Are Crayola markers and crayons vegan?
Source: Getty Images

Crayola Crayons and Markers May Not Be Toxic — but Are They Vegan?

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Aug. 31 2021, Published 2:41 p.m. ET

Oftentimes, art supplies aren't exactly vegan-friendly. Sure, some are made of natural, plant-based oils, pigments, or alcohols, but the vast majority of crayons, markers, and paints contain colors derived from an array of eggs, animals, and insects. Some would say that these animal-based compounds only come from lower-quality art supplies, but what about the leading brand? Are Crayola markers and crayons vegan?

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Are Crayola crayons vegan?

No, Crayola crayons are not vegan. According to Vegans Can Eat, Crayola crayons are made of stearic acid, a compound derived from animal fat. Crayola itself has admitted that its crayons and indeed many of its popular art supplies are derived from animal ingredients.

Crayola crayons in a factory
Source: Getty Images
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Are Crayola markers vegan?

According to Answer to All, Crayola's markers are not vegan. Once again, they are derived from animal products, as so many art supplies are. According to Vegan Womble, markers in general contain everything from glue, watercolors, and tempera paints include gelatins, bone char, cow’s milk, beeswax, honey, insect shells, and eggs. These ingredients are used to bind, color, preserve, adhere, or improve the flow of the paint and pigments.

Crayola markers in a store
Source: Getty Images
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What are Crayola markers made from?

According to Crayola, the brand's markers are made of five main components: a plastic barrel, a porous plastic nib, a plastic cap, a cotton filament, and a water-based color solution. That water solution consists of an unnamed mix of water and dyes, which seems sort of suspicious, all things considered. Apparently, That Vegan Teacher agrees, as she states in the video below.

Source: That Vegan Teacher/YouTube
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Are Crayola markers toxic?

Crayola markers and crayons are considered non-toxic if ingested or inhaled, according to Crayola. Silly Putty, another Crayola product, is also non-toxic. These assertions are the result of an evaluation by an independent toxicologist, and considering that the bulk of Crayola products are meant to be used by kids and toddlers, it’s a comforting thought.

What are the best brands of vegan crayons?

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on Crayola for all your artistic needs. Azafran Crayons and Wee Can Too Veggie Baby Crayons are made from a mix of waxy oils, including: organic palm, soya, and coconut butter, as well as food-grade colors. You can find many of them on Amazon, and they work just as well as the stearic acid-based Crayola crayons.

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What are the best brands of vegan markers?

Chartpak ADMarkers and Spectra ADMarkers are alcohol-based, vegan markers that perform just as well — if not better — than the so-called “leading brand.” Copic is another brand that offers eco-friendly vegan alternative markers, and the markers are refillable, which helps to reduce plastic waste.

With so many art supply companies out there, avoiding animal-based products is actually fairly easy. Cruelty-free and vegan products are becoming more and more popular with consumers, so there should be plenty of choices out there. Just be mindful of the ingredients, and look out for products that don't clearly list what might be in your art supplies.

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