For anyone who is a vegan, whether just starting out your journey through Veganuary, or well established, the world of product labelling can be a minefield. There are of course those products which proudly hold the Vegan Society logo, and it’s a pleasure to be able to simply lift those off the shelf and drop into your basket without a thought. However, there are many products out there that are not as innocent as they may first appear.
We’ve all come across a number of products on the market which are what we tend to call ‘accidentally vegan’. Those which, though not originally intended to be vegan, and not certified as such, simply do not contain any animal products. This looks great, we think. And some of them are. But it’s always good to double-check the label. Peer down to the bottom, and you’ll see the name of the company who produces it. It could be a small company, and one with good ethics, but it could also be Unilever or Nestle, both of whom actively test on animals. Buying their products therefore funds and supports the testing of animals – albeit indirectly.
From Lipton Iced Tea, to that cherished jar of Marmite. Even that treasured cup of PG Tips or Nescafe coffee. BUAV recently reported that Unilever were dosing piglets with Lipton Iced Tea to see if it could counter the diarrhoea caused by the E-Coli virus (also given to the poor little piglets). I don’t need any brand of anything enough to sit back and allow that to happen.
For many of the products produced by these big corporations, there are 100% animal friendly alternatives – and they’re often better for you too. I’ve made a list of some of my favourite replacements:
- Marmite – Meridian Yeast Extract. A lovely spread and just as tasty. Great in gravies or stews. I’ve seen it available to buy in Holland & Barrett, and it’s also available on sites such as Goodness Direct.
- Lipton/Nestea Iced Tea – Hampstead Teas Lemon Green. So much more refreshing than any other iced tea I have previously tried, and without any artificial after-taste. Available from the Hampstead Tea website, or Amazon.
- PG Tips – Clipper Teas. Huge range of flavours and types – many of which are organic and fair-trade. Both human and animal friendly! Easily available in most supermarkets.
- Nescafe Coffee – Cafe Direct, Union Spirit, Clipper or Ethical Exchange. From instant or ground, to whole beans. There are lots of ethical and animal –friendly coffees out there.
- Jelly Tots – Goody Good Stuff. They do a range of great flavours, but I particularly love the Cola Breeze. Really sweet and chewy, and some of them are pretty tangy too!
These products are mostly easy to find in supermarkets, health shops and online. Sites such as Goodness Direct and the Ethical Superstore have a seemingly endless range of vegan and ethical products. It would be easy to get carried away, in fact!
If it seems like hard work to begin with, keep at it. You will find the brands you love and learn where to get them. Many of the new products I’ve discovered, I like better than the old ones anyway!
I found that the extra effort is well worth it for the well-being of animals everywhere. If the company you’re buying the ‘accidentally vegan’ foods from are testing on animals, it’s not really vegan!
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, do feel free to ask them in the comments section.
Have a wonderful week ahead!