What is vegan certified?

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If you’re making the transition to a healthier – and much more humane – standard of eating through changes in your diet, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the “Vegan Certified” logo in the whole foods and fruits section while grocery shopping. What, exactly, is it; and, how is it different from being ‘merely’ vegetarian?

Being Vegan

Well first off; being a vegetarian is definitely a good thing and a step in the right direction. Not only do you give your health a fighting chance in this society of processed foods and hormone-injected meat, you also minimize the damage done to the animals, themselves. Now, what is vegan? Being a vegan is precisely what this latter step consists of – making sure you don’t participate in the harming of animals, by eliminating even animal-based products from your diet. Here’s a fun fact from PETA: every single vegan saves 100 animals per year because of their diet.

As for the specifics of vegan certification, all the food providers that carry the Certified Vegan Trademark have undergone a rigorous series of steps to ensure compliance – which, in turn, ensures that the wool isn’t being pulled over your eyes when you confidently pick up a vegan meal. Furthermore eating food with this certification means that when people ask you “what is vegan,” you can produce a vegan certified meal to give them an idea of what it entails.

What is Vegan: The Rigorous Process, Itself

Vegan certification is serious business, and requires a food-provider to submit an application listing their inventory of foods, to ensure that even the sugar contained inside isn’t laced with animal bone char. The individual ingredients must also, of course, adhere to the regulations of non-involvement of animals in the manner specified by the general vegan society. After this stuff is sent in, there’s a waiting period of up to a year – which doesn’t include the time taken to request additional information from the company seeking certification.

There’s a licensing fee involved, which actually fosters more consumer trust: a company seeking vegan certification and receiving the right to wear the logo, will take the necessary steps to ensure that their products aren’t tainted. This fee is considered yearly dues in order for the company to retain vegan certification. As part of the benefits of retention, the company’s also featured on the heavily-trafficked vegan.org website, where the items the company sells can receive extra promotion.

The Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle

In addition to the most important quality of refusing to cause unnecessary suffering to the animals with which you share the planet, being vegan is an inarguably healthy lifestyle choice. For starters, you’ll lose weight much faster once you give up the loads of fat in meats, and many vegans experience a decrease in blood sugar. You’re probably aware that diabetes is one of the biggest killers in the U.S, so this is no small benefit. However, if a diabetic asks you “what is vegan,” take care to caution her to talk to her doctor – after explaining all the benefits of what being vegan has conferred on you – before making any lifestyle changes of her own.

Many vegans report younger-looking skin that practically glows, as well as increased energy during the day. The latter all come from the increased Omega-3 and carbohydrates in your diet; the elimination of animal protein tends to increase your energy because animal protein is hard to digest, and digestion is an energy-sapping process. So, what is being vegan? More than anything else, it is being both conscious and caring.

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