I love this question. I am not quite a vegan, but I know the answer. (Yay!) Since today is Nude Food Friday, I thought I’d put this incredulous question to bed.
(Just for the record, I’m asked this question on an almost-weekly basis…)
First of all, let’s define vegan. A vegan is somebody who does not eat any animal products, or anything derived from animal products. There is also a general understanding that they do not wear animal skins and/or fur, or use cosmetics that may have been tested on animals. So, as you can see, veganism is not just restricted to a diet, but is more of a lifestyle– one of genuine kindness and empathy towards ALL sentient beings.
Some people become vegan because their parents are, some because of health reasons (this would be my categorical reason, if I could only just stop slowly poisoning myself with my cheese problem), and others because they are animal lovers, and are quick to accept the role of humanely representing creatures other than human beings.
In my own opinion, veganism is practically a religion.
So, what do vegans eat? It’s not as difficult as one may assume. Sure, there’s no meat, dairy, eggs, or anything containing gelatine or honey, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s left. All the good stuff!
(FYI- gelatine is in really weird stuff like jello, and it’s actually a beef product.)
Fruits and veggies make up the largest part of a vegan diet. Because of this, vegans are often very healthy. They take in WAY more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre, and fluid than the rest of us.
Grains are the second largest part of a vegan diet. My faves are quinoa, hemp, sprouted rice, and oats. Generally, vegan diets are very diverse in grains, and that accounts for major creativity in the food prep department. (Try making oatmeal with quinoa– it’s DELISH!)
The Mighty Bean is also pretty important to a diet sans meat, because it’s quick and easy protein, with the added benefit of fibre. (There is ZERO fibre in animal protein.)
Seeds and nuts offer more protein, and can easily bulk up breads, salads, pastas, and more dishes of the like.
There are alternatives to things like cow milk (soy, hemp, rice, almond, etc) and butter (Earth’s Balance Buttery Spread), and more alternatives to foods like ground beef (vegan ground round) and chicken.
Some common foods that vegans eat are your own favorites! In the mood for Mexican? Try black bean quasadillas, portabello mushroom fajitas, veggie chili, salsa, guacamole, and tortilla chips. Italian? Try vegetable pesto fusilli, or eggplant primavera.
What I’m trying to get at is this: VEGANS ARE NOT DEPRIVED! They do not subsist on birdfood and crackers. In fact, vegan food is crazy flavourful, filling, and highly nutritious. So there. Next time I’m asked what vegans eat, I’ll bust that person for not following my blog.