Is a Product “Vegan” if the Producer Engages in Animal Testing?

Gary L. Francione
5 min readOct 12, 2021
There are no animal ingredients, but are these things okay for a vegan to eat? (Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash)

There are many discussions on social media on what constitutes a vegan product. Many people think that if the producer of the product engages in animal testing, the product cannot be considered as vegan and not suitable for a vegan to consume.

Some years ago, this issue came up with respect to Daiya cheese substitute. Here is an (slightly edited) essay that I wrote with Anna Charlton back in 2017 and that was originally posted on the Abolitionist Approach website. The reasoning is applicable to any product.


Some people are upset about the fact that Daiya has been acquired by a company that is reported to do animal testing. They are claiming that Daiya products are, therefore, no longer “vegan” although Daiya does not contain any animal ingredients.

That claim makes no sense.

The claim that Daiya is no longer vegan is no different from saying that a package of frozen broccoli isn’t vegan because it is made by a company that also makes meat/dairy/egg products. It is no different from saying that the vegetables you just bought at the farm market are not vegan because the farmer is not a vegan and will use the money you paid to buy animal products she will consume. There is no difference between animal testing and…



Gary L. Francione

Gary L. Francione is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lincoln.