A Guide to Vegan Instruments

vegan drums

The news of the “world’s first” vegan violin recently went viral on the internet, leaving many people asking what makes regular violins non-vegan. And, for that matter, are any musical instruments vegan, or are they commonly built from animal-based materials?

Unfortunately, animals have long been employed in the musical instrument industry, and it may be hard to find an instrument that is fully devoid of animal-derived components in some cases, particularly with less popular instruments. But keep in mind that being vegan isn’t about being flawless; it’s about abstaining as much as possible from animal abuse. So, if you’re musically inclined, don’t allow a technicality to keep you from learning an instrument – simply give it your all.

Many instruments have animal-free versions readily available; if not, you could try purchasing your instrument secondhand to avoid directly supporting the instrument’s creation. Not only that, but secondhand shopping is typically more economical and healthier for the environment.

The World’s First Vegan Violin

Vegan violin strings and bows have been available for some time, but in early 2022, violin maker Padraig O’Dubhlaoidh presented his totally animal-free violin, which, according to BBC News, is the first violin body in the world to be certified vegan by The Vegan Society.

Animal-based glue, ivory, horsehair, animal intestines, and bones can all be found in violins and their strings, as well as a variety of other musical instruments. O’Dubhlaoidh, on the other hand, used innovative materials like steamed pear, dye made from wild berries, and a water-based glue to create his vegan violin body. Veganviolins.com is a website where you can learn more about the violin and contact the manufacturers.

Other violin family instruments, such as the cello, viola, and bass, will experience similar challenges, so check the brand’s website or contact the maker for further information when buying for any of them. The Zarelon Vegan Cello Bow and ecoRosin, a vegan, eco-friendly rosin wrapped in biodegradable materials, are two vegan options for these instruments.

Guitars and Stringed Instruments

According to LeftyFretz.com, most guitar bodies these days are vegan and contain no animal materials. Smaller guitar parts, such as nuts, strings, knobs, inlays, and glue, may contain animal-derived materials such as animal bone, ivory, shellac, or beeswax; however, this is more likely to be found on more expensive or vintage guitars, and cheaper guitars are more likely to be completely vegan-friendly.

So, if you’re looking for a guitar, do some research or call the company you’re thinking about buying from to double-check.

Additionally, when shopping for guitar straps, you can simply avoid those made of leather and suede and instead choose ones made of cotton or nylon.

Non-vegan components may be found on other guitar family instruments like as banjos, ukuleles, and bass guitars. Cheaper products, like guitars, are more likely to be free of animal components, but we recommend contacting the maker or purchasing a used model.


Animal-derived materials have been utilized to manufacture instruments throughout musical history, according to the vegan piano lady. Piano keys, for example, are occasionally made of ivory, while other components of the piano, such as the pedals and the stool, are frequently made of wool, leather, suede, and silk.

However, PETA claims that two major piano manufacturers, Baldwin and Steinway, use plastic keys instead of ivory. Buying a secondhand piano, on the other hand, may be the best option; otherwise, if your demands are met, you may just buy a keyboard, which is often constructed of plastic.


Even though leather and animal skins are typically used in drums, obtaining drums made of synthetic materials should not be difficult. Evans Drums and Remo Drums, according to PETA, both make animal-free drum sets. Moreover, like with other instruments, less expensive versions (especially children’s drum sets) are more likely to be cruelty-free.

Vegan shamanic frame drums are also available from Sunreed Instruments, and vegan djembes for adults and children are available from African Drumming.

The musical instrument industry clearly has a long way to go in terms of appealing to vegan and environmentally concerned artists. Hopefully, the announcement of the first vegan violin will spur other musical instrument manufacturers to innovate and begin offering additional vegan-certified instruments in the near future.

Source: “The Ultimate Guide to Vegan-Friendly Musical Instruments” by Green Matters


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