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.
- I use animal oils in some of my soaps. I was brought up with hunting lessons. Do not take more than you need and do not waste any part of the animal that can be used. The same was taught about wood and nature in general. That's just my thoughts.
- —Guest Viper
AO/VO I use them both
- I recognize that ALL living things have "feelings" whether they are plucked from a tree, vine, plant or bush or are raised to feed many people. The humble olive, coconut, soybean, or hemp oils didn't just jump into the bottle; they were plucked, pulled or cut (killed) then squeezed, pressed under weights, heated, steamed or distilled to obtain the desired end product. The end result came from the plant being “killed”, would I be amiss if I stated the process, “was a slaughter without mercy or kindness”? I recognize that all living plants or trees “suffer” so others can benefit from their fruits or as we so callously say, “their properties”. I may be a bit too spiritual for some, but before I make a batch of soap I always say a prayer of thanks to all the plants, trees, nuts and animals that are cultivated and husbanded so that I can make a variety of quality soaps. My soap formulas include: all vegetable oils, veggie/tallow or veggie/lard formulas.
Yes I use animal fat
- Using animal fat does not condone the killing of animals. It just is using what would normally go to waste.
- —Guest Jill
- I'm not sure which is better but I know for a fact the use of Palm Oil is a major contributing factor of the deforestation of c habitat for Orangutans which are critically endangered.
- —Guest Amy
- I think that lard is wonderful in soaps. I am a vegetarian and don't eat meat, but I wear leather shoes, carry a leather bag, wear lipstick (almost all have ao) and drive a car with leather interior. So, if anyone out there owns, or uses any of those products named above, but poo poos the idea of using lard in your soap, you don't know what your'e missing by putting a wonderful by product made from beef, (like your shoes, your car, and your purse and make up, your son's baseball glove, etc.etc. etc.) into your soap.
- —Guest alicia
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
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