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NPR Discusses Animal-Byproducts in Pharmaceuticals

A recent health feature poses a question about ethics and medicine.


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In a recent Shots post, National Public Radio pointed out that cruelty-free medication is hard to come by, potentially presenting vegans with a dilemma. The post mentions Veganissimo A to Z authors Reuben Proctor and Lars Thomsen, who highlight the many animal byproducts that popular pharmaceuticals contain: gelatin capsules, lactose as a bulking or stabilizing component, and animal-based binding and tinting agents. While some cruelty-free alternatives are available, the topic is one often debated in vegan circles, and should be a personal choice. “I had to make a compromise and use the animal anticoagulant … I did not like it [at] all, but it was a question of life or death,” Proctor told NPR.

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