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ABOUT VEGAN SOCIETY
Vegan Society was founded in November 1944 and we’ve made tremendous progress since.
The Vegan Society may have been established 70 years ago but veganism has been around much longer. Evidence of people choosing to avoid animal products can be traced back over 2,000 years. As early as 500 BCE, Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras promoted benevolence among all species and followed what could be described as a vegetarian diet. Around the same time, Siddhārtha Gautama (better known as the Buddha) was discussing vegetarian diets with his followers.
In November 1944, Donald Watson (right and below) called a meeting with five other non-dairy vegetarians, including Elsie Shrigley, to discuss non-dairy vegetarian diets and lifestyles. Though many held similar views at the time, these six pioneers were the first to actively found a new movement – despite opposition. The group felt a new word was required to describe them; something more concise than ‘non-dairy vegetarians’. Rejected words included ‘dairyban’, ‘vitan’, and ‘benevore’. They settled on ‘vegan’, containing the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian’. In the words of Donald Watson, it marked “the beginning and end of vegetarian.”
Our Trademark is registered in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and India and used worldwide on over 18,000 products. It represents the international standard for authentic vegan products – that makes it a must for any company seeking to widen its appeal, extend its marketing and increase sales.
Vegan Trademark Standards
The Vegan Society understands the word ‘animal’ to refer to the entire animal kingdom, that is all vertebrates and all multicellular invertebrates. The word may be used either as a noun or an adjective and to refer to either a species or an individual animal, depending on context. Unless otherwise stated, it usually means non-human animals.
The manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative.
Genetically Modified Organisms
The development and/or production of genetically modified organisms (GMO) must not have involved animal genes or animal-derived substances. Products put forward for registration which contain or may contain any GMOs must be labelled as such.
Kitchen and Hygiene Standards
Dishes that are to be labelled vegan must be prepared separately from non-vegan dishes. As a minimum surfaces and utensils must be thoroughly washed prior to being used for vegan cooking. We strongly recommend that a separate set of utensils be procured for this purpose. Be aware of the risk of cross-contamination from non-vegan sources in your kitchen, and take all reasonable practical steps to eliminate this.