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'As far as practicable and possible'

Vegans avoid using animals 'as far as is practicable and possible'. In most countries, medicines have to pass safety tests before they can be prescribed, and these tests are routinely carried out on non-human animals. If you suffer from a medical condition you may currently have no practical alternative to taking such prescribed medicines. Looking after yourself is important if you wish to be an effective vegan advocate.

Talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding animal ingredients and animal testing in medication. Ask your pharmacist (chemist or druggist) for possible alternative medicines your doctor can prescribe that are free of animal ingredients such as gelatine, lactose or stearates.

A brighter future

We still live in a non-vegan world. You may not be able to find suitable medicines free of animal ingrediets. Charities like the Dr Hadwen Trust are working hard to end the use of non-human animals in safety testing. Yet this will not happen overnight and in the meantime you know your own situation best - so together with your doctor, decide what is best for your own health. Never stop taking prescribed medicines without first talking to a medical professional.

Your health and your diet

If you have health concerns that you think may be related to your diet, your family doctor can refer you to a trained expert called a registered dietitian. You can also research what other qualified experts and organisations are saying about healthy living and plant-strong diets:

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