Every movement needs a logo—and the vegan movement has many. As a vegan, you should be aware of the most common ones used widely on menus, food packages, patches, and flags.
From vegan emojis to official “vegan certified” trademarks, this post will cover all the vegan symbols, logos, labels, and signs you should know!
Common Elements in Vegan Symbols
There is no single official “vegan symbol” or “vegan logo.” Instead, there are many. However, there are common elements shared between most of them:
• The letter V. Most vegan icons include the letter V. Sometimes, they also include other letters, such as: “VE.” “VG.” “VGN.” Sometimes on restaurant menus, “V” will mean vegetarian, while “VE” means vegan.
• A leaf or plant. Very commonly, a leaf or plant will be used as a symbol of veganism or vegetarianism, too. Usually it looks something like a spinach leaf. But also see the section below on the vegan plant emoji.
• The color green. As another reference to leaves/plants, the color green is very often associated with veganism or vegetarianism. Probably more than half of all vegan companies or organizations include a green color in their branding.
Two Classes of Vegan Symbols
Vegan symbols or logos can be divided into roughly two categories:
1. Logos used to promote the vegan movement: These symbols are meant to be shared widely, printed on shirts, patches, flags, and the like. They’re often included in profile pictures or usernames on social media to show support for vegan ideals. Such symbols are often in the public domain.
2. Logos used to denote vegan products: Whether on food packaging or restaurant menus, symbols are used to denote vegan options. These symbols act as shorthand, relieving vegans of the need to check ingredients. Many vegan certification symbols on food packaging are trademarked—you must apply for the right to use them.
Now let’s get into some of the specific vegan symbols used widely today!
V in a Circle
There are several vegan V logos that include a circle around the V. The first one to discuss is just the plain and simple V enclosed in a circle. It is typically a sans serif V.
It can be written in type as Ⓥ. This is a Unicode character, which was created in 1987 and is recognized by most computers.(See below for “how to type the vegan symbol.”)
This symbol is parallel to the enclosed A or E logos of anarchism and egalitarianism. (The anarchism logo is the much more popular one.)
Of all the vegan symbols, this simple enclosed V has connotations of ethical veganism due to the similarity to the anarchist symbol.
The Kosher V vs the Vegan V
When you see a V in a circle, it should not necessarily be assumed to denote vegan food. There is actually a kosher food certification agency (Vaad Hoeir) that uses a V in a circle to denote kosher food.
Vaad Hoeir’s V is set in a serif font rather than the sans serif typically used for the vegan V in a circle.
I actually wrote a whole blog post comparing kosher and vegan. But suffice it to say, there are many kosher foods that are not vegan. So you would not want to assume that a food package containing this kosher V is vegan.
Other times, a V in a circle may be used to just mean “vegetarian” (but still including eggs or milk). So, while the V in a circle is often used to mean “vegan,” you don’t want to depend on that.
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V in a Heart
Sometimes a V in a heart is also used in vegan symbolism. This is the case with the Vegan.org certification, one of the most common and trusted logos denoting vegan products, especially in the U.S.
The Vegan.org certification logo denotes that the product contains no animal ingredients and is not tested on animals. Over 1,000 companies and products carry the logo today.
This certification is bestowed by the Vegan Awareness Foundation (another name for Vegan Action). The logo is trademarked, and it should not be used on your own products without applying for and being approved for certification.
V Symbol With a Leaf
Several versions of vegetarian and vegan symbols include a leaf branching off one side of the V.
One specific example of this kind of logo is the European vegetarian label, created by the European Vegetarian Union (EVU).
The EVU’s website has vector downloads of this V logo, along with an explanations for how to type the icon and show it on your website (with HTML).
But there are other versions of this vegan V with a leaf. Some include leaves on both sides of the V. Some include the V with a leaf and the rest of the word “vegan” written out, too.
The Fork Bracelet
Another vegan symbol today is a fork bent into a bracelet. This is not just a symbol of veganism in general, however. This denotes adherence to The Liberation Pledge, which is a more strict stance I explain in my blog post all about it.
People who take The Liberation Pledge commit not only to being vegan but also to refuse to sit at tables where animals are being eaten.
Many adherents of the Pledge wear a bent fork around their wrists as a bracelet. Usually, this is a real metal fork. But I’ve also seen rubber wristbands featuring a fork graphic on them, as well as people getting tattoos of a fork bent around their wrist.
