Since there’s no one definitive “animal cracker,” this is a tough question to answer.
What I can tell you is that some brands of animal crackers are vegan, and some are not.
While researching for this post, I looked at several brands, and took a closer look at 3 popular ones in particular.
Table of Contents
Vegan and Non-Vegan Ingredients in Animal Crackers
Animal crackers typically have a pretty long list of ingredients. The main ingredients are all vegan:
- Flour – Vegan
- Soybean oil and soy lecithin – Vegan
- Baking soda – Vegan
- High fructose corn syrup – Unhealthy, but vegan.
However, there are some ingredients that are sometimes not vegan that you might see on an ingredients label:
- Egg whites – Obviously not vegan.
- “Lecithin” – If the ingredients list only says “lecithin”, it’s probably from animal sources and not vegan. If you see “Soy lecithin” specifically, that’s a good sign, since soy lecithin is usually vegan.
- Palm oil (see is palm oil vegan) – Palm oil may be from a plant, but its production results in orangutans and tigers being brutally killed and injured. Many vegans avoid it.
- Natural flavor – The term “natural flavor” covers a wide variety of flavoring ingredients. Some natural flavors are vegan, and some are not.
- Sugar – Not all sugar in the United States is vegan, it’s up to you if you’re okay with taking the risk on it or not.
Some brands of animal crackers are vegan, and some are not (about a 50/50 split). You’ll need to look at each one individually.
Which Brands of Animal Crackers Are Vegan?
I looked at the full ingredients list for 3 of the most popular brands of animal crackers.
|Brand||Potential Non-Vegan Ingredient||Verdict|
|Trader Joe’s Animal Crackers||None||Vegan|
|Kirkland Animal Crackers||Palm oil, natural flavor||Possibly vegan|
|Stauffer’s Animal Crackers||Sugar, natural flavor||Possibly vegan|
|Glutino Animal Crackers||Egg whites||Not vegan|
Depending on how you feel about palm oil, there’s a decent chance that Kirkland and Stauffer’s animal crackers are vegan. It’s up to you if you want to take the risk on them.
Hopefully with all that in mind, you can find some good vegan animal crackers online or in a local store. It may take some digging, but there are options out there.
Are Frosted Animal Crackers Vegan?
The other type of cracker that is popular is frosted animal crackers, made by companies like Stauffer’s and Keebler.
These have the same base ingredients as normal animal crackers, plus other ingredients like:
- Whey (a dairy derivative)
- Confectioner’s glaze (typically not vegan)
- Artificial colors (a grey area for vegans)
Unlike normal animal crackers where some brands are vegan, I have not found any frosted animal crackers that are vegan.
If you do happen to find some, please share them with other people who might be looking for them in the comments below.