Monster Energy drinks are now sold in over 143 countries around the world. It has recently taken over its competitors in the USA, making it America’s best selling energy drink! 

Monster Energy is currently available in 34 flavours spread out over 9 different ‘styles’ of beverage. But the question is: are Monster Energy Drinks vegan-friendly and can we say they are cruelty-free?

“But wait, Monster contains taurine, then it’s automatically not vegan, right?!”

WRONG! (We’ll tell you why further in the article)

In fact, most Monster drinks are vegan. But as with many huge brands, the answer is not so straightforward and you might be surprised by the results. 

Plus, there are also slight variations to the Monster Energy drinks ingredient list depending on your location. 

Read on to find out what flavours are vegan-friendly and which ones you may wish to avoid. 

Vegomm score: 75%

  • Brand is certified vegan: NO
  • Brand offers a selection of vegan products: YES
  • Brand tests on animals: NO
  • Parent company tests other brands on animals: NO

So, Are Monster-Energy Drinks Vegan-Friendly?

The majority of the Monster Energy drinks are surprisingly vegan-friendly! (With exceptions)

Why? First of all, Monster Energy claims to use plant-based Taurine. Whilst taurine was initially derived from animal products, it can now be created synthetically without the use of animals. 

And what about the other ingredients?

Good question. We mean, have you ever glanced at the ingredients on the can and wondered what it all means? When it comes to the health, nutrition, and source of its ingredients; there is much to debate.

Is Monster Ultra vegan?
Most of the range is vegan (Ultra Violet, Ultra White, Zero Ultra…), except for Monster Ultra Red in Europe and the UK (see below)
Is Juice Monster vegan?Yes, the whole range is vegan (Mango Loco, Pipeline Punch, Khaos)
Is Monster Zero vegan?The Original Zero-Sugar Monster Energy, Monster Zero Ultra, and Monster Hydro Zero Sugar are vegan
Is Java Monster vegan?No, that range isn’t vegan as it contains reduced-fat milk (see below)

As of 2020, there are only two flavours you will want to avoid if you are vegan, depending on your location. 

Monster Energy Ultra Red: While this range is vegan-friendly in North America, be careful in other countries. In the UK and some European countries, that version contains cochineal (aka E120 or Carmine), a natural red colour extracted from scale insects. Meaning it is not vegan either.

Monster Java: This is a range of Monster Energy flavours that contains milk. That being said, the Java range has released a new edition. It is a dairy-free alternative based on Oat Milk and it is currently available in North America. It is called the Java Monster Farmer’s Oats.  

But this doesn’t mean Monster is cruelty-free!

Are Monster Energy Drinks Cruelty-Free? 

Monster Energy drinks are not certified cruelty-free. 

Have a look at Monster Energy’s website or their Supplier Code Of Conduct and Environmental Sustainability pages and you won’t find anything related to an animal-testing policy.

With energy drinks, you have to be careful of the additives.

The labels can be confusing, as the additives are usually not specified. They can be listed as flavouring, food colour, natural flavours or artificial flavours. Some are good, others not so much. 

Sports drinks, including Monster Energy drinks range, electrolyte drinks, protein drinks, and other energy drinks, often contain artificial food dyes that are tested on animals, such as Carmine (that we can find in the Monster Ultra Red), red dye 40 and yellow dye 5.

  • The carminic acid used to make Carmine is obtained by drying, crushing, and then boiling cochineal beetles.
  • Red 40 is routinely tested on animals. So, despite being “vegan”, it’s definitely not cruelty-free, as it is contaminated with benzidine or other carcinogens, which are harmful to animals. 
  • Yellow 5 or Tartrazine, is a yellow colouring made from petroleum products and is mainly tested on mice and rats

Are There Alternative Vegan Natural Energy Drinks? 

Yes, there are plenty of great tasting natural alternatives that are vegan and cruelty-free! 

Enjoy them without having to worry about processed sugar or food colourings. 

Here are three of our favourite natural vegan-friendly energy drink options:

natural energy drink by tenzing

Tenzing Natural Energy Drink

A natural option made 100% from plants with natural caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. These Raspberry and Yuzu sparkling energy drinks contain no artificial colours, sweeteners, or food additives. The good news? It is both vegan and gluten-free!

natural energy drink by benefit water

Benefit Flavoured Sparkling Water

That’s right! Water is amazing for boosting your sluggish energy levels and relieving that afternoon fatigue. The Benefit Flavoured Sparkling Water  Mango and Coconut drinks are a natural source of energy with coconut water, vitamins, and no added artificial sweeteners. 

energy drink powder by vit2go

Vit2Go Energy Sachets

Are you looking for an extra-strong hit of energy and prefer something with (vegan) taurine? Here is a natural alternative that is packed with caffeine, taurine, Guarana and vitamins. The Vit2Go Energy Sachets can be mixed on the go with water or juice and works to increase brain function and reduce fatigue. Energy sachets contain vitamin B5 and amino acids and have a lime flavour. 

What To Look For When Shopping For Energy Drinks

Main non-vegan ingredients to avoid in energy drinks are milk, milk powder and Carmine (E120, Cochineal, Carmine Lake, Crimson Lake, 75470, Natural Red 5).

Also avoid animal tested artificial colouring such as Red 40 and Yellow 5.

And don’t be fooled by “natural flavours”. This term also includes ingredients that come from animals.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Monster Energy drinks are not necessarily the healthiest choice when it comes to natural hydration and energy, but they do offer vegan options. 

Thankfully there are ethical 100% plant-based beverages available if you prefer not to buy Monster Energy drinks.

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