Forks can carry vegan symbolism in general, too. One of the most famous plant-based documentaries and cookbooks is called Forks Over Knives. There are several vegan businesses and organizations that use a fork in their logo.
Basically, a fork is one of the simple tools that vegans are using to change the world. So it makes a great logo.
The Vegan Flag
The vegan flag is composed of a white V separating a green and blue field. It was designed in 2017 by an international group of designers launched by Gad Hakimi of the Animal Liberation Front in Israel.
The blue in the vegan flag represents marine animals and flying animals. The green represents land animals. The white V represents veganism, as well as the equality and unity between humans and nonhuman animals.
The V is also an inverted pyramid, which symbolizes the ability to do the impossible (to make a vegan world!).
This page on the official website has more background on the flag, the exact color codes, along with guidelines on how it can be used and adapted to different purposes and presentations.
The Vegan Coat of Arms
I was surprised and delighted to find this just recently—the official vegan coat of arms. It’s downloadable here.
It was designed by Dutch artist Maria Tiqwah, who has released it into the public domain.
That means you can use it for any purpose legally. Go make t-shirts of it, make posters of it, whatever—just spread it far and wide!
The vegan coat of arms depicts a triumphant cow up on two legs next to the vegan flag. A small piglet and rooster are also present.
A scroll reads: “Have Courage ~ Be Kind ~ Go Vegan.”
The Paw and Fist (“Animal Liberation, Human Liberation”)
This is another common logo or crest that you’ll see in the vegan community.
A human fist is a symbol that’s been used for centuries by human resistance movements—particularly by socialists, communists, and the labor movement. Here it’s paired with a paw symbolizing animal liberation, too.
Most ethical vegans are invested to some degree in human liberation movements, as well, so this is a much loved symbol by many vegans. It’s been reproduced in many, many places. I struggled to find any attribution as to who created this logo—but it seems to be treated as if it’s public domain today.
Green Dot in a Green Square
One of the more “different” looking symbols in vegetarian iconography is the Indian vegetarian mark. As you can see, it is a green dot in a green square.
This symbol is actually mandatory on all Indian vegetarian food. And a brown symbol is likewise included on the non-vegetarian food.
It’d be so convenient if all vegan and non-vegan food were marked that way around the world!
The Veganarchy Symbol
The “veganarchy” logo is a V in a circle overlapping with an A in a circle. This denotes support both for veganism and for anarchism (a.k.a. veganarchy).
This remains a fairly uncommon symbol in practice—I rarely ever see it—despite how many vegans support the political ideals of anarchism.
Ethical veganism and anarchism have both long been popular in punk music scenes. They both also share similar views about hierarchy, nonviolence, and individualism. I’m curious if this symbol and designation (“veganarchist”) will become more popular in the future or not.
This specific logo was first used in a 1995 pamphlet called Animal Liberation and Social Revolution: A Vegan Perspective on Anarchism or an Anarchist Perspective on Veganism by Brian Dominick.
The Animal Liberation Front (A.L.F.) Logo
Here’s yet another vegan spin-off from the anarchist A logo. Here is the logo of the Animal Liberation Front, which is a “direct action” animal activist group.
The A.L.F. is known for their more radical tactics, including breaking into factory farms and animal testing facilities to free the animals. They’re known for wearing ski-masks and other face coverings, similar to Antifa (Antifascist Action).
Given the radical tactics, it’s fitting that the A.L.F.’s logo would resemble and make reference to the anarchist symbol.
The Vegan Emoji 🌱
Most commonly, the “seedling” emoji 🌱 is used to denote a plant-based diet (typically vegetarian or vegan). So again, this ties into the theme of leaves in vegan symbols.
It’s worth noting that this emoji is not officially tied to veganism in any way. So it may sometimes be used to denote gardening, growth, or other concepts.
Also note: Emojis are shown a bit differently on different platforms and devices. On Twitter, for example, a different exact graphic is used than on Facebook.
These are a group of trademarks that many vegans care about seeing on products. However, it should be noted that “cruelty-free” does not always mean vegan.
Cruelty-free rabbit logos are used to denote cosmetics and hygiene products that have not been tested on animals. These products may still include some animal ingredients, however.
