conscious, and when I asked them about their stance on palm oil, none were really aware with the issues surrounding palm oil. I was surprised! I believe palm oil is used mostly used for cooking applications, so I think if it was a big concern for vegans, we'd all have heard more about it. Personally, I'd never heard of palm oil concerns until I started soaping...
     
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  4. Jan 14, 2018 #4

    Soapprentice

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    Honestly no one really know much about palm oils and issues surrounding it.. neither did I until I got into this forum, so to answer your question, most including I do think palm oil is vegan but I don’t like it in soap so I don’t use it.
     
  5. Jan 14, 2018 #5

    penelopejane

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    I think it depends where you live. I think Aussie’s are more aware of Palm oil problems with the environment and animal habitat. Our major supermarkets only sell products that contain sustainable palm oil. It’s a step in the right direction but there are still many who believe that “sustainable” is not policed well enough.

    So palm oil, even sustainable palm oil, isn’t vegan.
    There are lots of articles on the internet about it not being vegan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  6. Jan 14, 2018 #6

    Obsidian

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    I don't consider it vegan but instead, vegetarian. At least as I understand the definition of the two. If Im asked for a veggie soap, I will use palm. If I was asked specifically for a vegan soap, I would have to turn them down as I have been unable to formulate a decent vegan bar, If I can't use lard, I have to use palm.
     
  7. Jan 14, 2018 #7

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    I'd give them a Castile or a salt bar.

    I can see why it would be considered non-vegan (as vegan HAS a meaning, which should be used) and the damage done to the orangutan population would certainly be viewed as exploitative. I think its easier to just not use it and either use lard or a totally different recipe
     
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  8. Jan 14, 2018 #8

    cmzaha

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    Palm is Vegan and my vegan customers buy it does not come from an animal. I will not go into my long dissertation as to why I choose to use it. We will never stop the production and our country is one of the lowest of vegan. In order to make a suitable lasting soap without animal fats I would have to use a large percentage of hard butters, stearic acid or some beeswax, which will create a bar my customers would hate. So if a vegan wants a soap without palm they have to go elsewhere. Remember some child and family is getting dinner because their dad has a job... so I will use it and sleep at night

    The term Vegan was coined by Donald Watson in 1944 to help separate the vegetarians that take it a to the more extreme and do not eat eggs and dairy or anything connected to animals. Honey comes from a bug so it has expanded more...Anyone wanting to make vegan beer soap needs to make sure they are using vegan beer...
     
  9. Jan 14, 2018 #9

    SaltedFig

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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  10. Jan 14, 2018 #10

    Saponificarian

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    I am about to offend some people but I think people that would not use palm in soap but would eat products made with Palm, use cream made with Palm derivatives are just hypocrites. Practice what you preach...

    It brought tears to my eyes when I saw what was going on in Indonesia with the Orangutans and that is why I support a foundation like The Masarang Foundation in Indonesia who are doing something about it.

    Sometimes I think all this brouhaha! is a 1st world problem. I live in a 3rd world country (Developing Economy I believe we are called now) where people don’t know where their next meal is coming from, where mothers beg on the road to feed their children, where if it a choice between your child dying of hunger or going to work on a palm plantation which would you pick?

    I am from a palm producing country and I see first hand the agony and toil that goes into planting all these palm and how a slight deviation in weather, exchange rate or any shift can mean hunger and starvation for many families et alone being able to afford school fees.

    I am not excusing those that are killing Orangutans because we definitely don’t kill Orangutans in Nigeria but am guessing with the lands been cleared for agriculture some animals are bound to go so would that mean that a country like Nigeria where like 85% of the population cook with Palm oil should starve?

    This is an issue with a wide gray area so...... But to each his own....
     
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  11. Jan 14, 2018 #11

    earlene

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    I agree, Saponificarian. I can be a vegetarian, in part because of my environment, and I am fully aware that given different circumstances, I would have to make different choices than I do now and have done in my past.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2018 #12

    cmzaha

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    Probably depends on which article you read. I have read more than one that states 1944 but it really is immaterial

    yep^^^ I just cannot support animals over humans especially children. In our so called first world country we have starving children. It also amazes no one in our country do much yelling over the bark beetle that has decimated our forest. What happens to those animals...
     
