Vegan Paintballs [Are They a Thing?]

  • Author: Ben
  • Date: September 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Going paintballing is a fun activity to burn off excess energy and have a blast! No pun intended. But are paintballs vegan? Can you get vegan paintballs? This article will take you through everything you need to know so you can enjoy paintballing and remain true to your vegan lifestyle.

Are Paintballs Vegan?

As a vegan, it’s necessary to look at all aspects of a sport to determine if it qualifies as vegan. For instance, what are the obstacles and furnishings made from inside the arena? What are the paintball weapons and paintballs made from? The manufacturing process – not just the final product – also needs to be considered too.

The main issue with paintballing is the paintballs themselves.

They are made of gelatin with a dye inside. These hold the dye securely but split open when impacting something (or someone) at a high velocity.

Are paintballs vegan? They are made of gelatin with a dye inside

This makes the paintballs safe to transport in a packing box without leaking but perform to their purpose when impacting a targeted opponent during a match.

The gelatin is used as the outer casing for each ball. It lends the paintball flexibility, durability, and stability.

Unfortunately, gelatin is derived from animal byproducts.

For more on gelatin and why it should be avoided on a vegan diet, check out this article.

Vegan Paintballs Are Paintballs Vegan

Why Some Paintballs Are NOT Vegan

Paintballs in many paintball arenas are not vegan. The primary reason is because of the gelatin used.

Also, it’s possible that the dye or the coloring of it used animals for the pigmentation to get the bright colors required too. Both should be considered.

This has parallels to similar previous use in the beauty/fashion industry.

The vast majority of paintball establishments still do not use vegan-friendly paintballs. If you know of a paintball arena near you that does offer vegan paintballs, please let us know in the comments below.

It would be good for us all to know, so we can support establishments that support vegan paintballing.

Some have made a deliberate choice to do so. It does require extra effort on their part though.

Also, if vegan paintballs use costlier materials with higher production expenses or more limited production runs, the increased costs will unfavorably alter the cost of the paintballing sport too.

For paintball operators worried about maintaining the bottom line, they’d be placed in the unenviable position of needing to either price higher for vegan paintball or to raise the prices for everyone.

Ultimately, this could make them less competitive compared to paintball operators that don’t cater to vegans.

Vegan Paintballs [What To Look For]

Vegan paintballs don’t come in one size, one design fits all.

For one thing, it’s possible to make them at home. However, these likely would only be usable in an outdoor location where there’s no venue worried about damage or cleanup.

Using something suitably vegan like agar for the casing with a colored vegan-friendly dye would be possible.

Some vegan paintballs exist that are produced using polyethylene glycol, substances that dissolve in water, other vegan materials, and a dye that isn’t from animals, nor was tested on them.

However, they’re extremely difficult to find.

Another option is plastic paintballs that are light and may not disintegrate. In which case, this might be viable.

If they always disintegrate due to their velocity after firing them, sending tiny shards of plastic in all directions, then this creates plenty to clean afterward.

Hard surfaces and a broom are probably best for this.

Lastly, there are vegan paintballs known as “reballs“.

These are balls made from a bouncy rubber material. The use of these provides a bit of a knock to the receiver when the player is on target.

Reballs are a vegan paintball alternative

They stay in one piece and don’t contain paint, creating zero clean-up other than picking up the stray balls underfoot.

Top Brands Selling Vegan Paintballs

It is extremely difficult to find vegan paintballs made from agar or something similar to mimic how standard paintballs look, fly, and explode onto another player’s protective uniform.

Presumably, the cost or lack of market demand hasn’t encouraged their availability. Instead, the rubber alternatives seem like the best vegan play here.

Typically, they’re not marketed as vegan paintballs necessarily, but more like reusable training aids.

One accessible option is available at Wal-Mart. They have rubber balls that fit inside paintball weaponry. For example, the Wearable4U brand has .50 caliber paintballs.

These are sold in 100 round bags and are soft, reusable, and in a blue color to spot them easily on hard surfaces or in the grass at the park.

They’re not noted as a vegan.

You won’t find prominent vegan branding for vegan-friendly paintballs unlike with other products.

The above paintballs are used for training purposes to avoid using filled paintballs and creating a mess!

However, there is no reason that some vegans couldn’t get together and use these vegan paintballs for a match.

Also, a paintball venue is unlikely to take issue with them either.

Referred to as “paintless paintballing,” the Reball brand sells rubber, reusable paintballs for actual matches.

These have brand recognition in the paintball world. They’re good for reusing 2,000 times, so as long as you can collect up most of the spent ones, they’ll last a long while too.

ZBalls is another brand to consider for reusable rubber paintballs.

They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, or pink for the women, if they’d prefer it. Their vegan paintballs work in standard paintball gear.

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