Pixy Stix is a sweet and sour colored candy that resembles a drinking straw. It was invented back in 1940, but the straws we know today weren’t launched until 1950, exactly 10 years later.
They were originally designed to be a drink mix, but that eventually changed into today’s version, an artificially colored sugar tube that children absolutely love.
The Pixy Stix are technically considered vegan, but some stricter vegans may not agree with this conclusion. To better understand why we must look at the ingredients.
Pixy Stix Ingredients
Akin to many fizzy powdered products like Sherbet, Starburst, Fun Dip— the Pixy Stix are a combination of artificial flavors and colors.
From a technical standpoint, the Pixy Stix do not contain any animal ingredients. So, for most vegans, this is a product they’re allowed to consume.
However, the picture changes when we include more strict vegans.
For vegans that take animal rights seriously, they know that natural flavors and added colors have serious implications when it comes to animal wellbeing.
To better illustrate the issue with natural flavors, allow me to bring up the FDA’s definition of natural flavors:
This means that the flavor can be extracted from any natural source, including animals.
Now, I might be jumping the gun here, but there may be a connection between two of the Pixy Stix flavors and a natural animal source called “Castoreum”.
Castoreum is essentially a liquid obtained from beavers in order to produce vanilla flavorings.
However, it can also be used to enhance strawberry and raspberry flavors in foods. Both of which are Pixy Stix flavors. If this is the case, the Pixy Stix wouldn’t be considered vegan.
Every old-school rainbow-colored candy contains colors.
Pixy Stix, according to its ingredient label, contains a wide range of colors that include Blue 1 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake.
All of which have been tested on animals before being approved by the FDA.
Sadly, in most tests conducted on animals, you are bound to find some casualties. Mice, in particular, are used in a wide range of experiments. But dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits are also among some of the animals used in these experiments.
More importantly, what I found recently, is that even though artificial colors have been around for a long time, there is still a need to conduct periodic testing due to their association with health risks.
In the end, it all comes down to you as a vegan.
Are you okay with consuming artificial colors, knowing that these are periodically tested on animals? Are you okay with natural flavors that may (or not) be derived from an animal source?
Frankly, this all comes down to the individual and his or her own definition of veganism.
I personally try to avoid both ingredients, but I also consume them sporadically on very rare occasions. I don’t believe that makes me less vegan than the strictest of vegans.
What matters is that we’re all making a conscious effort towards a kinder future.