Is the fairphone lcd vegan?

Is the fairphone liquid crystal display vegan?


Just out of interest, what would it mean if a display was made vegan? Which properties could be made from animal products? And how much of that are we talking about?


The FP4 is a Liquid Crystal Display. Unless someone knows differently, there are no animal products involved.

You can also get OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) displays on other devices (phones, TVs, monitors etc). There are no animal or plant materials in these, the name is because they contain manmade molecules with carbon-hydrogen molecules. As CH molecules are also found in most life forms on our planet the term organic was used to differentiate the technology used in other LED contructions, such as silicon and germanium. Please note, I am not a chemist or biologist.

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Good question as I’ve been ‘vegan’ for 50 years. I gave up photography until there was a digital camera in 1996. Silver nitrate was adhered to the cellulose film with gelatine.

All products have some use of animals in the chain of manufacture or are you only considering the quantity of animal derivatives in the final products ~ it can never be zero.

The nature of animals is to exploit and noting Putin’s war in Ukraine I think you can see there is a problem buyiong from Putin, whether vegetable or not.

The Fairphone optimises, as far as it practicle for them the reduced exploitation of the human animal to procure materials and produce phones. No doubt ‘all’ the people in the chain are not vegan.

But I am supporting them but not Israel, Turkey, India, China, Russia as I don’t want to support their overbearing use of people they dominate.

Regarding the views on LCD

Are LCDs Vegan?

In general, it cannot be said with absolute confidence that LCDs do not contain animal products in their components or as part of their production processes. However, the amounts of animal trace products are likely to be very small. In the absence of alternatives that are absolutely confirmed as vegan, most vegans will continue using LCD screens. In this way, LCDs can be stated to be vegan-friendly.

What Animal Products Could Be in LCDs

The liquid crystals in LCDs are said to be formed using cholesterol from animals. There is some debate on the issue of cholesterol in LCDs and whether it contains animal products or is synthetic. The reluctance of major manufacturers to release statements on the matter does little to clear up any confusion.

You would have to ask Fairphoen for more detail but then they would palm that off to the display maker.

The display maker … with find a link See two posts down

But it not just the LCD screen animal products will almost definelty be used in other aspects of manufacture and let’s face it the amount used will be negligable compared to the meat and diary used by the people who make the products.

So the question is what do mean by 'vegan’

  • There’s always ‘contamination’ in all we breath eat and drink
  • Most of the contamination arrived due to intentional abuse of the environment if not by man by some other animal.
  • A measure of the contaminant is not a sign of how ‘vegan’ the product is
  • Nor by measuring do you become more ‘vegan’

Organic foods often use a higher proportion of animal derived fertilisers but would you rather eat pesticide ridden food and have the environment sprayed with synthetic poisons??

As an example. I had a discussion with the Bank of England when they produced their ‘new’ synthetic notes. They used animal fat to stop them sticking together.

Their response was pathetic and I emailed saying I thought I was talking to intelligent people, but clearlt I’m talking to a load of ‘bankers’ and I will not be using any of their products henceforth. So I gave up using hard currency.

But I’m not ready to give up computers and electronics all of which are more than questionable regarding manys aspects, least of all the level of animal derivatives used in production.


I think on microbiological level not :wink:

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Rather than add to my previous post you can contact Fairphone via to enquire about specifics

Should you wish to contact any of the suppliers to get a first hand ‘truth’ here is a list

Below is an extract from the above list referring to the screen. Just regarding the opto-electrics the top one ??

and to my distaste I accept some, maybe most even, electronics from China as I haven’t found a phone that isn’t, yet.

Are There Vegan LCDs Available?

The short answer is no. However, while you may not be able to locate an LCD screen that is vegan certified, you can find companies that are approaching the manufacture of electronics, and LCDs in particular, from a more ethical and environmentally conscious ethos.

These companies, such as Fairphone, show greater transparency than some mainstream electronics manufacturers, revealing the environmental and ethical principles that guide their product design and manufacture.


I am not convinced cholesterol is used in LCD manufacture, it was definitely not part of the process discussed in my Electronics degree. But I am open to evidence. However, there are cholesterols that exhibit liquid crystal properties:

" Liquid crystals were first discovered in 1888, by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer . Reinitzer observed that when he melted a curious cholesterol-like substance (cholesteryl benzoate), it first became a cloudy liquid and then cleared up as its temperature rose. Upon cooling, the liquid turned blue before finally crystallizing. This experiment showed the intermediate properties, between those of liquid and solids that a LC possesses. Eighty years later, in 1968, the first experimental LCD was synthesized." Liquid Crystals

Notably carrots are a source of a cholesterol that exhibits this behaviour.

Bob Myers

Display Engineer & Technologist

No LCD uses “cholesterol taken from animals.” If you’ve heard about cholesteric LCDs, that refers to a class of LCD materials that are similar to cholesterol at the molecular level, but they are NOT cholesterol and do not come from animal sources. These materials are also not used in the sorts of LCDs used in monitors, smartphones, laptops, tablets, or TVs.

Not that I beleive anything I read :slight_smile: but I can’t avoid conversations


5. LCD Screens
Quite surprisingly, TV’s, computers, phones and tablets all use animal cholesterol in their screens.
11 Common Items In The Home You Mistakenly Think Are Vegan

It’s so easy to quote someone, and almost no-one knows what is up and what is down or if the sky is blue or yellow.

