Sugar is vegan. Right?
Not all sugar is vegan. Per the USDA [i], any sugar product (white, brown, etc.) labeled as “100% Organic” cannot be filtered / bleached through natural carbon (i.e. it is not on the approved list of synthetic / non-synthetic substances permitted for use in organic crop production). Therefore, these types of sugars are vegan.
Wait, what’s natural carbon you ask?
The bones of various animals.
Why use bone char? Well, the purpose is to have an inexpensive, readily available source to remove impurities from and or bleach the sugar. Manufactures engaging in this process claim while the sugar is filtered through the bone char, it does not retain any elements of said natural carbon. So while you technically aren’t eating an animal, you are consuming a product processed with an animal matter.
So if your sugar isn’t coconut sugar or beet sugar (both which go through a different production process than white or brown sugar [which comes from the sugar cane]) or if it isn’t organic … you may want to consider your source if you want to live a truly vegan lifestyle. Or maybe try another sweetener … not honey however … we’ll delve into that later!
If you cannot afford organic sugar at this time, try to buy unrefined sugar to keep your treats truly sweet.
Here’s a quick visual. Non vegan sugar manufactures nowadays have removed the word “refined” from the ingredient list and only lists sugar.
[i] Source: 38 USC (United States Code of Federal Regulations) §205.601 & §205.602