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What Is The Best Vegan Certification?

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

The issue with vegan certifications lies in the fact that they contradict the central ideology of veganism. The definition of veganism, as described by

PETA is,

“A vegan (strict vegetarian) does not consume meat, dairy products, eggs, honey, or any product derived from an animal. A vegan diet can (and should) be full of a wide variety of delicious, nutritious foods, including vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, seeds, and fruits. Vegans don’t wear leather, fur, silk, or wool. Many refuse to use products that are made with animal ingredients, products that are filtered using animal parts (such as some wines, beers, and white sugars), and products that have been tested on animals.

Similarly, The Vegan Society’s definition is,

"A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude-as far as is possible and practicable-all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals."

Vitamins, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and prescription drugs have a difficult time abiding by these definitions of being “vegan” because animal testing is usually a prerequisite for the development of these products.

For this reason, many companies avoid the terminology “vegan” as it could be considered inaccurate and it places the manufacturer at risk of undue misbranding and/or mislabeling.

For example, the heme used by Impossible Foods was tested on animals and hence vegan certification would not be appropriate. The calcium in a multivitamin has been tested on animals previously and the multivitamin is technically not vegan.

A more accurate and preferred certification would be one using the terminology, “animal-free” (e.g. Certified Animal-Free).

VeganMed, Inc. Certified Animal-Free Logo

Certified Animal-Free aligns with the following:

  1. The American Medical Association (AMA) uses this terminology

    1. The AMA urges manufacturers to include all ingredients and components present in medical products on the product label, including both active and inactive ingredients, and denote any derived from an animal source. They also encourage cultural awareness regarding patient preferences associated with medical products containing active or inactive ingredients or components derived from animal sources.

  2. Medical Information departments typically do not use the word “vegan”

    1. Most medical information departments will provide their responses as “Our product does or does not contain animal-derived ingredients”. This is in part due to the inaccuracy of calling the product vegan for the reasons described above.

  3. Is inclusive and incorporates all ideologies

    1. Globally, millions of individuals avoid animal-derived ingredients for a multitude of reasons, including health, animal cruelty, dietary preference, environment, and religious or personal beliefs. Addressing their needs simply creates an inclusive and kinder world!

Co-authored by: Aurash Nicholas Sadeghi, Dana Little


Disclaimer: The product and/or medical information provided on VeganMed is of a general nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product.


Looking for certified and verified animal-free products?

Thank you for your awareness and concern for animal-derived ingredients!

If you have any further questions about ingredients in your medicines and supplements, feel free to reach out to the VeganMed team!

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