With the growing popularity of the vegan lifestyle, it’s not surprising that plant-based products are popping up for every aspect of life.
Add to that list vegan condoms.
“It’s really important that people are able to access protection that’s in line with their ethics and values,” says Jacq Jones, owner of Sugar, a shop in Hampden that seeks to provide education and toys in a shame-free, sex-positive environment. Vegan condoms provide an alternative for customers whose lifestyle goes beyond their diet. “Sex is important, so you don’t want to worry that you’re compromising your morals in any way,” she says.
But this prophylactic isn’t just for vegans. “People are always looking to exclude certain sensitivities or allergens from products,” says Dr. Jessica Lee, assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a physician at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “It’s even a good alternative for people who are just against animal testing.”
So what makes a condom vegan? According to both Jones and Lee, vegan condoms exclude the use of a milk protein called casein as well as the use of animal intestines to make the latex. Non-latex can also be considered vegan as long as it doesn’t contain animal skin, which also isn’t useful in preventing STIs.
Despite the difference in materials, vegan condoms are still a reliable form of protection. “They’re held to the same standards for SDA approval as other condoms, so the risks shouldn’t be any greater,” Lee says.
“They’re good condoms. Plenty of people don’t care or don’t realize they’re buying vegan condoms,” Jones says. Sugar carries the brand Glyde, which Jones says is popular with her customers. Glyde’s vegan alternative is similarly priced to its regular condoms; online they’re listed as about $17 for a 12 pack compared with the normal $15.
Lee also recommends Durex and Sir Richard’s condoms. A 10-pack of Durex is $9 while their other condoms range from $6 to $8. For every condom purchased, Sir Richard’s donates one to a developing country that doesn’t have access to sufficient birth control.
With a wide variety of options and a growing popularity, vegan condoms are definitely something to look into for anyone who partakes in the vegan lifestyle or is simply looking for more morally conscious products.