veganandcrueltyfreeWe often get requests to develop products that can carry a vegan claim.   It’s not difficult to develop a product made from plant material and not made from animal derived materials- that can be done.  Animals are rarely used for testing anymore and new methods have been developed to replace many of the tests formerly done on animals.    But that same chemical may have been tested on animals decades ago to prove its safety.  It may have been tested on animals because there simply was no other test available.  The truly “ethical vegan” may struggle with this. So the question is always asked.  When you say “vegan”, what do you mean?  What is it you will accept? What is not acceptable? The lines are not always clear.

Vegans are often confused with vegetarians but they are not the same.  The “Vegan” term itself was coined in England in 1944 by Donald Watson when he founded the Vegan Society of England.  It started more as a vegetarian type of diet back then and excluded consumption of meat and dairy products and has evolved to what it is today.  Today there are different forms of veganism.  There’s the “ethical vegan” that believes the diet and all other areas of their life should be void of meat, food and materials that are obtained by exploiting or slaughtering animals.  For example, in addition to the obvious: meat- silk, wool, leather, down, even bee’s wax wouldn’t be consumed by the “ethical vegan”.

The “dietary vegan” is one that excludes food from the diet unless it is derived from a fruit, bean, nut, seed or vegetable.  Soy is a staple of the vegan diet as a valued source of protein and can be made to mimic milk, meat, burgers and sausage made from soy.

MARGUERITE PETIT   Arizona Natural Resources Director of Quality Assurance