Most medications today are tested on animals, and animal products are usually used in their manufacturing process, the decision to take a medication can be difficult for a vegan.
Veganism recognizes it extremely difficult or practices to avoid animal use in a non-vegan world. Sometimes, there might be no other alternative to medication being manufactured by using animal products. And when sometimes these medications are available, they might be less effective, it might have more and worst side effects or not feed to one medical needs. While it can be upsetting for a vegan to compromise on beliefs, we must encourage vegans to look after their health and that of others, and in that way being more effective in advocating for our veganism.
It is very important to talk about the definition of veganism in the context of medications, and especially vaccines. It’s not always possible or practicable to avoid animal use. In the case of Covid-19, vaccination testing in animals plays a fundamental role in confronting the pandemic and saving lives. As all vaccines currently are tested on animals, today it is almost impossible to develop a vaccine that is not created without animal use.
All vegans believe and work for a future where animal testing in medicine is eradicated.
Unfortunately, even if a new human treatment is developed animal-free, laws and regulatory organizations require that all new drugs and treatments be tested on animals prior to clinical trials on humans. These animals usually are mice, rats, or rabbits in the first stage and then on dogs or monkeys later on. These tests are required by law, and unfortunately, non-animal tests substitute is accepted or even exists.
If Covid-19 vaccinations will become mandatory, and in this case, exceptions will be made for people with certain religious beliefs, a vegan who wants to refuse vaccination would be able to request the same right to exemption.
However let’s be clear, we vegans must look after our health and that of others, to continue to be effective advocates for veganism and animals. As if there is no plan for compulsory vaccination, it is our responsibility to make an informed decision about the vaccines, with support from our personal medical carers.