Are condoms vegan?
The short answer is generally no. If you're curious or want to know why, read on.
To answer the question that gives this blog its title, we have to first ask ourselves what condoms are made of. Knowing this we can detect if there are any elements of animal origin in the composition and therefore know if they are vegan or not.
Inside the wrapper that envelops a condom you find mainly a solid and elastic condom, and a liquid lubricant that envelops it.
The lubricant that surrounds the condom is generally made of silicone, a synthetic element generated from sandstone, and is therefore completely vegan.
On the other hand, the condom itself is made from latex, a white liquid material secreted by some plants when their stems are cut. This liquid is thought to be part of the plant's "defense", but its actual function remains a mystery. Be that as it may, the reality is that this liquid can take on a consistency that allows it to become the most elastic material in the world.
However, although latex makes up the main part of the condom, there are more materials involved. To produce a condom, a mould in the shape of a banana is quickly dipped inside a latex "pool", taken out and heated until the latex coating can be removed from the mould with a brush and the process repeated. In this "pool" the latex is mixed with various compounds, including a stabilising compound called sodium caseinate, a type of isolated casein.
Casein is a type of protein found in cow's milk, which is why it needs to be extracted from cow's milk. This means that condoms containing casein are not vegan, as they contain traces of milk. Therefore, they can also cause adverse reactions for those who are lactose intolerant.
Unfortunately, materials of natural origin are more prone to allergic reactions than synthetic materials, so latex can also cause such reactions. For this reason, there are also latex-free polyurethane condoms.
However, there is a perfect alternative for all those who are not allergic to latex and do not want to support the industry that exploits livestock for the excessive production of milk and meat: vegan condoms.
The fact that a condom is vegan does not imply that it is worse in terms of quality or experience. In fact, it is indistinguishable from a condom with casein. They simply use other stabilising substances that work just as well to deliver the same result, without having to rely on milk.
Take a look at the vegan condoms we have at Terra Zero and give them a try, you won't be disappointed.