Is Diet Coke Vegan?


UPDATE JUNE 6, 2019 – News broke this week about animal abuse captured on video at Coca-Cola affiliated US attraction Fair Oaks Farms Dairy Adventure. It’s horrid enough that a place like this exists, so abuse found at this place is probably no surprise. So just forget buying any Coca-Cola products. For that matter, forget buying any soda/pop products at all. Drink water, cold-steeped green tea, hibiscus tea, something that is actually healthy. I am letting this piece below stand as is for the benefit of anyone who still might drink Coca-Cola. Hopefully this update will encourage some of you to stop, regardless of it’s vegan-friendly status. Thank you.  


In researching some common food and beverage companies and whether their products are free of animal-based ingredients, I noticed there was minimal information from the “big two” of global beverage conglomerates. While I am NOT endorsing soda pop consumption as part of a regular balanced diet, or an irregular uneven diet, the detailed response I received from Coca-Cola Canada is worth sharing just for those who might be interested in the information. Here is their well-detailed response to me along with my added comments.


All Coca-Cola brand products in Canada are animal-derivative-free, except those that contain carmine or milk.

As you may know, carmine is a natural red color made from cochineal that is obtained from natural sources.  It complies with the Canadian Food and Drug Act and Regulations.  The Canadian products that contain carmine are as follows: Fruitopia Berry Lemonade, Fruitopia Peach Berry Quencher, Fruitopia Cranberry Connection, Fruitopia Strawberry Passion Awareness, Fruitopia Peach Melon Harmony, Fruitopia Tangerine Wavelength, and Minute Maid Pink Grapefruit Cocktail.  These products are available in 473 mL glass bottles and 341 mL cans. (Note: None of which I would drink anyway even if I wasn’t vegan).

Currently, the only Canadian products containing milk are some of the FUZE products, and Chaqwa.

However, some of our juice products contain Vitamin D3, which is derived from lanolin.  Lanolin is a natural oil in the fiber of sheep’s wool.  It is separated from the wool after the sheep’s hair is cut (sheared).  Lanolin oil is obtainable without harming the sheep but may be an issue for strict vegetarians.

Additionally, some of our suppliers use a common industry practice for grape juice clarification that does involve animal by-products.  This practice is becoming increasingly less common as ultra-filtration systems are gradually replacing the gelatin used in this process. (Note: This is also still common among a few breweries and wineries. It is on the way out though, thankfully) However, you may be interested to know that because our juices are certified kosher, the gelatin used to clarify the juice is made from fish.   (Note: That would make those juices not vegan-friendly.  Further, vegans and vegetarians would still view “Kosher Slaughter” as equally unethical as any standard processing practice).  


Thanks to staffers at Coca-Cola Canada for responding to my research inquiry.




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