Are Ghruta and Ghee Vegan? And Why Do Some Vegans Eat Ghruta?

Ghruta and ghee are becoming increasingly popular all across the world. It’s becoming more and more recognized for its health benefits, and many people are starting to use it to rejuvenate their minds and bodies, boost their immune systems, and improve longevity.

One of the questions surrounding the use of Ghruta and ghee is posed by vegans: is Ghruta and ghee vegan? And if it’s not, why do some vegans eat it?

A Bit About Veganism

If you want to understand whether or not Ghruta is actually vegan, you have to understand a bit about what veganism actually is. Some people have different definitions as to what actually constitutes veganism.

In its strictest sense, veganism is a philosophy that excludes any form of animal product. That means not only meat and fish, but anything that is derived from any part of an animal.

However, many vegans make exceptions. Lacto-ovo vegetarians are vegetarian, but they eat eggs and drink milk. Pescetarians eat fish but are otherwise vegans. Additionally, some vegans eat honey (a product that comes from bees) and/or ghruta or ghee.

What is Ghruta and Ghee?

Ghruta and ghee are strictly speaking, animal products. They’re both forms of clarified butter, but Ghruta is made through the traditional Ayurvedic multi-step and hand-crafted process, and as such, is a superior form of ghee.

But, at its root, these products still come from an animal. So why do some vegans choose to eat it?

The answer to this question depends on the reasons for why a person chooses veganism.

Philosophical & Ethical Reasons

Some vegans have philosophical/ethical reasons for going vegan. Often, they don’t support the factory farming of animals or follow the ideal of, “if I wouldn’t kill it myself, I wouldn’t eat it.”

In short, these vegans don’t eat meat because they don’t want animals or beings to be harmed. This allows for a few exceptions to the definition of veganism. If the product is given or shared out of the animal’s free will, then it is acceptable.

Products like honey, for example, can be considered to be given freely by the animal. In this case, some vegans may choose to consume this substance because they don’t violate their ethical principals. It’s important to note that Ghruta (and some brands of ghee) falls under this rule since the cows are free-range and are only milked by free-will and never by force. 

Health Reasons

In addition to philosophical and ethical reasons, some vegans choose veganism for health reasons. Their reason for giving up dairy may be because they are lactose intolerant or sensitive to the beta-casein protein.

Ghruta and ghee are forms of clarified butter, which means they don’t contain any milk solids, making it lactose-free. In addition, although there may be trace amounts of protein left, Ghruta comes from cows who only produce A2 proteins, which are much easier to digest than A1 proteins. Vegans with dairy sensitivities may find that they are able to tolerate Ghruta and decide to incorporate this ‘dairy’ product into their diets.

In short, Ghruta and ghee are not strictly vegan. However, depending on the reason for why a person chooses veganism, some may be willing to make an exception to include Ghruta.


Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)