Shooting film isn’t vegan-friendly, and Ilford explains why

Apr 25, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Shooting film isn’t vegan-friendly, and Ilford explains why

Apr 25, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Shooting film isn’t vegan-friendly. If you are a vegan, you might have already been aware of this, as film contains gelatin. But on a special FAQ page, Ilford helps you learn more. The company explains why shooting film isn’t vegan, but also tells you more about their other products, animal by-products in them, and about testing chemicals on animals.

On the page dedicated to vegans’ concerns, Ilford explains that their film and paper products contain gelatin. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you know that there are alternatives to gelatin for preparing food. So, why can’t it be substituted for something else in film and paper products? Well, Ilford explains that gelatin has unique characteristics which prevent the film from becoming fragile, slow and with a short life. These characteristics “act as a membrane matrix for the silver crystals but also interact with the crystals as they are formed.”

If it makes you feel any better, Ilford writes that the gelatin they use is a by-product of the farming industry and no extra animals were killed to make it. Also, none of their chemicals contain animal products, and none of their chemical products is tested on animals.

According to Ilford, there have been attempts to substitute gelatin for other substances, but none of them performed to the same standard. So, until the substitute is found, I guess vegans will need to shoot digital or go with wet plate collodion photography as The Phoblographer suggests.

[Ilford Vegan FAQ via The Phoblographer]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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13 responses to “Shooting film isn’t vegan-friendly, and Ilford explains why”

  1. Ignasi Jacob Avatar
    Ignasi Jacob

    Vegans uses green cameras.

  2. rifki syahputra Avatar
    rifki syahputra

    that’s why I switched to iphone..

  3. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    I really dunno whether i should laugh or cry about this. Vegans got their noses even in this business? I thought it’s about dietary systems (and it is a personal choice as far as i understand not something implemented by force). Two words and a letter: Get a Life.

    1. James West Avatar
      James West

      My daughter is vegan. Yes it’s a personal choice and no, they don’t have their noses in this business. This will be of concern to no one but vegans, and vegans aren’t about to mount a campaign to take down the film business. Veganism isn’t just a dietary choice; generally, they avoid all animal products in clothing and other items. My daughter, actually, has a life — a very interesting one! :)

  4. Wouter Anquer Avatar
    Wouter Anquer

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of vegan hipster B&W street shooters suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

    1. Jeffrey Grant Avatar
      Jeffrey Grant

      Best comment yet.

  5. Darren Jenks Avatar
    Darren Jenks

    Who cares? If vegans don’t like to use film because it’s not friendly to their way of life, stick to digital. Simple as that. Meat eaters wouldn’t get on their high horses if the film producers suddenly made all film vegan friendly.

  6. Alex Ragen Avatar
    Alex Ragen

    I find the last item, that Ilford products are not tested on animals, to be particularly hilarious. How do these PC snowflakes imagine such testing would look like – giving cattle film cameras, or locking them in a darkroom and forcing them to develop film? The world is getting crazier by the minute.

    1. Mariano Madrigal Avatar
      Mariano Madrigal

      It says chemical products, as in they did not dip monkeys in fixer just to see if they would develop rashes.

  7. Rick Scheibner Avatar
    Rick Scheibner

    Nice to see the trolls are out in full force. If you’re not a vegan, then none of this information likely pertains to you. Y’all act like a bunch of vegans stormed the Ilford offices with pitchforks and demanded that they put up that page or else. Give it a rest already.

  8. DouglasGottlieb Avatar
    DouglasGottlieb

    People make fun of vegans because it is easier than contemplating that slaughtering cattle and pigs and eating them is no different from doing it to dogs. Western culture normalizes one and is repulsed by the other. But these animals are every bit as smart and complex. So rather than face that, they make a joke about something they don’t understand yet and don’t want to see.

    Eating animal products has also been proven to promote diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s in humans.

    Animal agriculture is also a major contributor to climate change.

    The people using terms like “snowflake” are likely to deny climate science.

    I’m happy to be called a snowflake.

    To those who make a choice to inflict a lifetime of agony, then death on innocent, gentle, sentient creatures in order to satisfy their own tastes, even tho their inevitable illness is creating the healthcare crisis and death of the planet, what name should we call you?

    I went back to film and loved using this beautiful gear. But I now plan to put it away until a non gelatin option arrives.

    This makes me very sad. But I’ve been meaning to learn wetplate.

    Let the sociopath flames commence.

    1. tomonthebay Avatar
      tomonthebay

      Sociopath flames? Oh my!

      1. DouglasGottlieb Avatar
        DouglasGottlieb

        None yet. Just a lot of weak logic