LEGO is not vegan

I’ve been a life-long fan of LEGO. Some of my earliest memories are of either playing with LEGO, and endlessly reading the catalogues (which I’ve still got). As I got older my life-style (i.e. living in a small, one-bedroom London apartment) made it hard to play with and display my LEGO, so I didn’t buy any for quite a long time. That changed a few years back when we moved to a much bigger place and I suddenly realised that I’m now an adult with a lot of space and a disposable income. I started indulging in buying more sets and proudly displaying them in my study. I bought sets that my younger self would not believe are real. It was great.

And then disaster struck. I came across a post on Reddit claiming LEGO wasn’t vegan. I couldn’t believe it. It seemed so odd that something as joyful and innocent as LEGO would, in fact, contribute to the arguably greatest moral atrocity of our time … the mass exploitation of animals. I sent an email to LEGO asking them if their products are made with (or out of) any animal or animal derived products. This is the response I got:

Our LEGO® bricks are not tested on animals. Animal derived products are in some cases part of the formula (confirmed for some substances) and in other cases it might be (some substances could have an animal-based origin, but we do not know for these). Their presence is not due to a cross contamination of any sort, but intentionally added to the formulation of the brick or paint or in the wax/oil that was added intentionally to the brick/product. Some types of glue can be based on starch which is not animal based, but other types of glue can be animal-based so we cannot issue a guarantee that all glues used in LEGO products are vegan (see also the earlier answer given above)."

This is verbatim the same response as from the Reddit thread and it confirms that, in fact, LEGO exploits and kills animals to produce their products.

Given my love of LEGO this is absolutely disappointing and I now have a choice between sticking to my principles or continuing enjoying doing something I love. It’s not a hard decision, of course. For what are we if we do not stick to our principles?