We will not certify any products that exploit animals as workers, but regrettably many others do.
Transportation, security, powering machinery, retrieving, searching or land clearing, are all ways animals are exploited. Unfortunately, this is another one of those details of the manufacturing process that is not outlined on a website, let alone on a label. Short of a certification process that specifically bans these practices, it is nearly impossible to know which goods have exploited animals as workers in their making.
In transportation, animals are exploited to carry goods from one place to another, for transporting human animals or pulling sleds or plows. Animals are also used to provide security, like guard dogs to protect various assets. In addition, they are used to power machinery, for example in the case of grinding wheels for flour or driving water pumps. Finally, animals are also used in searching and retrieving, as in the case of truffles that are harvested with the help of dogs or pigs, and cats to hunt mice and rats.
Our vegan certification does not allow the exploitation of animals as workers—whether directly or indirectly, and this was something the Vegan World Alliance (VWA) took issue with when we banned the ISO-23662 standard.
Regrettably, many other certifications do not have such measures or rely on the words of for-profit corporations to be honest and to police themselves, instead of independent inspections.
What is ethically wrong with killing, animal testing or any other form of animal exploitation is not where it occurs in the supply chain, or whether it occurs to an animal that looks like a cow, but that it occurs at all. Always support products, services, certifications and organizations that align with your beliefs. Ours are clear and our dedication to our vision is unwavering.