The UK Vegan Society Trademark is a very useful guide to searching for products that are suitable for vegans.
‘Cruelty Free International’ using the logo above, commonly known as the ‘Leaping Bunny’ is universally recognised as meaning that the product has not been tested on animals. However, this label alone cannot be taken as confirmation that the product does not contain animal ingredients.
For this reason, we should also look for the logos or labels that are clearly marked as suitable for vegans. Some brands carry more than one logo.
Some products are not yet adequately labeled or are labeled in such a way that it is confusing for the reader. Please consult Product Lists from stores and write to them directly for confirmation if in doubt.
It is widely publicised that animal testing is no longer a legal requirement in Europe. However it should be noted and understood that large companies with a multinational consumer base are legally required by some countries to carry out testing before their products may be marketed.
It is, however, relatively easy to find inexpensive products in most major supermarkets.
Vegans do not eat foods that are obtained from animals. That includes the flesh of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and hunted animals such as deers, pheasants, pigeons etc. They also do not eat fish or shellfish, dairy, eggs, honey or foods that contain ingredients that come from animals’ bodies.
Fortunately, every animal food can be replaced with a plant alternative. The range is growing and as the number of vegans increases, so too will the number of inexpensive, good quality, widely available alternatives. Here are some suggestions:
Plant Food Alternatives to Animal Foods
Flesh & Fish
Tofu, tempeh, seitan, meat replacements made from pea protein, wheat or soy, and vegan paté are all great alternatives to animal flesh. Products to watch out for include steaks, sausages, burgers, strips and ready meals or ‘take-away style meals available from most supermarkets and online specialist stores. Also check out the freezer section of supermarkets for handy products such as frozen vegan mince to make everything from shepherd’s and cottage pie to chilli. Many supermarkets are now introducing new brands and expanding appropriately labelled vegan ranges, or you can find a vast range of products in most large supermarkets. Ask at your local store. Many convenience stores now carry vegan friendly ranges.
Alternatively, there is a huge variety of online recipe and support sites as well as an astonishing selection of cookbooks for those who wish to make these items for themselves.
Ice Cream: Major supermarkets now sell delicious non-dairy ice cream. Look for these in the free-from or vegan freezer section.
There are some very nice niche market brands but please be aware that while some of them advertise that they are dairy free, they are not vegan if they contain other animal products such as honey.
Plant Milks: Soy, oat, hemp, rice, and nut milks. Most supermarkets carry a wide range of fresh and UHT varieties. You can even get plant milk at your local corner shop or petrol station. If you like milk in coffee please do not become alarmed if plant milk appears to ‘curdle’; this is simply the plant protein separating. Try using less milk, and different varieties until you find one you are happy with. Plant creams work very well in coffee, as does heating a commercial soy milk such as Plamil and adding it to coffee.
Plant creams: Soy, grain or nut based. Available at supermarkets, online, at health stores. Available in pouring and whipped consistency.
Plant cheese: The range of plant cheese is excellent. There are several brands including soy free ‘cheeses’. Violife is very reasonably priced, melts well and has good flavor. The smoked slices are excellent. There are also excellent replacements for cream cheese. There are also excellent supermarket own brand ranges. Most countries have small producers of excellent replacements for Brie, Camembert, Aged Cheese, and Parmesan. There is also a growing vegan artisan industry producing excellent ethical replacements to dairy cheese. They are expensive but usually no more expensive than their dairy equivalents.
Plant yogurt: Available at supermarkets and some convenience stores including good natural or plain yogurt, and set Greek style.
Plant based butter: Several brands are available at supermarkets as well as online . Brand names to watch out for include Pure in sunflower or soy varieties, Biona, Sunlite and Vitalite. Large brands such as Flora also produce vegan friendly butter but always read the label to make sure they do not contain animal products.
There are vegan friendly blocks that are suitable for baking such as Naturli, Stork and Flora Plant butter. Ranges vary by country but you should find something suitable in your local supermarket.
Dairy Free Chocolate Vegan chocolate can be just as luxurious as what you are used to. Some brands such as Booja Booja, Considerit Chocolate and Moo Free are all vegan while others have some suitable products. If you are not a fan of dark chocolate then you might like Vego. Search around and you can buy it in the UK. Another great option for vegan ‘milk’ chocolate Celtic Chocolates. Their Choices range is also vegan and excellent. Vegan chocolate brands are available online here and here. Large brands are making an increasingly good range of vegan friendly chocolate bars. (Please be aware of the issue of human slavery in the chocolate industry and purchase ethical alternatives).
Vegan sweeteners: Agave, maple, rice and fruit syrups. Date syrup is recommended as the healthiest sweetener and dates can be used to replace sugar in confectionery and baking.
Brands to watch out for include Sweet Freedom which also includes Hot Chocolate.
Available online, at health stores, in supermarkets.
Mayonnaise: You will find brands of Egg Free Mayonnaise such as Kelkin, Plamil, and Vegenaise at online stores, health stores, and some supermarkets. Large brands are also making vegan friendly versions of traditional mayonnaise.
Tofu is a useful replacement for scrambled eggs, in omelettes and quiches. You can also use chickpea flour.
Commercial replacements for baking and cooking can be found online, in health stores and in some supermarkets. There are also a growing range of vegan friendly egg replacements for scrambled and omelette type recipes that can also be used in baking.
Alcohol & Drinks
Some alcohol and drinks contain or use animal ingredients. Many wines are now labeled suitable for vegans in your local supermarket.
Footwear & Clothing
Check out shops and do some research on the internet as the range of products suitable for vegans is increasing all the time as the population of vegans increases.
Vegans do not use products that contain animal ingredients or that were tested on other animals.
Cosmetics, personal care products, and cleaning products that carry the Leaping Bunny label or that are labelled cruelty free have not been tested on other animals but are not necessarily vegan. Products that carry the Vegan Society label are suitable for vegans.
There is a great range available at supermarkets, large stores such as Boots and Superdrug.
Many brands are producing vegan ranges or aiming to be fully vegan in the near future. If you are unsure about a product you can write to the manufacturers or consult some of well researched and up to date databases such as Ethical Elephant. Online make up and skin care sites often give information about products or you can use vegan as a filter when searching.
Household & Cleaning Products
If there is a product or practice listed on this website that you know is not vegan or that is in some way unethical, please contact us so that we can amend the list to reflect the non-violent ethos of veganism.