The Terrifying Truth Behind Animal Collagen and Deforestation

Lush green forest.Animal collagen is burning down Brazilian rainforests. It’s a hard supplement to swallow, but unfortunately, it’s true. It’s not something anyone in the beauty and wellness world wants to hear. 

But why is this happening?

Collagen is a billion-dollar beauty industry, and its worth is creeping up towards $7.2 billion. That’s why greedy, money-grabbing corporations are sweeping through nature, leaving nothing but ashes.

But there is hope; you don’t have to give up collagen! Read on to find out how to care for yourself without compromising the planet.

What is Animal Collagen?

Cows looking into the camera.

There are lots of different types of collagen. Animal collagen is the skin, hide (usually bovine hide), bones, and connective tissue of animals and fish. Collagen is incredible for your gut, skin, hair growth, hormones, heart health and joints - basically everything!

Read more: 5 Powerful Ways Liquid Collagen Revitalises Your Skin.

Beauty companies often advertise collagen as a by-product of the animal, suggesting they use every part of the animal and collagen is ‘leftover.’ That means nothing goes to waste, right?


Some companies raise and kill cattle specifically to produce collagen whilst they throw the rest of the animal away. Most of these collagen farmlands are in Brazil, the biggest exporter of beef.

How Does Collagen Cause Deforestation?

Forest trees cut down and removed, leaving tree stumps and empty space.

A staggering 80% of rainforests lost are from Brazil.

And because animal collagen is a huge craze, companies are clearing out the Amazon's rainforests. 

They’re doing so to create farmland and raise cattle before slaughtering them for collagen. The parts that contain collagen are crushed and packaged into pretty supplement bottles, far away from their source.

How Do We Know This is True?

A recent investigation unearthed the truth about animal collagen products. The uncovering of deforestation shows a connection to Vital Proteins, a large brand that sells supplements worldwide and is owned by Nestlé

The report shows that 2,500 km2 of rainforest was brutally cut down to make space for farmland. And often without the permission of the Indigenous people who own the land.

Instead of lush green forests, vibrant with wildlife, nature has been ripped from its roots to leave a demolished brown landscape. Beauty companies then use misleading wording and phrasing, telling their customers collagen is ‘natural’ and healthy. 

While that may be true, these phrases imply it’s ethically sourced, clean beauty. But that’s not the case.

How Collagen Impacts Indigenous People

Close up of two people holding hands.

Farmers have been illegally sweeping Indigenous people’s land and destroying it for collagen production. They’re taking over their space in the pursuit of billions of dollars.

What’s even more horrifying is that they purposely set fires to create farmland. One fire tragically burnt down a whole village and the community’s school.

It’s not something you want to believe humans are capable of, and Indigenous people are terrified of what will happen next. Will more homes burn? Will they reduce another school to cinders? All in the pursuit of animal collagen.

That’s Why Our Collagen Supplement is Vegan

Woman wearing a cosy tracksuit, sitting on the sofa with a sachet of Arella vegan collagen.

Reading this information is pretty jarring. But you can find comfort in the fact that many beauty and wellness companies are starting to create vegan, ethically-sourced products. Including ourselves!

Arella Beauty does not produce animal supplements. We want a better planet that is sustainable and safe for future generations. That’s why we only make a vegan collagen supplement.

Read more: 5 Vegan Collagen-Rich Foods to Hack Your Hormones.

What’s The Difference Between Animal Collagen and Vegan Collagen?

Hands holding a yellow flower.

Animal collagen uses the hides and insides of animals (ick), but vegan collagen is plant-derived. It doesn’t technically contain collagen. Instead, plants provide the body with the essential amino acids it needs to make collagen. 

Amino acids are like little building blocks to help make collagen. Without those foundational blocks, your body would have nowhere to start. The benefits of vegan collagen supplements are incredible. They do everything animal collagen does but without the destruction. Win-win!

Read more:  How To Boost Your Amino Acids For Collagen.

What Can You Do About Animal Collagen and Deforestation?

Person sitting by the coastline, watching the sunset.

If you want to stop the destruction of rainforests when it comes to animal collagen, there are things you can do to help.

Take Vegan Collagen Supplements 

For a start, take vegan collagen supplements and if you want to go a step further - vegan supplements of any kind! They do exactly the same thing, just by taking a slightly different route.

They’re better for the environment, leave the rainforest intact, and don't destroy communities or harm animals.

Donate to the Amazon Rainforest

The destroyed rainforests are painful to think about, but there is hope. Many charities are working to restore rainforests.

Trees are being planted, movements are being created, and people with good hearts want a healthy planet. Donate to a rainforest charity and give them the boost they need to keep going.

Spread Awareness

Lastly, you might know about the effects of animal collagen supplements and the planet, but not everyone does. If your family or friends are using supplements, tell them how animal collagen is linked to the destruction of rainforests.

You can also send a message on social media to spread awareness. Not many people know this is happening, so let’s help educate those that don’t.

Switch to Vegan Collagen Supplements Today

Woman opening a box of Arella vegan collagen.

Finding out that there are connections between collagen supplement companies and deforestation is disheartening. It’s never something you want to hear. But the amazing news is you can still care for yourself AND take collagen supplements, as long as they’re vegan!

Our liquid vegan supplements have a 98% absorbency rate and aren’t packed with fillers or anything nasty from unethical companies. Arella Beauty wants you to feel your best self while caring for the planet. It’s the least we can do for the world we love.

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Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.

Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.