From the article: Qualities of Soap Making Oils
When I first started making soap and posting questions on message forums like the Candle & Soap Making Forum, one of the first questions I asked was "What are the pros and cons of using animal oils (like tallow or lard) in your soap recipes?" Boy - that sure was a lively discussion...and continues to be one of the most interesting and passionate debates among soap makers. Animal oils have been used to make soap for thousands of years, but the current trend of more "natural" soaps have tended to lead soap makers to vegetable based alternatives like palm oil. But even palm oil has its controversies. What's your opinion? Tell us why or why not.
Oh, the paranoia about animals!
- I grew up on a delightful, hardworking livelihood providing farm where we did not waste anything. People that have no connection with what farming is will never 'get it'. Our soaps were always made with lard and tallow. All 7 of us girls have lovely complexions as we are now ages 59-80. All healthy and living great lives too. People always think we are much younger than our actual ages. :-) Previous commentors are right, the majority of farmers are very sensitive to the welfare of all their animals. That being said, we raise cattle, chickens, geese, ducks, pigs, sheep for food, wool, leather, feather for your expensive down sleeping bags and jackets that you wear on your expensive jaunts to places the average person will never see. The arrogance and judgemental attitudes that are rife in the media make me sick. Get to know a farmer - not an industrial corporation that has thousands of animals where they can not have a relationship with their animals.
- —Guest Guest Fran2
- What a varied response to the question. i am a soap maker, i am also a small farmer/homesteader. We raise our food, be it animal or vegetable. One thing that prompted me to respond is how QUICKLY so many of you assume every one is cruel in the way their animals are raised and ultimately killed. All our animals meat, pet ect are raised in an environment that is large, out side, sheltered, they get personal attention and live good lives till the end. We Mostly do or own Dirty work, because we wasn't to be sure it's done right, fast and without pain and slabsuffering. I cry with EVERY life that ends. Farmers are not all the monsters some make us out to be. Must are city folk that are to coward to even know the animal they eat, grabbing a slab of meat of the store shelf. I look my did in the eye daily, and my face is the last thing it sees at night, and intimately the end vision. They are not frightened because nothing is different. So please hold your judgments. I love lard so
- —Guest WoodSpryte farm
No but am not a vegetarian
- I agree with David about the issue of animals. It's the treatment of them that I'm concerned about. I eat free range and grass-fed only. But I haven't used AF b/c it grosses me out. I'm new to soap making & love the oils out there. I would love to be a vegetarian but I limited my intake of meat & I want to know the animals lived a cruelty free life.
I don't use animal products in soap.
- Most of my friends, family and myself included don't eat meat or exclude beef and or pork from our diets. Therefore, I would never use it in soap. I don't purchase soaps that use animal products.
- —Guest Bann
I make both! :))
- I absolutely love 100% olive on my face, I absolutely love using (70% ao) in my soaps also. Lol. I personally think the soaps with "ao" feel much nicer on my dry skin. And even though I love them, I still have a hard time saying the word "lard" lol. So I personally have about 8 huge bars in my bathroom that I just can't decide which I love best.
- —Guest Sandra
No Animal Fats In My Soap
- You can make exactly the same bar without using animal fats. It doesn't sell as well as a vegan bar would and people are grossed out by this ingredient.
- —Guest anna
Makes a FABULOUS bar!
- I use it and I make no apologies for it! It makes a wonderful, creamy, mild bar. I wonder if the people who would NEVER use AO has ever put lipstick on. Yup! AO in your lipstick!
- —Guest Kelly
Yes I use AO
- People have been using AO for 1000's of years it must have been for a reason. They are great for the skin and when I render them myself it is cheap and affordable. People are made to eat meat. All over the world people eat meat when it is available. Why shouldn’t use it to make soap? Think about where you come from and what your ancestors used. I think when choosing your ingredients that is what you should go with. I.e. someone in Iceland didn’t have access to palm or coconut oil and they lived very well. I find when you take in your skin type and your heritage make the best products.
