So, you’re wondering what vegans eat. We’ll you’ve come to the right place! Today, we’re going to answer one of the most common questions we’re asked about being vegan: “what do vegans eat?” And the truth is that vegans probably eat more than you think. You see, there has long been a strange stigma when it comes to being vegan. Some people think that being vegan isn’t normal – for lack of a better word.
But veganism is rapidly becoming increasingly more popular. This is true both within the United States and throughout the world. And as veganism becomes more popular, it becomes more the norm. We hope you’re here today because you’re considering going vegan and are wondering what your food-life might be like if you did. Before we dive into what vegans eat, let’s understand why people go vegan to begin with. Trust me, understanding why people choose to go vegan will go a long way in understanding what vegans eat.
Why People Go Vegan
There is one overwhelming reason as to why people choose to go vegan: to stop animal cruelty. There’s no denying that every animal or animal-based food causes unnecessary stress and harm to the animal. This is true for every animal – from bees that are farmed for honey all the way to animals that are slaughtered for food.
Simply put, animals that are raised for food do not enjoy the quality of life that free-range animals enjoy. The lives of captive animals that are raised for food are undoubtedly diminished.
So, when the question “what do vegans eat?” comes up, the obvious answer is anything that isn’t an animal or animal-byproduct.
Common Animal By-Products Vegans Avoid
Avoiding animal products is relatively easy; just don’t eat meat. However, there is a bit of a grey area when it comes to animal-byproducts. Identifying animal-byproducts isn’t quite as easy as identifying meet. This can lead to someone heated discussions about various foods; such as we discussed in a recent posted answering the question “Is Honey Vegan?”
So, what are some animal-byproducts that vegans avoid? Well, I’ll save you from reading the article above and tell you that most vegans avoid honey. Vegans avoid honey for several reasons, but the underlying reason is because bees suffer unnecessary harm while they are farmed for honey. The process of farming honey leads to clipping the wings of the queen bee, illness and death among the worker bees and to bees being fed sugar as opposed to honey (which isn’t good for their diet or life).
Other common animal-byproducts that vegans avoid are milk and cheese. Both of these products require that cows be held captive and repeatedly impregnated. Not to mention the emotional distress that cows suffer from when their babies are almost immediately taken away and raised to either become milk cows or slaughtered for meat. Milk cows simply live a very sad life. And because of this, studies have shown that cows held in captivity, especially milk cows, have a drastically shorter lifespan than free range cows.
Other products are even harder to differentiate between being vegan or not. For example, would you consider whey protein an animal-based product? Most people don’t associate whey protein supplements with cows. But vegans avoid whey protein supplements because they’re a by-product of milk, and milk is an animal-based product. Vegans that workout elect to consume plant-based protein, such as pea protein, as opposed to whey protein.
An easy way to determine whether or not a vegan would eat any particular food or drink is to just consider its origin. If the product came from an animal in any way, such as meat, eggs, milk, cheese, or dairy products, then vegans don’t eat it. On the other hand, if it didn’t come from an animal – then vegans probably enjoy it.
So, What Do Vegans Eat?
Now that we’ve discussed why people go vegan and what foods vegans avoid. Let’s take a look at some of the foods that vegans enjoy. Since, after all, “what do vegans eat?” is probably the most common question associated with veganism.
Historically, vegan diets have been plant-based. These diets consisted of a high volume of grains, beans, legumes and fruits and vegetables. But as veganism becomes more and more popular, alternatives to traditional foods continue to become more popular as well. Today, vegans enjoy special vegan foods like hot dogs, burgers and ice cream. And, I have to admit, that the increasing availability of meat-alternatives probably plays a big role in more people going vegan. After all, it’s easier to switch from being a meat-eater to an alternative-meat-eater than it is to stop eating meat cold turkey.
The truth is that there are more vegan-friendly foods than there are foods that vegans avoid. Common foods such as salads, spaghetti, cookies and chips are typically all vegan friendly.
Are You Considering Going Vegan?
The first question that people considering going vegan ask is typically “what do vegans eat?” After all, it can be hard to give up your favorite foods – trust us, we know! Ultimately most people who elect to go vegan make the decision that the lives of animals are more important that the foods they enjoy. This is especially true when people go from animal-eater to full-blown veganism.
If you care about the treatment of animals, then give veganism a shot! After all, studies have estimated that each person that goes vegan saves over 100 animals from each year. This includes death and countless other animals that suffer undue stress and mistreatment in order to create animal-based products.
Our tip for going vegan is to keep it simple. Start small and ween yourself away from the animal-based products that you’re likely used to consuming. Just focus on reducing the number of animal-based foods you consume, or the frequency at which you consume them. Over time, you’ll likely become a full-blown vegan and save countless animals.