There is no better snack than energy-laden organically made Clif Bars. Veganism is more than a cruelty-free diet plan. It is about a cruelty-free lifestyle. All Clif Bars appear to be perfectly vegan on the outside. The list of ingredients doesn’t suggest any fishy constituent, but Are Clif Bars Vegan?
Being a vegan, you must be used to this climax. All Clif Bars are not vegan. There are about fifty different varieties of these chewy and delicious bars and most of them are quite vegan. Although, some are definitely not.
Which are the vegan Clif Bar varieties?
Clif Bars are sold under five main headers:
- Traditional Clif Bars
- Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars
- Nut Butter Filled Clif Bars
- Clif Builder Protein Bars
- Clif Whey Protein Bars
The Traditional Clif Bars are mostly vegan
You’ll spot this variety of Clif Bars in every other supermarket. The Traditional Clif Bars come in more than twenty varieties, most of which are vegan.
After a thorough assessment of their lists of ingredients, we have concluded that the following varieties of Traditional Clif Bars don’t contain any non-vegan ingredients:
- Iced Gingerbread
- Chocolate Chunk
- Caramel Toffee
- Dark Chocolate Almond
- Spiced Pumpkin Pie
- Chocolate Chip
- White Chocolate
- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
- Chocolate Brownie
- Cool Mint Chocolate
- Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Banana
- Peanut Toffee Buzz
- Oatmeal Raisin Walnut
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch
- Coconut Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Almond Fudge
- Blueberry Crisp
- Sierra Trail Mix
- Berry Pomegranate Mix
- Nuts & Seeds
- Carrot Cake
The only non-vegan variety of Traditional Clif Bars is the Peanut Butter & Honey which contains honey as an ingredient. Honey is derived from the exploitation of bees. Bees work hard to process honey that we steal after destroying their colonies and compromising their comfort. Many vegans avoid food containing honey while many others don’t.
All other varieties do not contain any product derived from animal cruelty.
The Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars are ethically non-vegan
There are only three flavors of the Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars:
- Wild Blueberry Acai
- Strawberry Banana
- Tart Cherry Berry
All three of them do not contain any direct non-vegan ingredients. There are no meat, eggs, or dairy-based constituents. Yet, some vegans consider these Clif Bars non-vegan. This is because Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars contain palm oil.
Palm oil is ethically and environmentally non-vegan.
The truth about palm oil shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is widely known that the capitalist cultivation of palm oil has completely devastated tropical rainforests and their inhabitants.
Many nonrenewable lush rainforests have been wiped out to clear land for palm oil cultivation. The area of such land amounts to thousands of acres. This fast and rampant reduction of such a large number of trees is clearly visible in our consistently warming planet.
Many species of rare and endangered trees have been completely eradicated. A significant number of animals have permanently lost their homes. This has resulted in a sharp spike in homeless and destitute wildlife. Many endangered species of animals have been pushed to the brink of extinction while many common animals are now considered endangered.
Rapid deforestation, habitat loss, forest exploitation are not the only adverse effects of palm oil plantations. Palm plants release peat into the soil where they are planted. Peat then transforms into methane and is released in large quantities from the plantation grounds.
If you aren’t aware, methane is more poisonous and dangerous for our planet than carbon dioxide. Our earth is heating up fast and it is the responsibility of every vegan to adopt a sustainable lifestyle for its welfare. Palm plants are not comparable to forest trees. The destroyed ecosystem is irreplaceable and the consequences can be well witnessed at the polar ice caps.
Environmentally, palm oil cultivation is a disaster. Ethically, palm oil cultivation is a crime against humanity. If you boycott products made by a child and bonded laborers in Bangladesh, you should be aware that palm oil cultivation is no different. The workers in these plantations are unpaid or often insufficiently paid and the working conditions are drastic.
The makers of Clif Bars mention that the palm oil they use in production is “sustainable”. This is a mere greenwashing of an environmentally hazardous practice. There is no such thing as “sustainable palm oil”. If you consider palm oil as ethically and environmentally non-vegan, Fruit Smoothie Clif Bars are not for you.
