Vegetarian Sugar

Cruelty-Free Sweeteners

You might think that sugar is perfectly fine for vegetarians – though not necessarily for teeth and waistlines. In fact, the most common types of sugar – white, brown, and confectioner’s sugar – are often filtered through bone char (which is made from the bones of cattle).

So if you avoid meat for ethical reasons, you should also avoid sugars processed with bone char, either by purchasing sugar from companies that do not use bone char, or by choosing sugar alternatives.

Sugar made without bone char

  • beet sugar
  • most organic sugars
  • unrefined sugar
  • Country Cane
  • Florida Crystals
  • Jack Frost
  • Pillsbury
  • Rapunzel (Rapadura)
  • Rouse’s Markets
  • Southern Bell
  • Supreme
  • Wholesome Sweeteners

Sugar alternatives

The nutritional value and taste of these sugar alternatives vary, but they are all suitable for vegetarians, and all but honey for vegans.

Barley malt  
Blackstrap molasses use 25-50% less, reduce other liquids by an equal amount
Brown rice syrup reduce other liquids by one fourth
Date sugar  
Fruit juice reduce other liquids by equal amount
Honey reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake a bit longer
Maple sugar  
Maple syrup reduce other liquids by half the amount of syrup used
Raw/turbinado sugar
Sucanat good replacement for brown sugar


Vegetarian and vegan substitutions for meat, dairy, and eggs