A comprehensive list of ingredients or food items that Vegans will not eat. What vegans don’t eat is a long list, but, I try to provide alternates to these items where possible.
Yes, its not easy trying to find the right food for vegans!
We are a tough group of people to
please feed and we are completely aware of that fact.
However, our heart is in the right place and we are all about saving animal life.
What is the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian?
The main difference between vegans and vegetarians is that vegetarians will not eat products that use dead animals. That means, just like vegans, they will not consume beef, chicken, tuna, etc.
However, vegetarians will consume dairy products like milk. They also consume honey and honey based products. The reason is that the cows don’t have to die to produce dairy products. Same concept applies to honey.
Vegans, on the other hand, don’t consume any animal based product regardless of the living status of the said animal. Its the believe of vegans that no animal should have to give a part of themselves to feed people.
Most true vegans I know are not about shoving our beliefs down the throats of meat eaters. We understand that meat eating is not something we can change overnight or by being “in your face” about it.
After all, meat eating goes back to the days of the caveman!
Our aim is to show that there are other delicious options and leave the choice up to you.
Even if you change to eating vegan once a week, we will be happy with that.
So, I will now get off my tiny soap box and give you a list of food that vegans don’t eat.
Some of these might actually surprise you!
When you need to make a Thanksgiving meal or a side dish, consult this guide to what vegans don’t eat. Your end meal will make your vegan friend very happy.
What Vegans DON’T Eat
– Meat Products
– Worcestershire sauce
– Chicken Broth and Beef Broth
– Some Sugars
That was a quick overview of what vegans don’t eat. I made this list after seeing so many misconceptions and constantly being asked if a product is vegan.
Now let’s dive into a little more details about why these food items are not vegan and some alternatives to use.
This is obvious, I know, but, I thought to point it out anyway. I am sure there are more animals that I haven’t listed. Basically, if it has been classified under the “animal” category, its not considered to be vegan.
Meat products includes
– Pork / Bacon / Bacon Grease
– Buffalo meat
– Crocodile meat
– Antelope meat
– Giraffe meat
– Horse Meat
Image courtesy of Johnny Chen on Unsplash
True Story: I lived in NYC / NJ for about 12 years and it was a wonderful vegan food adventure. The stories I could tell about how vegans and vegan food is treated in meat restaurants could fill a book.
One of my favorite stories to tell is when a chef was telling his specials to a group of vegans. One of them finally stopped him and politely told him that they are vegans and cannot eat any of the dishes he mentioned.
The chef apologizes profusely and tells them that he will make a shrimp cocktail for them as an apology.
Once again, the vegans had to politely tell them that seafood is not vegan. The poor chef was so embarrassed at his lack of knowledge and I think he spent the next 6 months understanding veganism.
So, here is a list of seafood that is not vegan.
– Any item that can be filed under the “fish” category
Anything that can be classified under crustaceans, mammals, fish or amphibians will not be considered vegan friendly.
Regular butter, lard and margarine out not part of the vegan diet. However, you can easily find vegan butter in your grocery store and its almost always next to regular butter. Brands like Earth Butter (most commonly used), Wayfare, Miyoko.
Some brands of “I can’t believe its not butter” are vegan and they will label it very clearly on the front of their tub.
I have made infused vegan butter using Earth Balance by adding fresh herbs. It makes the butter taste even better.
This surprises some people, but, eggs are not vegan. In fact, so many vegetarians will not eat eggs either. Its considered as “potential life” and so, not vegan friendly.
You can use substitutes like “flax eggs” which is 1 tsp ground flax seeds and 3 tsp water (1:3 ratio works best)
I am a huge fan of using Aquafaba, which is the water in canned chick peas and other canned legumes
Almond milk also works great for basting. I used it in my Babybel Strudel and other desserts
Cow milk, Goat milk, bull milk!
They are all huge no-no for vegans. Even though the animal is alive after the milking process, its considered sacrilege to use their milk.
Instead, almond milk is a fan favorite in my home. Ever since I got the NutraMilk Machine, I have been making my own almond and hazelnut milk at home. ITS. AWESOME!
Soy milk is most commonly used milk among vegans. Its easy to find and cheaper than almond milk. But, some vegans find it hard to digest, so, some opt for nut milks instead
Oh, how this one hurts! This mozzarella cheese sandwich is one of my all time favorites!
I have been a huge cheese fan my whole life. Cheese is the only thing that keeps me from going full vegan. To my credit though, I have significantly reduced my cheese consumption. I went from eating cheese daily to eating it once a week to…
…Eating it once a month
My aim for 2019 is to eat it every other month.
For 2020, I plan to be completely cheese free!
