Originally, most condoms were made from cecum, which is the inner lining of an animal’s intestine (like a sheep or a cow). Lambskin condoms still are, but even latex condoms use casein, which is a protein found in milk. You can see how this would present a conundrum for our vegan-minded safe sex practitioners.
The trouble is not only finding products that don’t contain animal products, but also don’t use animal testing or animal products during their manufacturing. That’s one of the main problems with contraception for vegans: many forms of hormonal birth control have a history of testing on animals.
Image: CometStarMoon via Flickr
Luckily, there are plenty of brands out there for the socially conscious to choose from.Condom Depot's Vegan Condoms:
Did you know that even Condom Depot sells vegan-friendly condoms? One of the most popular brands out there is Durex’s Avanti Bare, and they’re one of our most popular condoms as well. Also, Kimono brand condoms are vegan friendly. While neither are latex-free, they are casein-free. So you can gobble your partner’s 'meat' without worrying about if you’re gobbling any actual meat.Other Vegan Condoms:
Sir Richard’s condoms are not only vegan-certified, but they follow the same premise as TOM’S shoes: for every condom you buy, the company donates one to someone who needs it in the developing world. To date, they’ve donated nearly 3 million condoms, and also have a hand in the (RED) campaign to annihilate HIV/AIDs.
GLYDE is one of the largest vegan condom retailers. Originally from Australia and only recently brought to the US, GLYDE condoms are available in three different sizes-- Slimfit (small), Ultra (medium), and Maxi (large). They even have flavored condoms!Vegan Lube:
As for vegan lube, many sites suggest coconut oil. And why not? It’s delicious and it will make your skin feel very silky smooth. But there are a few problems with using coconut oil as lube and we DO NOT recommend its use with condoms.
First of all, coconut oil, while still natural, is also still an oil. That means that it will break down latex-based condoms. The other problem is that oil-based lubes can be difficult for the body to get rid of, which means that getting it in somewhere most and full of bacteria, like a vagina, can lead to infection. So be safe out there and only use vegan-approved lubes.
[Sources: glydeamerica.com, sirrichards.com]