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Are iPhones Vegan?

Are iPhones Vegan?

There’s a cool app available for iPhones that allows you to scan any product to reveal its ingredients list. In this way, you can tell whether a food, beauty, or cleaning item is vegan-friendly or not. Unfortunately, no app will scan your phone itself to tell you what’s inside. So, what is inside, and are iPhones vegan?

Are iPhones Vegan?

Depending on how exactly you choose to define the term vegan, the answer is most likely no; your iPhone is not certifiably vegan. Despite not being entirely of non-animal origin, many vegans will choose to own an iPhone out of practicality and lack a better option.

But why are iPhones not vegan, and what’s being done about it?

Do iPhones Contain Animal Products?

iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro

Unfortunately for the vegans out there, it’s most likely that your iPhone contains some animal products. There may be animal-derived substances in the materials used to make iPhones as well as in the machinery and processes involved in their production.

The exact nature and extent of these products are difficult to determine. This is because making an iPhone, or any other electronic device, is a complicated process that uses an extensive amount of ingredients and substances, not all of which have a definitive origin.

The maker of iPhones, Apple, does not release comprehensive lists of the ingredients involved in their phones. Doing so would require extensive investigations that do not currently appear to be in their best interests.

There may not be alternatives to some of the currently used products and processes involving animal derivatives. Unlike food manufacturers, they are also not required by law to do so.

What Animal Products Are in iPhones?

The likely list of non-vegan products to be found in iPhones includes gelatin and cholesterol taken from animals. Gelatin derived from the animal fat of cows and pigs is commonly used in the tech industry to give metals their structure.

The glues used to bind components of the phone during production may also contain animal by-products. The LCD screen on an iPhone may contain cholesterol extracted from animal sources in its liquid crystals.

Turn your attention to any plastic casing housing the iPhone as this too may have non-vegan elements. And finally, the protective covers and other accessories such as headphones and batteries can all contain animal extracts.

What Other Nasties Are In iPhones?

Not only do iPhones present a range of non-vegan elements that could be present, but they also leave a large footprint in an era where ecological sustainability of products is gaining massive traction as being very important to consumers.

Vegans especially often come with a heightened sense of responsibility to consume less and more responsibly in order to save the planet from ultimate destruction. There are 62 different types of metals in iPhones, and they contain 16 of the 17 rare Earth metals.

When you consider each metal as a precious resource whose extraction is subject to environmental damage and potential conflict and human rights abuses, these become serious concerns.

Are There Vegan iPhone Accessories?

Blue iPhone Case
Blue iPhone Case

There are lots of options for vegan leather iPhone cases available in today’s marketplace. While these cases may be marketed as vegan, take into account that there is currently no vegan certification for the production of such goods and thus no real guarantee that animal products are not involved at any stage during production.

The best bet is to search companies that appear to be taking a stand against animal exploitation in creating their products and not brands that want to trade on the cool element of veganism. If you just want to make a statement, you can, of course, purchase a phone cover that says ‘100% Vegan’ on it. It may not be 100% Vegan!

Are Any Smartphone Brands Vegan?

No smartphone available today is 100 percent vegan. Unique brand Fairphone probably comes the closest to producing a product that is cruelty-free and environmentally responsible.

While the company has released its third model of phone, it makes a clear declaration that in no way can it yet proclaim to have made a completely vegan and completely ethically sourced product.

Vegan smartphones are the hope of the future rather than a reality to search for in the present. However, at the rate that the tech-savvy crowd engages with innovation, let’s hope that the days of a truly vegan smartphone are not too far away.

Read more here: Are Smartphones Vegan? You’ll Want To See This

What’s Being Done To Make Smartphones More Vegan?


Companies are emerging in the tech sector that shows a willingness to be more transparent about where they source their components from and how they make their products. These companies are increasingly ensuring that the minerals and metals used in their products are environmentally sustainable and ethically sourced.

However, when it comes to possible animal by-products, they face the same hurdles as the major manufacturers such as Apple. Gaining a complete picture of where animal products may have slipped into each complex mix of chemicals, minerals, and metals involved is a long and difficult process.

Any iPhone Alternatives?

An arguably more vegan-friendly option of owning an iPhone is to buy a used model. In this way, you’re not contributing to an increase in demand for new iPhones or any of the animal-related substances or processes involved with them.

You’re also doing good for the planet by reducing e-waste. There are lots of options for purchasing reconditioned iPhones or other smartphones.

Choosing a simpler ‘not-smart’ phone may also be a way of decreasing the potential amount of animal by-products and other rare and unethically sourced materials you consume.

A simple phone will likely be produced with fewer materials and components and again can easily be sourced on the second-hand market.

As much as most of us would at times like to live without a phone, it’s an increasingly difficult proposition in today’s modern, fast-paced world. Most vegans will own a phone. Many will own an iPhone, though they may well be aware of the potential of animal products existing inside of it.

This is not necessarily vegans giving in or abandoning their principles, but rather balancing practicality with principle. Like all of life, being vegan isn’t measured by perfection, an unattainable goal, but rather by intent.