For alternatives, let’s start with Feta cheese. I made my vegan feta cheese own using marinated tofu and it turned out to be so delicious!
Brands like “Follow Your Heart”, “Chao!” and “Go Veggie” make alternatives to your favorite cheeses like sliced cheese, Parmesan, cheddar, etc.
All the big box stores and my local grocery stores are very good at stocking up on vegan cheeses. They have done a great job of finding amazing cheeses to serve their vegan customres.
It never ceases to surprise me that so many think honey is vegan friendly. Sadly, the honey making process involves actual bees and many “die” after giving their honey.
Honey is NOT vegan friendly!
Instead, use maple syrup. Grade A is my favorite, but, many vegans love the richness of Grade A Dark and Strong flavor.
For my money, I like using (affiliate link) Agave more than Maple Syrup. Its closer to honey in consistency and sugar level.
There are also brave vegan chefs who have made their own version of vegan honey in their kitchens. Check out this recipe by Mary’s Test Kitchen.
Image courtesy of Caroline Attwood on Unsplash
I know many chefs and cooks consider it vegan or vegetarian friendly.
Worcestershire sauce is made using Fish and that’s just not vegan friendly!
You can get a (affiliate link) Vegan Worcestershire sauce from Amazon which is actually very delicious. If you don’t have it, Soy Sauce works just as well.
Chicken or Beef Broth
Image courtesy of Rebecca Malone on Unsplash
“But there is no actual chicken or beef in this broth!”
I have heard that being said so often by top cooks and chefs. So many of these cooks make vegan soups using chicken broth. I always make sure I ask before I order a vegan soup.
Its funny that I have to explain why this is not vegan to some chefs. It comes from boiling chicken or beef and that’s why its not vegan.
You can make your own vegetable broth by boiling vegetables or get them from your grocery store.
My personal favorite is to use rice water. That is the water leftover after boiling rice. Check out my post on coconut rice where I show you how I make rice water.
Image courtesy of RawPixel on Unsplash
Did you do a double take when you read that?
Yes, there are many sugars (especially confectioners sugars) that are not vegan friendly.
Many sugar makers use bone char to bleach and filter sugar. Bone char is basically burnt animal bones and that is not vegan or vegetarian friendly.
However, many sugar makers are making a tremendous effort to stop using bone char and that makes me so happy to hear.
If you are looking for vegan sugars, check out Wholesome’s line of products. That’s what I use in all my recipes. My favorite is their (affiliate link) confectioners sugar
What?? Did you just read figs on this list??
Yes, you read that correctly. Many vegans don’t consider figs to be vegan.
Why is it not considered vegan? Well, it has to do with how the fruit is created
The fig starts out as a shell of sorts and get pollinated by a wasp. The wasp dies inside the fruit and the fig “grows” around this wasp.
Source: You can read the science behind how a fig comes to be at How Stuff Works.
Personally, I love figs and do consider it vegan friendly. But, I have a lot of respect for those that don’t consider it vegan friendly.
There are many desserts and candies that are made with gelatin. Marshmallows are also made from gelatin which is why you won’t see most vegans eat s’mores. However, (affiliate link) Dandies makes amazing vegan marshmallows! You cannot tell the difference in taste. Dandies uses Soy protein to make the marshmallows and they are sooo good.
Gelatin is made with the collagen of animals
This means that so many candies and popular desserts are not good for vegans. Many of the candy makers are recognizing this issue and they have taken huge steps to use vegan friendly gelatins.
There are a few vegetarian / vegan gelatin options that you can get online or make at home.
A common vegan gelatin substitute to use is (affiliate link) Agar Agar. I haven’t had much experience with it, so, I won’t speak to its effectiveness. If you have experience in it, be sure to chime in at the bottom.
Image courtesy of James Harris on Unsplash
Many of the breads baked and sold in supermarket shelves are not vegan friendly. Some use honey, eggs and most of them use whey.
The bread makers are very good at labeling the ingredients and make it clear that they use whey in their bread
But, there are some brands that are vegan breads. My favorite to use is Dave’s Killer Bread. All of their breads, except oat and honey flavored, are vegan.
Whole Foods 365 Brand breads are also vegan friendly.
Some of Thomas’s brand and Weight Watcher brand breads are vegan. Just be sure to check their list of ingredients to confirm that they don’t have honey in them.
Accidentally Vegan Products
– Nature Valley Granola Bars
– Thomas Bagels
Contrary to popular misconception, The above list of products are vegan.
Source: PETA and my personal experience
That is my list of items that vegans don’t consume. Its an ever expanding list, so, be sure to bookmark it and come visit often.
Its now your turn to tell me. What item surprised you the most on this list of what vegans don’t eat?