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A vegan diet and lifestyle means abstaining from animal products of any kind - from cuisine to cosmetics to clothing. In this way, animal welfare is to be comprehensively preserved. Living vegan, therefore, also excludes such products that were obtained using animal testing or whose manufacturing process impairs the natural lifestyle of animals. Against this background, plant oils appear to be the ideal vegan kitchen solution. But is olive oil really vegan?
The conditions for vegan olive oil are closely linked to production. Which oil is not vegan? As part of an intensive, industrial-mechanical olive harvest, there can actually be bird deaths. This is because huge suction machines are sometimes used in the harvest on very large olive oil plantations - and they run non-stop, both during the day and at night.
The birds, seeking rest in the olive trees at night, are scared by noise and light and can subsequently lose their bearings. They no longer know where to flee and, in the worst case, are sucked into the machine.
The good news: In many olive oil countries around the Mediterranean, such machines are not (any longer) used at all. For example, in Greece, the geological nature of the groves is hardly suitable for tractors. The hilly landscapes and the gnarled, intertwined branches often do not allow access at all. The stone fruits are therefore picked by hand or with so-called shaking sticks in a bird-friendly way.
If the olives are harvested by hand, there is no doubt about their suitability for vegans.
Hand-picked olive harvest ensures vegan olive oil
In most cases, it is difficult or even impossible for non-experts to understand the methods an olive plantation uses for harvesting. For this reason, various official seals have been developed to identify vegan olive oil.
The Biocyclic Vegan Farming Seal certifies a bio-vegan cultivation that does without animal fertilizers, among other things, and preserves and promotes natural biodiversity.
The FAO GIAHS seal confirms a hand harvest. Olive oils with this seal can therefore be enjoyed by vegans with a clear conscience.
"Bird-friendly" and "hand-harvested" are not protected seals. In theory, all olive cultivation operations are allowed to bring their products to market with such a label - without ever having ensured that the harvest was actually done by hand.
A vegan cultivation of olive oil benefits both the protection of animals and the enjoyment without a guilty conscience. If you choose certified products when shopping, you ensure in this way to take home a vegan olive oil. At MANI, fair and organic farming is highly valued. Of course, all MANI olive oils are vegan certified.