Does v mean vegan or vegetarian?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Does v mean vegan or vegetarian??’’ and will discuss other vegetarian symbols and their meaning.

Does v mean vegan or vegetarian?

V means both vegan and vegetarian. Vegan and vegetarian goods and services are identified with the V-Label, an internationally recognized, registered emblem. Consumers may use it as a straightforward and dependable buying guide. Transparency and clarity are promoted by firms using the V-Label.

The availability and sales of vegan-labeled products increased substantially. In the United States, the plant-based food market was totaling $7 billion and has grown twice as fast as the animal-based food market in 2020. Nevertheless, the share of people who call themselves vegan is still relatively low in Western countries (ranging from 1% to 4% depending on the country). Looking at the German market, the production value of vegan and vegetarian food has increased by 37% to € 374.9 million from 2019 to 2020, while the number of vegans and vegetarians only slightly increased (2).

However, the FDA does not require the labeling of food as vegetarian and does not include a definition of “vegetarian” for use in food labeling and any vegetarian certification symbol currently on packaged foods comes from voluntary certification organizations, such as Vegan Action, Vegetarian Society, and the American Vegetarian Association, and is optional for manufacturers to seek (1). SImilarly, in the European Union, the term vegan is currently not regulated. The two most widespread labels in the European Union that meet these requirements are the V-Label and the Vegan Trademark. The former label is the most common vegan label for food, while the latter is also often found on non-food products (2).

Symbols and Meanings of Vegetarian and Veganism

Vegetarian and vegan emblems come in a variety of forms. The most common design is a V topped with a leaf, which may be seen on menus, merchandise, and even logos. However, there are a plethora of others, each with a distinct connotation.

Vegan-labeled products can then be divided into two categories. First, there are products mimicking foods of animal origin. These products include, for example, meat substitutes as well as vegan variants of cheese and milk. All of these products are produced “intentionally vegan”. Second, there are products that do not purposely substitute animal products, but of which there can be vegan versions. These products include, for example, cookies, gummy bears, baked goods, beverages, and spreads. We refer to vegan versions of these products as “randomly vegan,” signifying that they are not produced intentionally-vegan but are vegan by default (2). 

V label with a leaf

Vegetarianism’s “V” emblem with a leaf is one of the most well-known. There are several methods to go about making it, and a few of them are shown here. Vegetarians use a V formed of leaves, however, any V with a leaf on it is acceptable. V symbols have been present on menus for many years, used internationally since 1996 (3).

There are several instances of this that can be found on the internet. Logos using similar symbology may be seen on a slew of websites, blogs, and companies. This logo is well-known because it combines the letter V, which stands for vegan, with a leaf, which symbolizes the way of life. Specifically, vegans’ commitment to a greener lifestyle.

Though less common, vegetarians might make use of this symbolism as well. The leaf signifies vegetarianism as a diet rather than a way of life. Vegetarian diets tend to be high in fruits and vegetables.

Enclosed V symbol

The enclosing V sign is often used by vegans to denote their diet and lifestyle. This is something you’ll see a lot in vegan biographies, postings, and forums. Some vegan websites and blogs, as well as some non-vegan businesses, may use this as their logo.

As a result, this emblem unavoidably signifies vegetarianism. In the end, it’s nothing more than a circle with a V in it, and anybody, vegan or not, may use it. The vegan emblem is not used on food packaging or as an indicator of plant-based for this reason as well.

Vegan products and restaurants commonly utilize symbols like the V with a leaf, however, this is an uncommon occurrence. Because it’s such a broad sign, it’s difficult to use it just to denote veganism or vegetarianism, for example.

Enclosed V-symbol Unicode

This specific sign has grown in prominence for a very good reason. For the simple reason that it’s also known as a Unicode. In this example, it refers to a particular code that is recognized as a symbol by most computers and software.

Here’s an example of Unicode:

If you paste this Unicode code (U+24CB) into your browser, you should get the vegan sign you’re looking for. On top of that, it’s compatible with a wide range of other platforms.

Animal liberation front

There are several vegan emblems to choose from on the market. The battle for animal emancipation is represented by several that are subtly done. The Animal Liberation Front’s vegan emblem is one example of this.

The insignia incorporates the Animal Liberation Front’s initials. You may have noticed that within the capital A are the letters L and F. In other words, as long as it promotes the vegan lifestyle, it may be anything.

These logos are used to symbolize the battle for freedom and resemble the anarchy symbol quite closely. The Anarchy Symbol is seen in the illustration to the right.

Anarchy symbol

In the same way that the Anarchy sign depicts class struggle, so does the Animal Liberation Front. In the same way, as anarchists want to liberate workers from oppression, animal liberationists aim to liberate animals from captivity.

Indication Of Vegetarianism in Foods and Products

The main advantage of explicitly labeling randomly-vegan products as vegan is transparency. Whether a product is vegan often cannot be clearly determined from the list of ingredients. A study showed that labeling vegan products may influence customers choices within their food options. A vegan label (vs. no label) increases perceived healthiness which leads to higher consumption intentions, decreases perceived tastiness which leads to lower consumption intentions and increases perceived sustainability which leads to higher consumption intentions (2).

Vegan goods are labeled with a wide variety of symbols. Even vegan logos are created by certain firms. Because firms aren’t allowed to mislead consumers about the ingredients of their goods, they are almost always acceptable for vegans to consume. While this is the case, there is no third-party certification. You’ll need vegan-certified items to do this.’s verified vegan emblem is an example of this. The vegan mark certifies that the product is devoid of animal products, byproducts, and animal experimentation. Everything is overseen by a third-party entity, further enhancing the reliability of the label.’s vegan emblem is often seen on food packaging. Look for this emblem when you’re looking for new vegan items. More than a thousand firms use this well-known vegan certification emblem to indicate their products are cruelty-free. However, there are several others, many of which may be trusted.

Moving on to vegan certification, in line with the promotion of veganism, in 1990 the Vegan Society created a trademark, The Vegan Trademark, which certifies products as being suitable for vegans. The use of this recognisable trademark informs consumers that a product is vegan. This prevents the need to check the ingredients list or further investigate the origin of less known ingredients (such as food additives, like colors and preservatives). Over 48,000 products from more than 1300 companies worldwide are now featuring The Vegan Trademark. This is obviously an advancement of veganism. Both consumers and companies benefit from vegan certification and, at the same time, society in general becomes more aware of this relatively small, but growing ethical movement (3).

Other FAQs about Vegans that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we answered the query, “Does v mean vegan or vegetarian??’’ and discussed other vegetarian symbols and their meaning.


  1. Basas, Carrie Griffin. V is for Vegetarian: FDA-Mandated Vegetarian Food Labeling. Utah L. Rev. 2011, 1275.
  2. Stremmel, Gesa, et al. Vegan labeling for what is already vegan: Product perceptions and consumption intentions. Appetite, 2022, 175, 106048.
  3. Miguel, R. Vegan with Traces of Animal-Derived Ingredients? Improving the Vegan Society’s Labelling. J Agric Environ Ethics, 2021, 34, 5.