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Is Monster A Vegan-Friendly Energy Drink?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: November 10, 2021

Monster, the famous energy drink, is vegan-friendly. In fact, most Monster drinks are vegan-friendly. However, some of its flavors are not guaranteed to be vegan, as some ingredients may or may not be vegan-friendly.

The answer to the question can also depend on which country you’re in. Also, this brand is not vegan-certified, so you really have to examine the individual ingredients. It’s also not certified for being cruelty-free , which can be a problem for many people.

So keep on reading to find out which Monster drink flavors are vegan-friendly and which you should avoid.

Is the Classic Monster Energy Drink Vegan?

According to Monster, all of the drinks from this classic range are vegan-friendly. Now, take this with a grain of salt because four of the ingredients in classic Monster energy drinks and other ranges from this brand may or may not be vegan.

Natural flavors

This ingredient can either be animal-derived or plant-derived, but there is no way to verify that. Apparently, in the U.S., all the natural flavors are plant-derived and are therefore vegan-friendly.

Added coloring

For this product, the added coloring refers to the colors Red 40 and Yellow 5. Usually, artificial colors are vegan. However, some of them can be animal tested, and there’s no way of checking that because the brand doesn’t have cruelty-free or vegan certificates.

So it’s up to you and your ethics.These are usually vegan-friendly, but it’s not guaranteed that they are cruelty-free.

Taurine

Taurine is an item of the ingredients list that can either be plant-based or animal-derived. According to Monster, it is plant-derived, which makes it vegan-friendly. It could also be synthetic, as most modern Taurine is synthetic now. That’s because it’s cheaper and easier to produce.

L-Carnitine

So all the drinks from the classic monster energy drink are vegan-friendly. Especially if you’re in the US, where Taurine and L-Carnitine are plant-derived and not animal-derived. This might not be the case in Europe or the UK, but there’s no way to verify.

Also, remember that Monster is not vegan-certified and that some ingredients can be vegan in North America but not in the rest of the world.

Is Monster Ultra Vegan?

Most of the Monster Ultra energy drinks range, probably the second most popular one, is vegan-friendly. That’s the case for Zero Ultra, Ultra White, or Ultra Violet.

In fact, all of the Monster Ultra in the U.S and the rest of the world are vegan, except for in Europe and in the UK, Monster Ultra Red isn’t vegan.

Is Monster Hydro Vegan?

This is a tough one to answer. There are four flavors in the Monster Hydro Range: Mean Green, Manic Melon, Tropical Thunder, and Zero Sugar. They should all be vegan-friendly as they don’t have any L-carnitine in them. This is good, as it can be animal-derived sometimes.

However, the Monster Hydro range still has Taurine and natural flavors, which can be either plant-derived or animal-derived. Apparently, the Taurine in Monster products is vegan-friendly because it comes from plants, but we’re not sure about the natural flavors.

So it would seem that Monster-Hydro is vegan-friendly since the brand claims it themselves.

Is Juice Monster Vegan?

The whole range of Juice Monster is vegan and vegan-friendly in every country. Whether you want a Kaos, a Mango Loco, or a Pipeline Punch, you can drink it if you’re vegan.

However, you have to be careful with Monster ranges because they’re not vegan-certified, and some ingredients can be animal-derived, especially in countries outside of the U.S.

For example, you know by now that L-Carnitine can either be plant-derived, animal-derived, or synthetic. This is vegan-friendly in the U.S.

Another ingredient to watch out for if you’re vegan is sugar. Yes, you read that well. Sugar can sometimes be processed with bone char. It doesn’t happen often, but it can happen, and you can’t verify this if the brand doesn’t have the vegan certificate label.Is Java Monster Vegan?

The three main flavors of this range are Mean Bean, Salted Caramel, and Loca Moca, but there are others.

Java Monster is the only range of Monster energy drinks that has milk in them. So, as you can probably guess, they aren’t vegan-friendly. However, they are probably vegetarian-friendly.

The good news is that there is a new edition in the Java Monster collection in North America that is dairy-free and vegan friendly. Instead of using cow’s milk, they use a plant-based milk alternative: oat milk.