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Amoun, can you find a reputable source that is from a university or manufacturer? Too many websites regurgitate incorrect information. I am not saying you are wrong, but I have yet to see any evidence of using animal cholesterol in LCD displays that I would bet my pension on as being correct.

No that’s my point too. I have no evidence of a reputable source either way. It would have to come from each manufacturer and supply chain and I wouldn’t trust any one of them either. :slight_smile:

I have emailed the last link I mentioned to challenge their claims :slight_smile: That should be painful :frowning:

@Aveev This a publicly accessable email from the site 2 posts above

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If the display was made vegan it could mean that animal cholesterol is not used in the liquid crystal display.

Hi @Aveev

I think UPPERCASE got the message, the query was more what is considered a reasonable exploitation of animals. There is no evidence that cholesterol is used or that it comes from animals but it’s highly unlikely that animal products are not used in the manufacturing process of the phone if not clearly the specifics you mention.

Many things can be made ‘vegan’ as a finished product to within a percentage, none 100%.

Nothing can be made by an animal that doesn’t exploit other animals, only plants can do that.

So is it better to have a ‘vegan’ item made by torture and exploitation of humans and other animals or have Fairtrade and be responsible for the suffering caused.

Clearly not causing suffering to humans or other animals is the moral goal but that it not achievable whilst we consume resources and worse that we have to fight over them…
People and animals are resources. The end product is not the focus surely, it’s how e get there and trying to reduce the cost to others at every step.

The vegan badge can be a sign of intent, not a sign of any degree of success, but that intent is not about the animals that suffer but the acknowledgement that humand cayse suffering and avoiding the use of animals is a simple matter with food an clothing for some.

But money and power are not vegan, so buy what you will and be discerning as your actions create your memories. You can’t make the world a better place, it’s fine as it is. It the individual that has fear and finds ways to hide, and be distracted from it and my view is that is what all people do and ‘vegans’ are no exception.

Hide behind sustainability, ecology, veganism, religion, money, entertainment there’s no end and for all this we have justifications.

Is there really any animal cholesterol in an LCD ???
As mentioned you can ask the manufactures in China or ask faiphoen to do so on your behalf.

The amount of consumerism we use destroys the habitat of wild animals. We now have only about 4% of animal biomass attributed to wild animals, it used to be 100%

We as a species breed animals to support our consumption, consuming less does more to help the animals than being vegan. Of course if can do both why not.

Check your income each years is is reducing are you less exploitative now that you were a year ago ?

You have brought up a very good issue so thanks for the topic :slight_smile:

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On microbiological level nobody is “vegan”, if I think of all the bacteria and whatever living inside us, which are necessary for us to live - and will of course get digested somehow or other in our bodies after they died.

By the way, does anybody think there exists vegan BIO apple juice? I have never seen bio apples without some worms in them. :grin:

Personally I think, if you don´t actively consume animal products and live about 97% vegan this is already really commendable.


Even for plants there are exceptions.
Just think about some parasitic mushrooms growing in living insects.

It´s like you said @amoun , the difference is if you are aware of what you are doing (since humans are probably the only animals, which are able to reflect) and decide to change your habits to make the world a little bit better. And of course, if many people do a little bit, then it can have big effects altogether.

And now we close the circle at Fairphone again (not perfect but a big step in the correct direction) :slight_smile:


Yes that was the logic not

“plants do that” :slight_smile:

Tires are not vegan either, there’s so much made from pigs. What matters is is it by-product or main purpose. For example, if you avoid gelatin, not one pig less is going to die, because its available in abundance. Whereas if you avoid eating pork meat, then yes, that literally means one less main animal product got bought by decreasing demand. Ergo, being vegetarian (the main purpose of animals grown being for meat via bio-industry) is already a very effective way to lower demand.

Fairphones got transported via Russia’s railway system, btw.

You all forgot that Phones and their parts are made by human beings who are probably fed in a local cafeteria. Do you consider phones vegan that are made by people who eat non-vegan food?

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The dairy industry is more consuming a) most of the males are slaghtered for veal and the females after a few years to get fresh young ones to exploit

It’s not about how many animals die it’s the suffering and being born via atrificail insemination to fit the dairy market, by the million is more cruel that killing a few wild animals.

Phones and screen etc cannoy be vegan it a meditative process brought about by human intelligence that can see a moral issue. The indvidual has to consider their ethics, so was you question to the OP or a general point of discussion.

If the former then clearly no, if the later I doubt you really have the stomach for it.

So ‘vegan’ yes, fairer trade ‘definitly’ and that does not include animals as they don’t have the intelligence to trade, with rare exceptions.

Hey, I just signed up to ask if a future Fairphone could be vegan. Apparently, someone already asked that and of course, it’s a long road until it could be possible.

But for the display problem (LCD displays are never vegan as far as I know); the solution would be an OLED display. I’m still researching, but I read that those are vegan per se.
Some new phones on the market already have OLED displays. So I asked the support if this is possible in the future.

And, imagine! Someday, somehow a completely vegan phone is possible and the first phone to be it is the new Fairphone! Imagine a fairphone case with a small and subtle v-label embossing in the corner. What a dream.