The Vegan Society

Please note: This article was first published on The Vegan Tourist and last updated May 1, 2012.

I want to review a number of Websites on The Vegan Tourist, which I like or consider a good resource for vegans. The Vegan Society’s Website is the first I want to introduce to you.

This British charity is the world’s first vegan society. It was founded in November 1944, and November 1st has since been designated as World Vegan Day in honour of the society’s founding.

As it’s been around a while, they have amassed a vast knowledge about all things vegan. Whether you’re trying to become a vegan, would like to educate yourself or others about a number of issues related to ethical living, or are just looking for information about healthy nutrition, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for on this website.

I’ve been a vegetarian since 1982, but a vegan only since 2010. I found the information provided on this site incredibly helpful in making the transition to a vegan lifestyle.

Being vegan isn’t just about refusing to eat meat or fish. Food, clothing, cosmetics and many other products contain animal-derived substances or additives, or are produced with the help of animal-derived carriers. The Vegan Society lists many of those ingredients online and this list, which I printed out, has been very useful during countless shopping trips.

There’s information on the site about multivitamins and minerals, contraceptives, vaccines, photographic equipment and paper, footwear and clothing, medication, and drinks. Luckily for me, whisky seems to be a truly vegan product.

The Vegan Society also provides information about travelling and eating out (with a focus on the UK), and lists suppliers of vegan goods based in Britain (many ship internationally). You’ll find useful links to other websites, too.

The society provides background information about a number of vegan issues and produces countless educational materials, many of which are free (some can be downloaded from their website). I downloaded their booklet “Plant Based Nutrition,” which is also available in a few other languages, including German.

Vegans need to take B12 supplements and The Vegan Society has produced its own version, the “VEG 1” supplement, which contains the vitamins B2, B6, and B12; also folic acid, vitamin D2, iodine and selenium. I purchased it through their online shop in the past; Luckily, I have now found a shop in Vienna, Austria, which stocks “VEG 1,” so I can buy it locally.

I have also purchased a vegan cookbook through their online shop in the past as well as the society’s quarterly “Vegan” magazine.

The Vegan Society’s Trademark scheme “promotes vegan products and services throughout (its) widely recognized and trusted Sunflower symbol.” Many companies, which sell vegan products, have been granted the right to print the symbol on their products, and it is the only symbol I truly trust. When I see the symbol on a product, I know I don’t need to worry about hidden ingredients or animal testing. The products with the society’s Sunflower Trademark symbol are sold worldwide. I live in Austria, and many companies use this symbol on their vegan products.

The Vegan Society also publishes a shopping guide, the “Animal Free Shopper,” which I bought when I lived in London (many years ago). It’s a handy little guide, which I carried with me whenever I went shopping. However, this guide lists only products sold in the United Kingdom. If you live elsewhere, you might find the society’s online searchable database of vegan products more helpful, as many can be purchased through those companies’ Websites.

All in all, this is a brilliant Website and one of my favourite vegan online resources.


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