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wax – glossy, hard substance used to make foods look more visually appealing, especially fruit and vegetables. Also used in some cosmetics. Can be animal or plant-derived. Non-animal waxes include carnauba, paraffin, candelilla and polyethylene. 
whey – milk-derived substance left after most of the fat and *casein has been removed in cheese-making. Used in many processed foods eg margarines, biscuits and crisps as well as some cleaning products. 
wine – can be clarified (cleared) using animal products such as *isinglass or eggs. Contact *Viva! for a vegan wine catalogue. 
wool – fleecy hair of sheep, goat, antelope, rabbit (and other animals eg *alpaca). Used in clothing, blankets, mattresses and carpets. Whilst the animal may or may not be killed to obtain its wool, all will be subjected to various forms of cruelty and exploitation during their lifetimes. A large proportion of wool clothing in the UK comes from slaughtered sheep. Selective breeding has produced sheep that are unnaturally woolly, necessitating shearing. Sheep are subjected to a number of painful procedures during their lifespan – shearing, tail docking, un-anaesthetised mulesing (flesh removal from anal area to prevent flies laying eggs) and castration. In the UK, 20% of lambs die within a few days of birth from exposure, malnutrition and neglect. Many sheep in Australia die from starvation and heat exhaustion. The wool industry routinely kills so-called ‘competing animals’ in wool-producing areas eg kangaroos in Australia (in fact kangaroos do not compete with sheep) and coyotes in the USA. Many people are allergic to wool close to their skin.