WHY DO YOU ACCEPT PRODUCTS THAT ARE MANUFACTURED ON SHARED MACHINERY?
We do allow companies to use shared machinery (machinery that ran products containing animal products/ingredients) in the production of their products, but most of those products carry a label that says so. Companies must provide documentation of the steps that 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 contain trace amounts of eggs or dairy. For this reason, a Vegan Certified Product may not be acceptable to individuals with food allergies.
Many vegan companies lease non-vegan kitchens and equipment from other companies to produce their products and 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 than 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. It is far better for people to realize that they have vegan options instead of nothing. If there were fewer vegan options 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 make more vegan products and 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 options so people will find it easy and accessible to be vegan. Making veganism appeal to all is the only way veganism will grow and therefore cruelty to animals will lessen.
DO YOU ACCEPT PRODUCTS THAT CONTAINED REFINED SUGAR?
We do not allow sugar that is refined through bone char to carry the Certified Vegan Logo. Any companies that use sugar in their products must send a statement from the sugar supplier that guarantees that they do not use animal products in the production of the sugar.
I DON’T THINK YOU SHOULD CERTIFY PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT ORGANIC…CONTAIN PETROLEUM PRODUCTS…CONTAIN HYDROGENATED OILS…ETC.
We understand and sympathize with these concerns. One of the goals of Vegan Action is to create growth in the vegan marketplace and increase the availability of vegan products. 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. We recognize that veganism must come to the mainstream before major changes will happen with animals and the environment. 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.
We truly believe that purchasing power will have an impact on companies that use ingredients and chemicals that harm the environment or animal products in their manufacturing. Let them know that you don’t want these ingredients to be used! When companies see that it is profitable to market environmentally and animal-friendly products- the market will boom with new products. Every time you spend money, you vote with your dollars!