Monster Energy is a popular energy drink brand that is enjoyed in many countries around the globe. The company started making its drinks in 2002 and now has over 30 flavors to choose from.
The brand puts a lot of effort into its marketing, particularly in the music and sports industries. This increases its reach among consumers, but what about people on a plant-based diet? Is Monster vegan-friendly?
The answer isn’t as simple as you might think! You’ll find out whether Monster is suitable for vegans in this post, including its ingredients that vegans need to view with caution.
Are Monster Energy Drinks Vegan?
Most Monster energy drinks are suitable for vegans, but not all. Certain elements make these beverages non-vegan, like the flavor of the drink and whether you live in the U.S. or Europe.
Monster has a variety of drink lines, like their original Monster Energy line, low-sugar Monster Ultra, and Java Monster, which is flavored with coffee.
Each of these lines has a variety of different flavors within. At present, all of the flavors within the lines Juice Monster, Monster Energy, Monster Ultra, and Monster Hydro are suitable for vegans.
However, the same cannot be said for the brand’s Java Monster line. These coffee-flavored drinks contain milk, so they aren’t plant-based. Non-vegan flavors you should be aware of are Salted Caramel, Loca Moca, and Mean Bean.
Energy drinks often include L-carnitine and taurine in their ingredient list. These substances are often sourced from animals, but the Monster Energy brand doesn’t derive these ingredients from animal matter.
The L-carnitine and taurine within Monster drinks are vegan-friendly. Monster state that the taurine in their beverages is taken from plants.
However, whether Monster Energy is vegan or not will also depend on where you live and the chosen flavor. Monster Energy Ultra Red is an example.
In some countries, like the United Kingdom, Monster Ultra Red is made with a red dye called carmine. This substance is sourced from ground-up bugs.
Monster Energy drinks contain a lot of ingredients alongside L-carnitine, taurine, and carmine. Examples include sucrose, riboflavin, and guarana seed extract. Some of these substances may not be suitable for people on a plant-based diet.
Natural flavorings and colorings are often seen on the ingredient list of Monster drinks. The use of these ingredients doesn’t automatically designate a product as non-vegan. However, the production methods used to make artificial colors may exploit animals.
For instance, Red 40 is a coloring that is frequently tested on animals. Natural flavorings are also a problem, as this label may cover several elements. The FDA states that natural flavors can consist of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spice, leaves, bark, and other plant matter.
Despite this, natural flavors can also contain seafood, eggs, dairy, seafood, poultry, and meat. Any of these substances can be used in these flavors, but the term ‘natural flavors’ hides the inclusion of these non-vegan ingredients.
Natural flavors may come from animals or plants, but this will depend on the manufacturer. Monster claims that they don’t use any animal derivatives, but the brand is not vegan-approved.
Are Monster Drinks Cruelty-Free?
Another important element of the vegan lifestyle is prioritizing cruelty-free products. Most vegans will look for items that are made without using animal testing or animal-derived substances.
A lot of Monster lines and flavors may not use ingredients sourced from animals, but it is still hard to know if they are or aren’t cruelty-free.
The Monster brand is not approved as cruelty-free. Their website does have a page regarding eco-sustainability, but there aren’t any declarations against animal testing on the site.
The website also has a page covering their supplier’s code of conduct. This goes into their moral principles, but there are still no notes regarding animal testing.
The Monster Energy brand is yet to carry out a distinct animal testing policy and take the proper steps to be a cruelty-free company.
Most Monster Energy drinks are suitable for a vegan diet, but this will vary depending on how strict a vegan you are.
The Juice Monster, Monster Energy, Monster Ultra, and Monster Hydro lines may not contain animal byproducts, but they aren’t cruelty-free approved.
The exception is Monster Energy Ultra Red. This is suitable for vegans in most areas, but European locations may see carmine listed in the drink’s ingredients.
Vegans should avoid the Java Monster line at all costs. These all contain milk and do not have any dairy-free options.
The Monster Energy brand is yet to become a cruelty-free brand, but if you are a less strict vegan looking for an energy boost, most of their drink options will be suitable for your diet.