Since I am a vegan, I am suspicious of everything. I see dead animals everywhere, on plates, in clothes, in cosmetics, in household products, in furniture, in toys, absolutely everywhere. And I’m right, they are everywhere.
An example: you buy a certified vegan soya yoghurt and you think you can enjoy it serenely… Not at all! The small sunflower of the Vegan Society certifies the product but not the packaging. If the label of the yoghurt pot is glued then it is likely to be with a glue containing gelatine of animal origin, as this is the case with almost all industrial glues. But being a vegan is not only following a vegan diet; first and foremost it’s refusing to participate in animal exploitation in all its forms. So when I buy a so-called vegan yoghurt I want its packaging to be vegan too, otherwise I do not want it!
Certification relates to a product. It says nothing about packaging, brand, company, company manager or shareholders! You can not imagine the number of vegan brands held by meat and milk producers! Even the word vegan is not a controlled designation. Today nothing prevents a producer from labelling its products vegan when they are not.
It is true that certifications do not guarantee manufacturers’ morals. Thus, the brand Brewdog, which has several of its beers certified vegan, does not hesitate to reward its loyal customers with a stuffed rodent as a bottle holder. I’d like to take the opportunity to inform you that a petition is circulating to remove the Vegan Society trademark from BrewDog’s products. You can sign it by clicking here. This is just for the principle. There is no chance that this petition will succeed. The certified products are vegan, not the company manager unfortunately.
The same goes for the cruelty-free rabbit. As the name suggests, it ensures that the product has not been tested on animals, knowing that it allows testing on water fleas. The definition of animal world is not always clearly established. Moreover, the cruelty-free certification says nothing about the product itself, which can contain a lot of substances of animal origin such as milk proteins, honey, egg, tallow, collagen … This certification is at the source of a great deal of confusion in the minds of consumers because indeed, cruelty-free does not mean vegan!
In September 2016, a new Vegan Certification Company emerged, Expertise Vegane Europe. It proposes to certify the composition of products, the tests carried out, the packaging, the organic, non-polluting and GM-free origin of the ingredients and even the absence of endocrine disruptors. The first certification files are in progress. A case to follow!
Fellow vegans, there is still a long way to go. I am not talking about the time when animals will no longer be used as commodities, I am just talking about the possibility for a vegan to be able to consume according to his ethics through appropriate labels and certifications.
While waiting for better days, do as I do: challenge brands on social networks, sign petitions, get rid of your non-vegan stuff, refuse banknotes that contain tallow, privilege 100% vegan companies. And never give up! Activism is a sum of small actions in our everyday lives and the more we continue to act, the more we will contribute to making this world a better place!