I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard this question…
It’s so funny because it really is a lot easier to tell you what vegans do not eat.
“What do vegans eat” is a question that normally pops up when an individual learns that their close friend is a vegan or strict vegetarian. So many people are under the impression that since these individuals do not eat meat, they are starving and really, that statement is far from the truth. Yes, the food they eat does not contain any form of meat but the vegan diet isn’t as boring as you might think.
For starters, they can eat a combination of grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Honestly, it is easier to tell you what vegans cannot eat, instead of explaining what they can eat. Basically, the list of foods that they are allowed to eat contains all food, except for animal byproducts and flesh. Milk, eggs, honey and other dairy products are on the “do not eat” list as well.
If you think of everything people eat every day that isn’t an animal, or doesn’t come from an animal, all of that is vegan. So basically every single food everyone eats every day is vegan. When you sit down to a steak dinner with warm dinner roll, a nice serving of mixed vegetables, a baked potato and other sides, everything you are eating is vegan except the animal products. In fact, most of your food is vegan. It’s only a small part of most meals that isn’t.
Sure, some breads can contain things that aren’t vegan. And vegetables can be cooked in a way that isn’t vegan. Even fruit can be made not vegan if you cover it in whipped cream. The truth is, most foods in your average grocery store are vegan. The entire vegetable and produce sections, most of your snacks, and chips, virtually all of your canned fruits and vegetables, plus a lot of the foods in the frozen isle and more.
PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) has a great list of over 500 foods that are ‘accidentally’ vegan. This means they are sold in stores and the manufacturers didn’t intentionally make them vegan, they just are because of their ingredients. You should check the list out. It might surprise you just how vegan you already are! Just drop the meat and butter and milk and most people are already there.