Are Rice Krispies Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 26, 2023

Navigating the vegan landscape can often be a complex task, particularly when it comes to assessing whether a beloved childhood staple like Rice Krispies is vegan or not. 

This is largely due to food brands often concealing the true nature and origins of their ingredients, making it a challenge to ascertain the product’s vegan credentials. 

Fear not! This article will meticulously dissect the mystery, empowering you to uphold your noble commitment to veganism, our fellow animals, and the planet.

Are Rice Krispies Vegan?

Regrettably, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Cereal is not a vegan product. This may come as a surprise, especially as the primary ingredient is whole-grain brown rice, which is unquestionably vegan. As with many breakfast cereals, the problematic ingredient is Vitamin D3.

The Vitamin D3 in many cereals, including the iconic Rice Krispies cereal, is derived from an animal source, namely lanolin, a substance extracted from sheep’s wool. Therefore, this puts traditional Rice Krispies off the menu for those adhering to a vegan diet.

Is Rice Krispies Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Rice Krispies is not considered to be cruelty-free. This again links back to the inclusion of Vitamin D3, sourced from lanolin. While some may argue that shearing wool from sheep is not inherently cruel, the fact that animals are involved in the production process contradicts the cruelty-free and vegan principles of causing no harm or exploitation to animals.

What Are Rice Krispies Made Of?

Rice Krispies are made of a short list of ingredients:

  • Rice
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Malt flavor
  • Vitamin D3


Rice, the key component of Rice Krispies, and in this case, whole grain brown rice, is a plant-based ingredient, thus fully vegan and gluten-free. Its role is to provide the base for the Rice Krispies cereal, contributing to the classic “snap, crackle, and pop” when milk is added.


Sugar, derived from sugarcane or sugar beets, sweetens the Rice Krispies. While sugar itself is plant-based, it’s worth noting that some sugars are processed using bone char, which is not vegan. However, the sugar in Rice Krispies is considered vegan-friendly.


Salt is a mineral, therefore it is vegan. It is used to enhance the flavor of the Rice Krispies.

Malt flavor

The malt flavor in Rice Krispies comes from barley malt, a type of sweetener derived from sprouted barley. This ingredient is vegan.

Vitamin D3

As stated earlier, the primary issue lies with Vitamin D3, which is derived from lanolin found in sheep’s wool. This makes it non-vegan.

Are Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats Vegan?

No, Rice Krispies Treats aren’t vegan, either. They contain gelatin, an ingredient derived from boiling pieces of animals. But you can make your own vegan rice crispy treats using a vegan alternative to Rice Krispies, shared below. So while you can’t have vegan Rice Krispies Treats, you can have vegan rice crispy treats, just search vegan recipes on the internet. Here’s one!

Vegan Alternatives to Rice Krispies

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of vegan-friendly options to satisfy your crispy rice cereal cravings. Many companies produce vegan crispy rice cereal that mimics the taste and texture of Rice Krispies. Some examples:

When creating vegan rice crispy treats, look for vegan marshmallows like Dandies, and vegan butter alternatives, such as Earth Balance. You can even experiment with coconut oil for a healthier twist on this dessert cuisine.


While the Rice Krispies we’ve known and loved may not be vegan or cruelty-free, there is no need for despair. With myriad vegan alternatives available today, you can still enjoy the nostalgic taste and texture of crispy rice cereal and crispy cereal treats. 

And remember, you’re not only choosing the best for your health, but you’re also contributing to a more compassionate and sustainable world by embracing a vegan lifestyle. Every bite counts!