V8 Juice Might Not Really Be Vegan – Animal Parts In Your V8

At this point it’s just a rumor, but one food blogger has pointed out that Campbell’s vegetable juice, V8, may not be comprised solely of vegetable matter as many might assume. There’s a risk that it contains animal products.

Food Babe is the blog of Vani Hari, and in one of her most recent posts she declares that “there might be dead animal parts in your V8!”

Did you know that Campbell’s V8 Juice has possible dead animal parts inside? I thought the “V” stood for “Vegetables” – but I guess I was wrong. “Natural Flavor” is one of the most deceptive ingredients on a label of any product – it could mean anything found in nature, including ingredients you weren’t expecting like meat! Campbell’s confirmed their “flavoring” may include “meat/seafood/poultry/dairy” this week on Twitter and within their question chat box on their website with us. They also confirmed they don’t offer any vegan products – this means the “100% Vegetable Juice” claim on the label of V8 is just plain FALSE!

On Campbell’s Food Service website, V8 Vegetable Juice is described as being a “uniquely satisfying blend of eight vegetable juices” that is “vitamin-rich and helps your patrons get 2 servings of vegetables in every nutritious 8-ounce serving for a balanced lifestyle.” Though it’s listed as gluten free, there are no other descriptions on the site or label that hint towards V8 containing animal products. Food Babe points out that V8’s label lists “100% Vegetable Juice” in big letters across the front of the bottle, but when you read the ingredients, you’ll find that along with water and tomato concentrate, as well as carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, and spinach juice — V8 is made with “Flavoring,” which may include animal products.

And it turns out that Campbell’s has admitted to that — after being asked about it on Twitter. “Yes, they may include meat/seafood/poultry/dairy when the function in the food is flavoring rather than nutrition,” Campbell tweeted, according to a screenshot on Food Babe’s site. In response to one Twitter user, Campbell tweeted: “[V8]’s not [vegan]. We don’t offer any vegan products. Sorry to disappoint. –RW.” Strangely enough, however, when we checked the Twitter accounts of both Campbell’s Cares and the Twitter users who were questioning V8, there was no trace of the conversation — possibly to avoid controversy.

See screen shot below:

Twitter-Campbells (1)

So What’s The Big Deal?

Whether or not V8 is truly vegan or not, it’s important to be aware of the label “Natural Flavorings” on your food products. Since companies are not required to list the source of these flavorings, they can refer to anything that’s made in nature — from plants to any variety of meat. According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, natural flavor or flavoring is “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”

As opposed to artificial flavoring, natural just means that before it went through chemical processes, the origin of the flavoring was found in nature as opposed to being synthetic. It’s very possible that companies might list “natural flavorings” as a way to hide animal products from consumers.

“I’ve seen “natural flavorings” listed on everything from Monster Energy to Quaker Oat Bran Cereal to Earth Balance butter spread and everything in between,” one vegan food blogger writes on Happy Cow Veggie Blog. “I say this because you could honestly make yourself nuts over what’s lurking around in your packaged food and drink.  Rather than getting overly obsessed about it, avoid purchasing a lot of pre-packaged, processed foods and for the ones you really love, call the company.” Before jumping to conclusions on V8, however, if you’re a vegan, you might want to come up with your own recipes for vegetable juice if you haven’t already.

What Can You Do About This?

Regardless, if you’ve been following this, you know V8 Juice is not something I would buy or consume anyways, but this is another good reason to give it the heave-ho into the trash can (or take it back to the store and ask for a refund.)

If you are as mad as me about this deceptive practice – Please sign this new petition on change.org started by a brave young woman, go to Campbell’s Soup facebook page here and twitter page here immediately and tell them you are no longer buying their products and disgusted with their misleading information.

Call Campbell’s Customer Service Line: 1-800-257-8443

This example just goes to show that Campbell’s Soup brand is not interested in being honest or transparent about their ingredients on their labels. In fact, they spent almost a MILLION DOLLARS preventing GMO-labeling laws from passing!


Make Homemade V8 Instead

To avoid mysterious animal parts, enjoy this recipe for Homemade V8 juice below – this recipe is straight from this month’s Eating Guide program. This drink is super refreshing, tastes a billion times better than bottled pasteurized V8 and super easy to make. If you don’t have a juicer, just blend all the ingredients and drink like a gazpacho, or strain the juice through a strainer or cheese cloth. Enjoy!

Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1
2 medium carrots
1 small beet
1 large tomato
1 cup spinach (rotate your green weekly)
½ cucumber
½ red bell pepper
1 celery stalk
1 garlic clove
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
½ lemon, juiced
  1. Wash all fruits and vegetables and place into a large bowl.
  2. Place all ingredients through your juicer, except the lemon juice.
  3. Stir in lemon juice before serving and clean juicer immediately.