This Thursday is World Vegan Day and Kiwi vegans have extra cause for celebration.
Soon, food products that have been certified as 100 percent animal-free will carry a logo thanks to a new accreditation system.
The concept is along the lines of the organic certification BioGro, NZ Vegetarian Society certification manager Stephanie Lane tells Jesse Mulligan.
The vegan certification process can usually be completed by paperwork alone, Stephanie says, and some products – including Lothlorien Winery, Angel Food dairy-free cheese and Proper Crisps – already have theirs.
She guesses that currently, about two percent of New Zealanders are vegans.
Stephanie has been vegetarian herself for 30-odd years and vegan for 12 years.
"I've always been in it for the animals. I don't believe I have the right to eat them, so I don't."
Animal welfare concerns are the number one reason people go vegan, but an increasing number of people are choosing to for environmental reasons, too, Stephanie says.
Then there's the health reasons – a plant-based diet tends to lower the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and diabetes, she says.
"There's a lot of good reasons to do it."