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Boomslang skin, leeches, bicorn horn... it seems that to make any decent potion, you're going to need to use some kind of animal product. Could a vegan or vegetarian get through Hogwarts, and otherwise fare well in the wizarding world?

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    Don't forget the wands! Most contain something from a magical animal. Although that isn't ALWAYS the case as apparently Dittany stalk can be used. – Dason Feb 2 '12 at 2:14
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    Given that there's animal-like plant life (i.e.: Mandrakes) in this universe, perhaps we should also ask if a vegan might add more than just conventional animal products to their lifestyle exclusions. – Iszi Feb 3 '12 at 2:04
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    @Dason I don't think there is any problem to use a wand containing material that the beast has willingly given. A phoenix might give feathers or a unicorn might give hair and no bad things would come to them for it. – Aifos Nov 11 '12 at 22:49
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It would certainly be difficult. Barring having to find a wand without an animal core, you would have to contend with parchment, quills, dragonhide gloves, etc... potions is really the least of our worries. That said, given that this is MAGIC, perhaps one could transfigure common items into what you actually need. Depending on how flexible you are as a vegan, you could also make-do with used items, or animal by-products that weren't actually taken from animals (i.e., quills that were shed from a bird or unicorn hairs that naturally fell out).

Also, I believe that the school robes and most of the other uniform gear (in the films at least) are made of animal fibres. Obviously this is not canon as it isn't in the books, but given that this is a private school, one can assume that the uniforms would be high quality, which normally means wool. Again, it depends if this bothers you, if used items are available, or if you would have to transfigure objects accordingly.

That said, if the house elves are willing to accommodate a vegetarian diet, I don't see why the school would be unwilling to accommodate a student who is veg.

All of this begs the question... are synthetically/magically created animal by-products fair game?

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    Being that PETA, fairly radical in its stances despite being one of the major animal rights groups, is offering a reward for the first edible synthetic meat, I think that magical or synthetic animal byproducts would definitely be on the table for many vegans and vegetarians. – Ben Regenspan Jun 23 '12 at 4:15
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Yes. You don't need to consume - and especially know how to make - potions to live in a wizarding world, and you don't need to pass Potions class to be in school.

Neville Longbottom had about as much Potions success as a vegan student would, considering practical results of his potions. Somehow he managed to graduate and become a professor.

You also don't need to consume potions for daily wizarding life - the only time where you'd unavoidably have to consume them would be a life and death situation, in which case I'm sure most normal vegetarians would not have any issues with animal based potion used to save their life.


As far as food (which you didn't ask about but a vegetarian would surely care): from "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000

Q: Do Hogwarts chefs accommodate vegetarians ? (Alexandra, from http://www.hpfactsandfun.com/)
A: If you ask them very nicely. You'll find out something about that in Book Four as well. . .these are all very good questions.

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Regarding Hogwarts, yes, actually. This question was posed to JK Rowling and she said that if one asked the House-elves "very very nicely" then they would accommodate a vegetarian (and I'm presuming that would include vegans as well) As far as potions class goes, there's no canon that addresses this issue, as far as I know. One could always refuse to take potions on ethical grounds (as Muggles can refuse vaccinations in some states).

Q: Do Hogwarts chefs accommodate vegetarians ?

A: If you ask them very nicely. You'll find out something about that in Book Four as well. . .these are all very good questions.

SOURCE - Accio Quote - World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling - South West News Service

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Robes: The list only says plain and black, you can surely choose the material yourself.

Potions: If I went to Hogwarts I would experiment with vegetarian ingredients, I think some of them work the same way as animal products. I don't think Snape would accept it though...

Transfiguration: It is probably painful for an animal to be transfigured into a teacup or something. I would ask if I could do some other task instead.

Food: This would be no problem for me, as a Hufflepuff I would live near the kitchens and house elfs are always so helpful.

Wand: I would not use one with a dragon core, but I think that unicorns and pheonixes are far to respected for a wizard to do them harm, so I could use their wands.

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