  13. Jan 15, 2018 #13

    osso

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    The palm oil question is complex. I consider it vegan. For those who eschew palm oil for its environmental impact, I think it hypocritical to not look critically at the impact of the production of other vegetable oils. For example soy (oil and wax). And on and on it could go. Just so happens people have a strong response to the poor orangutans. Yes, palm oil production needs to be more responsible and sustainable. But, any crop harvested on a large scale can be problematic.
     
  14. Jan 15, 2018 #14

    Laurabolyard

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    Will you please elaborate? I'm trying to learn. I bought a jug of palm oil, only because it was from woman going out of business. I don't feel great about it, but I figure 'better used than die in vain'. Have you not formulated a bar without palm oil that you're happy with? And PLEASE, why?
     
  15. Jan 15, 2018 #15

    SaltedFig

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    I’ve corrected my sentence to read the way I intended it to be read (thanks for the heads up that it was an issue):

    Trivia: The Vegan Society didn't have a definition for the word Vegan until the early 1950's.
     
  16. Jan 15, 2018 #16

    Susie

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    I was avoiding palm oil for quite a while until it occurred to me that people have to make a living. Children must be fed. If my buying a container of palm oil and tallow shortening helps those kids be fed, then I will just have to buy it. More countries are growing palm for (oil trees) than the ones that destroy orangutan habitation. We can't avoid palm in our food, especially if we eat out at restaurants, so why be hypocritical?
     
  17. Jan 15, 2018 #17

    LilyJo

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    I think the trouble is where does one stop?

    Families in India need to work so their children are employed in sweat shop conditions; people in China need food so they torture and eat dogs; you can use the argument that they have to put food on the table to support every kind of situation no matter how good or bad.

    I dont use palm in any of my products and try my best to avoid palm in foodstuffs but its not easy (as people who are allergic have testified). My view is that we should all reduce the amount of impact we cause to our planet and the use of controversial ingredients for luxuries is, for me, always uncessary. We have looked at all of our ingredients and packaging and have either removed them or made a choice based on our ethics inc palm, essential oils, plastics and whether the ingredients are truly cruelty free.

    There are so many areas where we could all reduce our environmental impact - I agree that orangutans are an emotive subject but we have already lost so many speciies as a result of what we do. If we can use our voices to encourage truly sustainable palm agriculture surely that is better for the environment but also better for those countries that farm it; ultimately they would have a sustainable crop and not one that has stripped the soils clean in matter of years?

    Back to the OP, palm is a vegan product without a doubt but its use has ethical connotations and I can well understand why vegans and vegetarians may choose to avoid it.
     
  18. Jan 15, 2018 #18

    snappyllama

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    I'm a lover of definitions... palm oil is vegan as it does not contain animal products. However, a lot of vegans might not want to use it so if you're selling to vegans, you'll probably want to skip it. I leave folks to figure out their own rules for behavior that fit within their ethics. I am a stickler for definitions though. :)

    If folks are going to classify things as non-vegan since animals were killed to grow those vegetables/trees... they are going to run out of anything to eat. Having spent time on farms during plowing/harvesting times... a lot of animals die. Waaay more than you'd think.

    Personally, I don't use it - mainly since I don't need it for anything. I'm happy with my lard recipes and vegetarian-friendly recipes and do not sell (so I don't have to worry about ingredient costs per batch... my veggie one would be a little pricey to bring to market).

    Aside: I've always wondered why people don't get more excited about castor oil being a problematic product.
     
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  19. Jan 15, 2018 #19

    gloopygloop

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    I totally agree, I dont use palm either for many reasons some ethical some practical. Starving children and families are a terrible surge and will continue as long as there are corrupt governments in this world palm or no palm IMHOP.

    I agree that palm is an ethical issue and if one is vegetarian or vegan then one may understandably take that issue on board.
     
  20. Jan 15, 2018 #20

    Susie

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    To be fair, however, the vegans can't buy any soap at the grocery store unless they have done quite a bit of research on all the ingredients. If I were selling to vegans, (I don't sell to anyone right now.) I would just label honestly and let them decide on whether they wanted it or not. I live in Texas, though, so I am unlikely to run into a large enough amount to really impact sales much.
     

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