Is The Pill Vegan? Should Vegans Still Use It?

is the pill vegan

As vegans, we don’t use products that contain animal ingredients or have been tested on animals. I say ‘try not to’, as sometimes this is tricky. I’m not talking about ‘accidentally’ eating a chicken pizza out of the bin or anything, but when we take medicine.

Unfortunately, the majority of medication is tested on animals. Disgusting and unnecessary, this is something that must change. They often contain animal products too. Lactose for example, is commonly found in pills.

I luckily don’t take any medication apart from the pill, but is the pill vegan? Unfortunately, not really.

is the pill vegan

I’m on the pill for many reasons, and have been for almost 4 years now. Having periods so heavy you have to change a pad every 2 hours and cramps so agonising you can’t stand up is no way to live. Having a gap of only 4 days between periods is also pretty painful. You’re so low in energy and so exhausted, you will do anything you can to stop it.

I want to come off the pill, I truly do. But what will happen if I do? For 4 years I’ve FINALLY had regular periods, which are lighter, shorter, and regular as clockwork. It also means that I won’t end up on MTV teen-mum and contribute to an already overflowing population.

Aside from ethics, one of the main reasons I’m vegan is because of the environmental benefits. We live in a world which is at its seams, and we can’t provide for everyone on it. The UK also has ridiculously high levels of teen pregnancy. Imagine how the earth would benefit if birth control was available and encouraged to all?

There is no way in hell I’m ready to have a baby yet, and I don’t want to add to a problem that is not being addressed. An extra mouth to feed, an extra number to the growing population. Birth control needs to be encouraged, not discouraged.

Trying to find vegan birth control is hard, but it needs to become possible. I cut animal products out of my life in every way possible, this is the only hurdle that I fall short on. The weight gain, hormones and animal products are not what I want in the slightest, but I see no alternative at the moment.

is the pill vegan

If anyone reads this and has a more vegan alternative, please let me know! I’ve been on it for so long now the thought of coming off it fills me with dread. 4 years of regularity and no pain has made me extremely comfortable on it.

Is the pill vegan? Not really? Am I still a vegan? Of course. Just because I don’t come off of prescribed medication without second thought doesn’t take that away from me. I’m on it for health reasons, and if anyone can suggest an alternative that regulates and lightens periods as well as acts as a contraceptive, PLEASE let me know! I’m looking for a more vegan change.


  1. Hello,

    I have thought about this situation a lot, both with the pill and with antidepressants (which I also take).

    In the world we live i, it is probably impossible to avoid every single product and behavior that is related to animal testing or makes use of animal products. Take gasoline for instance—I’m sure that they test it on animals somehow, somewhere, and everybody simply has to consume gasoline even if its just sometimes and only via public transportation. So the question becomes one of degree.

    In my case I plan never to have children. This is part of my veganism because I don’t want to bear the responsibility of my offspring, and their offspring, and so on providing a market for animal products and contributing to the continued environmental crisis. In order to make sure this doesn’t happen I use the pill. I have an app on my phone that helps me make sure I take it as correctly as possible, so I think I get a higher degree of protection than a non-chemical method such as condoms. It isn’t perfect, but it does let my boyfriend and me be together safely, and in the balance I think it does less damage than would the children I am preventing.

    My boyfriend is totally on board with this.

    At some point I will get my tubes tied, but the pill also helps me in other ways (anemia/bad periods), so I may still need to be on it, although once my tubes are tied I’m willing to give it a go.

    • Hey Tammy, while I can’t relate to having periods etc. I know plenty of guys in the vegan community who have chosen to have a vasectomy as both they nor their partner want to have children now or in the future, the procedure is apparently easy and painless. While it may not help bad periods it might be worth something talking to your boyfriend about and considering as well as the other options you have? Hope that helps!

      • Thanks! It’s something that we have discussed a little and will certainly discuss more in the future. He currently has no strong feelings about it either way while I have no problem at all getting my tubes tied.

          • There’s no perfect answer. One consideration is the effect that the hormones from the pill have on the environment after you excrete it (i.e. in your urine). But I suppose condoms in landfills have a negative effect on the environment as well. We could abstain, but sex is simply too important a part of our relationship to do that, and there are some studies that suggest that without a condom there is an exchange of bonding hormones between the man and woman that makes the relationship stronger. It’s possible I’m just rationalizing, though, since we both enjoy condomless sex sooo much. 🙂

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