The Vegan Village was set to help promote vegan companies online. The website includes around 200 vegan companies and contacts in the main listings, and also features a noticeboard for vegan 'small ads', a recipe book of favourite vegan meals, and a selection of vegan homepages.
The main listings are primarily organisations in the UK which are run by vegans on vegan principles (with a few 'special mentions' for non-vegan businesses which, in our opinion, go above and beyond the call of duty). The listings are free, and the work is supported by our sponsors.
The Vegan Village started back in September 1997 as a way of bringing vegan companies together in one place to benefit from joint marketing. We started with the website, and a printed newsletter which we sent out once a month. We then started to create mini websites for several of the companies and helped them take their first steps on the internet. This included very familiar vegan faces such as Plamil, Redwood, Vegfam and Ethical Wares. At that time some of the companies didn't even have email, so we printed off their emails and faxed them to them, then typed in the replies on their behalf!
Many things have happened over 14 years, and in internet terms things have moved on apace and pretty much every vegan organisation or company now has a website. However the muscle of having everyone together in one place still pays dividends, and the Vegan Village helps new vegan businesses get their name out there when they launch, sends a steady stream of visitors to their websites on a regular basis, and offers additional marketing opportunities via the free noticeboard and paid sponsorship.
So what do we get out of it? A good vibe and, more recently, the advent of sponsorship advertising - please visit our sponsors websites regularly, their support is invaluable to us.
For the vegan consumer we offer a place where you can come and visit regularly and find out what is going on, plus a good selection of vegan recipes and now, via Facebook and Twitter, the opportunity to easily give feedback and get more involved.
A note on the vegan definition: We go by the following definition, commonly attributed to Donald Watson - "the word "veganism" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practical – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment". After 14 years we would say that it's impossible to draw a line between what is vegan and not-vegan that would please everyone (and we know we have tried!), and moreover what is possible and practical very much depends on your personal circumstances and for businesses, the industry that you are in. We therefore look at each company within their industry, compare it with what else is available, and then make a decision as to whether to give a listing or not. The results won't be to everyone's approval - and unfortunately you can't please all of the vegans all of the time - but if we can please most vegans most of the time, and help promote the vegan companies and products, then that will do for now!
In terms of raw food and animal rights, we leave this to the experts, linking only to the main UK website(s) in these areas.
Disclaimer: Please note that inclusion in the Vegan Village does not imply endorsement. Whilst every care is taken in the production of the website, we cannot be held responsible for any results arising from the contents. The Vegan Village is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.