No! I am vegan & avoid animal use fully.
- I have begun to make soap myself because I am vegan and want to ensure the products I use are made as ethically as possible. I think animal use on all levels is unethical, but as well as wanting to avoid animal products, I want to avoid palm oil which many vegan branded commercial soap contains. Again palm oil is a considerably unethical product.
- —Guest Andrea
- I do not use Animal oils in my soaps - I realize that some do and am not against it - I just choose to use Plant oils & butters. I just want to remind all soapmakers to do your homework on the oils that you use. For instance, the controversy on Palm Oil. We need to all do our part and try to refrain from using it. There are other alternatives. Nurture your mind, body soul.
- —Guest Harmony
AO For the Bulk
- I make soap to be sustainable and to save some money on good soap. At first I thought plant oils were to energy intensive and that AO were the only way to go. Then I found that some vegtable oils were not only easy to aquire, but had great soap making qualities! Unfortunatly they still cost a fair bit to aquire. So I struck a compromise, and this is how. "What is soap?" It is a salt of Sodium (or pottassium) and an oil....any oil. So no matter what you make it of, it is still soap and serves the same function. But some oils do seem to have varying affects on the finished product (I'm sure the chemistry is there somewhere). So I use Tallow (not lard) to make up the functioning bulk (about half to two thirds) of my soap. The rest of the oil is plant based (selected for qualities), I.E. Olive, Coconut, Shea Butter etc. Now I have a bar that is nice and works well, without costing me as much as a "hand crafted" bar from some unknown source. Now I have more soap than I know what to do with.
- —Guest Shaun
Using lard is not green, unfortunately.
- Using animals is not "green" due to how they're the reason for the pollution in our air, and animals are not made for us, they are not our slaves, and neither are the plants. I don't know how you are religious when Jesus did not even eat meat. :/ The way they are killed in the States is very violently and abusively. They kill slaughter more animals for you so you can make lard soap. Using vegetable oils, or homegrown animal lard(from an actual FARM) is the most peaceful route to making soap. People need to open their hearts, and de-sensitizing themselves to painful, mass killing of living beings. *peace everyone*
- —Guest Anna
Animal Fat in my soap
- Using animal fat in soap has been a traditional practice for, well, since soap making began. Properly rendered, there is no smell to either fat. Lard and tallow are by products which make wonderful soap. Let's move beyond religion and such. We eat meat, meat provides fat, fat makes soap. I'm not wasting fat. Using AO is an important lesson for kids. First, soapmaking is time spent with family. Using AO from hunting and the butcher teaches home ec and money management, and the need for hygiene. It's fun to make and use your own soap. Plus, it's a chemistry experiment, and a lesson in safety. We all want our children to grow up to be good with money, time and family. Using AO in our soap teaches them all these things, plus the methods for obtaining said oils. Soapmaking is not simply a creative endeavor, it teaches so much more, and why in the blaze would I throw away something that teaches all that?
- —Guest Heather
GM CP soapmaker
- I use animal fats in my goats milk cold process soaps...not all but most and I have to say that the ones I make using either lard or hand rendered beef tallow make the longest lasting and most gentle soaps. I grew up under the "waste not want not" way of life and still feel the same way. The AF I do use come from clean sources, unlike the commercial soaps where the AF comes from a rendering plant that is basically a disposal for carcasses that come from questionable practices and demise. I don't use cosmetics for this reason...lipsticks etc. are made from the products of those processing plants. I'm not against all vegetable based fats in a soap but prefer to use a combination in mine, they all benefit in one way or another and if you don't want to use a product that makes use of beneficial "waste" then you have the choice not to.
- —Guest goatgirl74
No animal products in my soap
- I make lovely soap, hard and long lasting, without using animal products. I believe that rather than "respecting the animal" by using every part of it after it's slaughtered for food, it's better to REALLY respect the animal by letting it live.
- —Guest Roxanne
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