You can read about the standards companies must meet to display the Leaping Bunny logo here. Here is more info on the “Not Tested on Animals” bunny logo by Choose Cruelty Free. PETA has its own “Beauty Without Bunnies” program with its own specific standards, too.
Other Vegan Symbols and Logos
There are many other variations on these symbols. Most include similar elements: the letter V, a leaf, and the color green.
For a sampling of other vegan logos and symbols, you can scroll this Shutterstock page full of them. Those images are not free to use without a Shutterstock account—but scrolling the page will quickly provide more examples of what to look for.
More vegan certification logos from around the world are collected at VeganLabels.info.
Vegan vs Vegetarian Symbols
There is often no hard line between vegan, vegetarian, and other plant-based symbolism. They tend to bleed into one another. When you see a “V” on a menu, it’s not always clear immediately if it means vegan or vegetarian, for example. You have to check.
Veganism tends to have more symbols than vegetarianism because, as a movement, veganism represents a stronger belief system.
Many vegetarians are a bit casual about their diet or beliefs. Vegans are more often strong believers. Our diet is a further departure from mainstream beliefs, so there’s often more intellectual and emotional investment, and more reason to have symbols, flags, and the like.
Usually a “V” or “VE” symbol is used to denote vegan options on a menu. Sometimes a leaf may be used instead. At many restaurants, “V” is used to denote vegetarian, while “VE” is used to denote vegan. Look for the key, or ask the wait staff. Sometimes a vegan menu is available.
Some menus also include mention that “Most menu items can be made vegan.” So keep that in mind as you’re browsing your options. You may be able to have one of the meat or egg dishes and just swap in some tofu, “fake meat,” or extra vegetables to make that dish vegan, too.
What Do “Vegan Certified” Symbols Mean?
There are a number of vegan certification logos that make it easier to quickly identify vegan products. Each one may have slightly different standards and methods for certifying adherence.
You can read a sampling of the standards below:
- Vegan Society trademark standards (U.K.)
- Vegan.org certification standards (U.S.)
- VegeCert Vegan Standards (Canada)
- EVE Vegan Compliance documents (France)
- NZVS Vegan Certification (page 16) (New Zealand)
- PETA-approved Vegan statement of assurance
- More programs at VeganLabels.info.
The general meaning of a vegan certification is that the product does not include animal ingredients and is not tested on animals. The exact level of strictness and the definitions used just vary a bit between programs.
For me personally, when I see any of these vegan labels on a product, I feel comfortable buying it. But some vegans may only be most comfortable with a specific certification they’re most familiar with.
Can I Use the Vegan Symbol? Is It Copyrighted?
There are many vegan symbols—some are copyrighted, but others are not.
The basic V in a circle (Ⓥ) vegan logo can be used by anyone for any purpose, as it is just a basic unicode character. Many other vegan logos have also been released into the public domain, and they free to be used by anyone.
Other vegan logos, particularly the “vegan certification” trademarks, are legally protected, however. You must apply to those programs and be approved to earn the right to use those trademarks on your products.
I have tried to note on this page which vegan symbols are in the public domain and who created or owns each logo. In some cases, it was hard to find this information—I apologize if I got anything wrong or missed any details.
In general, logos used to promote the vegan movement broadly tend to be free to use. But logos used to certify vegan products tend to be trademarked and should not be used for commercial purposes without proper approval.
How to Type the Vegan Symbol
Personally, when I want to use the vegan unicode symbol Ⓥ or the vegan emoji 🌱, I just copy it from somewhere (like this page), then paste it where I want it.
In fact, I regularly go to the website Emoji Copy to copy and paste emojis on my computer.
But there are other ways of inserting the classic unicode V in a circle logo. Unfortunately, this varies by operating system. Macs are different from Windows, Linux and so on.
• The unicode code for Ⓥ is U+24CB.
• Typing on a Windows computer, it should work to type ALT+9419 and get Ⓥ. Make sure the Num Lock is turned on.
This page also has advice on how to insert vegan icons using HTML on a website.
Vegan Abbreviations: VG, VE, VGN?
There is no standardized vegan abbreviation. As noted above about menu designations, personally I see “VE” used most often for “vegan.” But some places may use “VG” to mean vegan, or “VGN” or just “V.”
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