This vegan-friendly alternative is called the Java Monster Farmer’s Oats, it’s easy to spot!

Which Monster Drinks Are Vegan-Friendly?

According to Monster, all of their drinks are vegan-friendly, except for the Java Monster range, which has milk in it.

They claim that they don’t use any animal by-products in their Monster energy products.

So, that sounds great in theory. The problem is that this brand isn’t vegan certified, so some of their products could contain animal by-products, and you wouldn’t know.

What we recommend is that you check the labels of each product collection and see if the product looks vegan, or if you’re not sure:

Ingredients to watch out for

It can sometimes be hard to tell if their products are vegan because of these four ingredients: Taurine, Natural Flavors, L-Carnitine L-Tartrate.

These ingredients can either be plant-based or animal-derived. And since Monster doesn’t specify it, we can’t be 100% sure that all their products are vegan-friendly.

It’s mostly up to you to decide if you’re willing to take the risk of drinking Monster drinks with these ingredients and not be sure if they’re animal or plant-derived, or if you prefer to avoid drinks with this ingredient list.

Just remember that the brand isn’t vegan-certified because some products aren’t vegan or even vegetarian-friendly in some countries.

Otherwise, you can trust what we tell you above, and which Monster ranges are usually vegan-friendly. Also, Monster says that the original Monster energy is vegan-friendly, so you can trust them based on that if you want.

The good news is that Monster now claims that the Taurine and the L-Carnitine (aka L-Carnitine L-Tartrate) in their products are vegan. However, in some countries, there are non-vegan ingredients like Carmine that are used.

Carmine, the non-vegan and non-vegetarian-friendly ingredient

In North America, there won’t be any Carmine, so you don’t have to worry about that. So basically, if you’re in the US, all of the Monster products are vegan, except for Java Monster, which has cow’s milk in it. Of course, you could drink the vegan-friendly alternative, Java Monster Farmer’s Oats.

Otherwise, if Carmine is on the ingredients list in the rest of the world, this specific Monster’s drink won’t be vegan-friendly. It’s not even vegetarian-friendly because this ingredient is a coloring that is made from crushed beetles.

Some people choose to overlook that, but it’s your choice. We don’t consider it vegan-friendly or even vegetarian-friendly.

Is Monster Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, the brand isn’t cruelty-free certified. Companies that aren’t cruelty-free can perform animal testing and say they don’t. Legally, they won’t be liable, and they won’t run into any legal problems.

That’s because there is no legal definition for this term. The only way to tell if a product and a brand are cruelty-free is if they have the cruelty-free label, attributed by organizations like PETA or Leaping Bunny.

So if a brand isn’t cruelty-free, it probably doesn’t fit into a vegan ethic because of the animal testing. Even if they don’t use any animal by-products.

For example, the artificial food coloring in Monster products, Yellow 5 and Red 40, are tested on animals, mostly mice and rats. Yellow 5 is a coloring made from petroleum, which is also not vegan-friendly. Also, Carmine is made from crushed beetles.

So some vegans would say that the Monster products aren’t cruelty-free and therefore are not vegan. Also, the crushed beetles won’t please everyone.

It’s up to you if you want to drink Monster products or not. In the U.S, the products are all probably vegan-friendly, except for the Java Monster range.

Conclusion

To sum it up, all the products of the Monster energy drinks range are vegan-friendly. However, if you buy them outside of the US, these can have Carmine in them, a coloring made from crushed beetles. So that’s not vegan-friendly or even vegetarian-friendly.

Apart from this ingredient which you should avoid if you’re outside of the US, you shouldn’t drink the Java Monster range, as it contains cow’s milk. Luckily, there is an oat milk alternative for vegans: the Java Monster Farmer’s Oats.

Otherwise, you should be fine drinking from the Monster energy range. You can, for example, drink Monster Ultra, Java Monster (if it’s the vegan alternative), Juice Monster, Monster Hydra, and others.

Just remember to always check the ingredients list first, especially if you’re outside of the U.S.

Most of the Monster drinks are vegan-friendly but remember that the brand or any of its products are not vegan certified or cruelty-free certified.


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