Bird's Nest & Vegetarians: Can Vegetarians Consume Bird's Nest?

In 2020, a statistical report indicated that about 7% of Singaporeans (approximately 380,000 individuals) follow a Vegetarian diet. With the growing popularity of plant-based diets, we are here to connect the dots between Bird's Nest and the vegetarian diet. 

Can Vegetarians Eat Bird's Nest?

The simplest definition of vegetarianism is abstaining from consuming meat or seafood. So the answer is yes, Bird's Nest is vegetarian, and you can still have it and call yourself a vegetarian. 

Bird's Nest is made up of interwoven strands of salivary laminae harvested exclusively from the Aerodramus family of swiftlets. It is also "lifeless," meaning it does not contain any living or reproductive cells in the nest.   

The two most common types of vegetarian diets found in Singapore are as follows: 

Lacto-ovo vegetarian: avoids meat and fish but includes eggs and dairy

Lacto-vegetarian: avoids eggs, meat, and fish but includes dairy

Click the link if you are Interested to know more about the types of vegetarians! 

Can Vegans Eat Bird's Nest?

While Bird's Nest is accepted in a standard vegetarian diet, they are excluded from a vegan diet. Vegans do not consume animal products, including milk, eggs, dairy products, or honey. In a nutshell, Bird's Nest is vegetarian, but it would not be considered vegan. 

Why might some not consider Bird's Nest vegetarian?

Vegetarians, by diet choice, should not have any issues with having Bird's Nest. However, vegetarians, by religious or moral choices might see Bird's Nest as non-vegetarian due to the following misconceptions & myths,

1. Collecting Bird's Nest is Inhumane & Cruel

Some might think that eating Bird's Nest is equivalent to destroying the homes of the swiftlets, which is untrue because it is the common practice to harvest only abandoned Bird's Nest to keep the trade sustainable & cruelty-free. During the breeding season, the swiftlets will return to the same environment only if it deems it to be safe for breeding. Subsequently, it will not return to the existing nest and, instead, consistently build a new nest for its eggs, and the cycle will continue.

As the trade flourished, more man-made birdhouses was constructed to provide a safe, desirable environment for nesting. These farms promote the well-being of the swallow population and assure the quality of the bird's nests.

2. The Red Bird's Nest comes from Swiftlet's Blood 

As legend suggests, the origin of the "Blood Nest" comes from the swallows' saliva used to build a Bird's Nest containing blood, which has been proven untrue. 

In fact, the Red Bird's Nest was originally a white Bird's Nest, but because of the natural reaction from the minerals of the caves, the white Bird's Nest absorbed a large number of trace elements such as iron, so its color changed to red over time. The Red Nest is also the perfect gift for auspicious occasions, which symbolizes prosperity & longevity.

The Benefits of Bird's Nest For Vegetarians

Carbohydrates, glycoproteins, and minerals like calcium and iron are the major nutrients in bird's nests. They also contain a plethora of bioactive contents that have skin & health-promoting effects. 

As vegetarian diets consist of predominantly plant-based foods, inadequately planned vegetarian diets can sometimes result in insufficient intakes of vital nutrients such as protein, iron, and calcium, in which case, Bird's Nest can be supplemented to maintain a healthy & well-balanced diet. 

Interested in finding out more about Bird's Nest? You may want to check out this complete list of benefits Bird's Nest offers to any individual via 10 BIRD'S NEST BENEFITS: SKIN, HEALTH & IMMUNE SYSTEM.


At Zhen, we pride ourselves on delivering nothing but the best and most authentic Bird's Nest you can find in the market. Working with our world-renown parent company founded in 1971, our nests are from our very own plethora of houses and caves in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. 

We have 100% control of production, from nurturing the swiftlets and harvesting the nests, to processing and manufacturing each bottle of nature's wonderful gift. Our promise to you is ethically farmed organic Bird's Nest of the highest quality, free of chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavorings, additives, and stabilizers.

To support our credibility, we are ISO, HACCP and HALAL certified. Our factory in Singapore manufactures the Bird's Nest Bottles employing Europe's most advanced automated machinery in our production line. We implement strict monitoring and quality control systems to ensure products are delivered to our discerning clientele at their finest. To learn more about our Bird's Nests offering, visit our online store.

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