Just a few years ago I didn’t know any vegans. As a matter of fact, when I became a vegan, I was the first vegan I ever knew.  My closest friend, Maria, became vegan at the same time, so we were each the first vegan that the other had ever met. I’ve met hundreds of vegans since then, but I continue to be aware that the word vegan is a relatively new introduction to the modern lexicon. So much so, that many people still don’t really know what it means, and others have no knowledge that we even exist. Every now and then I still run someone who has never heard the word.

The companies who take the time and energy to make things easier for vegans (and as a byproduct of so doing get the word out there) deserve our thanks. Food companies, like Amy’s, who puts the word “vegan” at the beginning of the ingredient list on all of their animal product free offerings are doing us a great favor. They are exposing more people to the word and they are making it easier for new vegans who often feel that they have a daunting task ahead of them. I learned, as most vegans do, that the perceived difficulty is actually much greater than the reality, but in the beginning, little things like vegan friendly labeling are a great source of comfort, and even now they are helpful and appreciated.

The following is a list of companies that clearly label their products that are vegan. I would like to publicly thank them and encourage others to voice their support as well.  They are pioneers. Hopefully, someday, all vegan products will clearly be labeled as such, but for now these are the ones that are a step ahead.

Amy’s Kitchen
PO Box 449
Petaluma, CA 94953
amys.com

Fantastic Food, Inc.
Napa, CA 94558
www.fantasticfoods.com
800-288-1089

Simply Asia
PO Box 13242
Berkeley, CA 94712-4242
simplyasia.net 

Smart Balance
Heart Beat Foods
PO Box 397
Cresskill, NJ 07626-0397
www.smartbalance.com

Tasty Bite
Preferred Brands International
PO Box 3487
Stamford, CT 06901
www.tastybite.com

Thai Kitchen
Epicurean International, Inc.
PO Box 13242
Berkeley, CA 94712-4242
thaikitchen.com

Another thing that we can do is to encourage these and other companies, to make more of their vegetarian products suitable for vegans. In one move they’d get us, and the people who are sensitive to eggs and dairy too. Who wouldn’t want a bigger market share?

Take a moment to call or write, and let your voice be heard.