Part two for the reading food labels is certified vegan. This label makes it easier for vegans to shop without constantly reading ingredients.
Vegan Action administers the Certified Vegan Logo, an easy-to-recognize symbol applied to foods, clothing, cosmetics and other items that contain no animal products and are not tested on animals.
What is the Certified Vegan Logo? The Logo is a registered trademark, similar in nature to the "kosher" mark, for products that do not contain animal products and that have not been tested on animals. The Logo is easily visible to consumers interested in vegan products and helps vegans to shop without constantly consulting ingredient lists.(Please keep in mind, however, that the logo is not yet on every vegan product.)
The Logo is administered by The Vegan Awareness Foundation (official name of Vegan Action), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about veganism and to assist vegan-friendly businesses.
Consumer Certification FAQs
"Why do you charge money for the Certification?" Licensing fees help fund the certification program, protect the legitimacy of the trademark, and assure that the certification program will be able to continue in the future. If we lost ownership of the trademark or if we were no longer able to certify companies, the trademark would have no value as companies could use it on whatever products they wanted, vegan or not.
Why do you accept products that are manufactured on shared machinery?
We do allow companies to use shared machinery (machinery that ran products containing eggs or dairy) in the production of their products, but most of those products carry a label that says so. Companies must assure us that steps are taken to thoroughly clean the machinery. Even though the machines are guaranteed to be cleaned thoroughly between non-vegan and vegan batches, shared machinery may theoretically contain trace amounts of eggs or dairy.
Many vegan companies lease non-vegan kitchens and equipment from other companies to produce their products, or many companies make vegan and non-vegan items on the same machines. It is extremely expensive for these small companies to purchase dedicated vegan machinery of their own. In fact, many vegan companies may not exist if they had to purchase their own equipment.
When we were starting the Vegan Certification Campaign we had to establish what was going to be considered "vegan". Most products with vegan ingredients would not be considered vegan under the strictest standards because of some form of processing contamination. We decided that we would not exclude products that may possibly contain trace amounts of "contamination". We consulted with other prominent vegan organizations and we all agree that vegan purity is more harmful then helpful.
Our motivation is working to end cruelty to animals and we don't feel that avoiding trace amounts of animal products in vegan foods helps end animal suffering. It is far better for the animals that these vegan products exist. So many vegans say that Soy Delicious is the best vegan ice cream they have ever had. Soy Delicious would most likely not exist if they had to purchase their own vegan dedicated machinery. It is far better for people to realize that they have this option instead of nothing. If there was no vegan ice cream how many people would become vegan?
We are working to end cruelty to animals by showing the non-vegan food industry that there is a market for vegan products. Once there are more vegan products available, more people will want to become vegan. As more people become vegan, more companies will be able to afford dedicated machinery. As it stands now, most people think veganism is too hard, restrictive, and expensive. When more vegan food is available it will be easier to find cheaper vegan "substitutions" so people won't feel it is hard, restrictive, or expensive. Making veganism appeal to all is the only way veganism will grow and therefore cruelty to animals will lessen.
Our primary reason for promoting a vegan lifestyle is to protect animals from suffering. Vegan Action is very concerned with the health of humans and of our environment, but we realize that in order to accomplish our goal of protecting animals, there needs to be a large variety of animal free alternatives. The only restrictions we are willing to put on our certification is: vegan or not vegan. Other separate companies issue trademarks for organic, no trans fats, etc.