Sprite is probably the world’s most famous carbonated lime-drink. But what else would you expect from a drink brought to market by the monopolizing Coca Cola Corporation?
The original lime-flavored Sprite remains as popular as ever, and it has expanded to a variety of flavors including cranberry, cherry, and zero versions. Sprite is available in more than 190 countries, which is impressive considering the competition.
These are the current Sprite variations available on the market:
- Sprite Zero Sugar
- Sprite Cherry
- Sprite Cherry Zero Sugar
- Sprite Cranberry
- Sprite Cranberry Zero Sugar
- Sprite Tropical Mix
- Sprite “Lymonade”
None of the varieties contain flagrant animal ingredients, so for some individuals they may be vegan.
However, it’s important to point out the existence of questionable ingredients like artificial colors, natural flavors, and the fact that Sprite is owned by The Coca-Coca Company, a multinational that sponsors events where animals are exploited for entertainment.
So, Is Sprite Actually Vegan?
Because Sprite doesn’t contain any animal-based ingredients, some vegans look at it as a vegan product.
However, we have to keep in mind that veganism for some goes beyond the ingredients being used, and in many cases, it’s about the impact the product has on the environment, its ethical background, and the ethos and practices of the company that produces it.
Sometimes you may have a company that accidentally produces vegan-friendly products, but unfortunately, happens to support animal testing. (Red Bull is an example)
In addition, certain brands (including Sprite), use questionable ingredients that are listed without further description. In other words, you got natural flavors (whose source is not disclaimed), and added colors (within Sprite “Lymonade”) that have been—and continue to be tested on animals.
Natural Flavors in Sprite
One questionable ingredient Sprite has is listed on the label as a natural flavor.
According to the FDA, natural flavors are derived from nature, or synthesized from something derived from nature. They can come from a plant-based source or an animal source.
Using the word “natural flavor” makes it sound safe and organic, but that’s not always the case.
For instance, castoreum is a common natural flavor derived from the anal secretions of beavers, which is used to create vanilla flavors, and in some cases, to enhance strawberry and raspberry flavors.
However, natural flavors are also recreated in labs through artificial synthesis.
For example, the natural flavor in a blueberry drink wasn’t a result of crushing blueberries, but a lab-made creation.
Artificial Colors in Sprite “Lymonade”.
The Sprite “Lymonade” is the only Sprite flavor with added colors. It contains Yellow 5, which is used to create color of what a lemonade is supposed to look like.
The problem with artificial colors, as I’ve mentioned, is that they are periodically tested on animals. During that process, animals are put through painful procedures, and in some cases, they develop tumors and other conditions that cause suffering and death.
Some people suggest this is a necessary evil because animal testing exists prove the safety or danger of such substances. Some also suggest this rarely occurs, so it’s not as impactful as avoiding flagrant animal ingredients.
However, I found out that due to the potential health implications of consuming artificial colors, researchers found a need to periodically run tests on animals. Here’s an example of two tests, one done in 2017 and another in 2018.
Some vegans are against artificial colors, but you also have others that don’t mind consuming them.
The Coca-Cola Company
The multinational Coca-cola owns roughly 500 brands available across 200 countries.
This company, unfortunately, has a history of conducting abusive and deadly animal experiments without being necessary or required by law.
However, in 2007, Coca-Cola sent PETA a letter announcing that it would no longer fund or practice animal testing. That being said, animal testing can still be performed by third parties to demonstrate the safety of ingredients, particularly when demanded by government agencies.
Also, Coca-Cola sponsors events that abuse animals for entertainment purposes. These events include rodeos, bull riding, racing, among other events. Therefore, it’s difficult to look at a Coca-Cola product and call it vegan, even though it doesn’t have animal ingredients.
A More Vegan-Friendly Alternative To Sprite
Health-wise, it is definitely superior to Sprite, or any other mainstream carbonated drink.
However, you cannot expect Zevia to taste exactly like a mainstream carbonated drink, even though the flavors (lime, cola, ginger, etc) are similar in name.
This being said, the reviews on Amazon are amazing, and it’s definitely a drink that is worth trying out and potentially drink it instead of mainstream beverages.
Bottom Line: Sprite Doesn’t Have Animal Ingredients
Sprite does not have any animal-based ingredients.
However, Sprite is owned by the Coca-Cola Company, which sponsors events in which animals are exploited for the sake of entertainment.
That being said, it contains questionable ingredients like “natural flavors”, and one of Sprite’s flavors contains an artificial color named yellow 5, which, like every color, is associated with animal testing.
Some vegans are generally okay with consuming a product as long as it doesn’t have animal ingredients.
However, others will take into account issues like animal testing, and how a specific company behaves in regards to animals. In the end, whether you feel like Sprite is a product you can consume, it’s really up to you.
Thank you for reading this blog post, and let me know if ended up tasting and liking the Zevia drink. 🙂
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through these links. See my full disclosure here.
Top 2 Vegan Recommendations in 2021
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