When I was a kid, Crisco was often referred to as “lard,” which is not quite accurate. Lard is animal fat. It used to be a very popular type of fat to cook with, and because it is white, opaque, and solid at room temperature, it bears a strong resemblance to Crisco.
Crisco is actually a vegetable shortening, not animal fat. It is made entirely of vegetable oil, which means it is 100% vegan. However, before you get too excited, keep in mind that Crisco is a hydrogenated oil, which is what keeps it solid at room temperature but also makes it very unhealthy. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats, which are considered the worst type of fat to eat.
If you want a healthier alternative to Crisco, you’re much better off using coconut oil. Coconut oil is also a shortening – a fat that stays solid at room temperature – so it behaves just like Crisco and can be used for all of the same purposes.