The Nutter Butter Filled Clif Bars also contain palm oil
There are no animal, egg, or dairy-based products in Nutter Butter Filled Clif Bars. All flavors are technically vegan:
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Almond Butter
- Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
- Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Blueberry Almond Butter
Although there are no essentially non-vegan ingredients, Nutter Butter Filled Clif Bars are considered non-vegan because they contain palm oil. Palm oil is environmentally and ethically non-vegan. Many vegans avoid food products that contain palm oil as an ingredient.
Contrary to popular belief, Clif Builder’s Protein Bars are vegan
Many vegans assume protein foods to be non-vegan. This is not true. Not all high protein foods contain animals, eggs, or dairy products. Clif Builder’s Protein Bars definitely don’t. The ten popular vegan varieties are:
- Chocolate Mint
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Crunchy Peanut Butter
- Vanilla Almond
- Cinnamon Nut Swirl
- Cookies N Cream
Some vegans avoid these chewy protein bars because palm kernel oil is a constituent.
As the name readily suggests, Clif Whey Protein Bars are not vegan
They contain whey as an ingredient which is derived from dairy milk. The whey protein bars have a light blue label and they also seem to contain dry milk powder. The presence of dairy products makes this variety non-vegan.
Are the manufacturers of Clif Bars ethically responsible?
As we have mentioned before, veganism is not just about a cruelty-free diet plan. Veganism is a cruelty-free lifestyle. It involves sustainable and ethically uncompromising choices.
The manufacturers of Clif Bars are ethically responsible. Unlike many other food manufacturing plants, their factories also employ environmentally sustainable methods of production.
The workers in their factories are encouraged to remain physically fit and active and are sufficiently paid. The employees receive incentives for adopting sustainable lifestyles, especially on shifting to fuel-efficient cars and riding a bike to work. By counting sustainable acts as achievements, such companies are paving a way for capitalism and the environment to somehow co-exist.
Some additional constituents of Clif Bars may raise your brows
Most varieties of Clif Bars will not contain direct non-vegan ingredients. We have already blacklisted the ones that contain whey. The varieties containing palm oil have been mentioned too. There are some additional constituents that may occur in all Clif Bars and are liable to your suspicion.
- Allergens like soy and nuts may be present in some flavors of Clif Bars. If you are allergic to some food products, it is advisable to thoroughly scan the ingredients.
- Natural flavors: most vegans are aware of the riddle around natural flavors. The US FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations lists both plant and animal sources for the extraction of these flavors. Your apparent plant-based flavor may actually be animal-based.
It is advisable to ask the company where they obtain their natural flavors. Some companies readily answer the question. It is worth mentioning that natural flavors are predominantly obtained from plants but the suspicion that may arise in vegans is understandable.
The makers of Clif Bars put great effort into ensuring that most of their products are vegan friendly. They don’t use gelatin in any of their products. Vitamin D2 is used instead of vitamin D3 which is derived from animals.
- The makers of Clif Bars have made it clear that none of their energy bars contain dairy products unless specified. They have also mentioned that the products may have been in contact with dairy although dairy products do not form their ingredients.
This is because dairy containing foods are also processed in the same factory.
So Are Clif Bars vegan?
All Clif Bars are not vegan. But most of them are. Traditional flavors are the most famous variety of Clif Bars and the only non-vegan flavor amongst all twenty is “Peanut & Honey”. This is because it contains honey as an ingredient.
The Fruit Smoothie Cliff Bars may be considered vegan if you are comfortable with the consumption of palm oil. There are no other problematic ingredients in the three flavors except the palm oil. The case is similar with Nutter Butter Filled Clif Bars.
The Clif Builder’s Bars are often assumed to be non-vegan. Contrary to your expectations, they are absolutely vegan. Most body-building food products contain animal-based ingredients but this is not the case with Clif Builder’s Bars. Although, this variety also contains palm oil which may be problematic for stricter vegans.
Only the Clif Whey Bars are indefinitely non-vegan. This is because they contain whey and dairy products are not permissible for vegans.
Most Clif Bars can be consumed guilt-free. Apart from being vegan, Clif Bars are also considered a healthy snack. If you are not cutting off sugar from your diet, consider Clif Bars may become indispensable in the gym.