People unfamiliar with this world often think vegans can only eat “rabbit food”. If you just take a second to think about it, you’ll see there are a lot of foods, even junk foods, that contain no animal products. Key example: Potatoes. Potatoes are a plant, but they make French fries, hash browns, tater tots, and potato chips. Now, some processed foods may make these things non-vegan by what they decide to add to them, but at their core they’re vegan and many brands offer products that reflect that.
Think about all the grains in the world. The pastas, the fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Then think about all the vegan alternatives available these days. There’s almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, vegan butter, vegan coffee creamer, nut cheeses, meat alternatives, and (yes) tofu too. There’s a plethora of options that go far beyond dairy and meat.
Then there are some foods that are ‘accidentally’ vegan. Keep in mind, that sometimes in these cases there is the possibility of cross contamination. Personally, I don’t think this makes a product non-vegan just because it could come into contact with trace amounts of milk or whatever. If there’s not animal products in the actual food, then your not adding to the demand of animal products by purchasing it. However, it’s obviously important to acknowledge when this contact can occur in consideration of people with food allergies.
Speaking of junk foods, here are some things you may not realize are totally vegan:
Airheads, Sour Patch Kids, Dots, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Fruit by the Foot, Oreos, Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Original Fritos, Original Pringles, Ritz Crackers, Original Pillsbury Crescents, and even Bac-Os Bacon Flavor Bits. That’s right, some ‘bacon’ bits are, in fact, vegan.
Now these products aren’t advertised as vegan and Oreo even specifically claims they’re “not suitable for vegans” due to the “cross contact”. However, as I discussed earlier, I disagree that this makes them any less vegan and I know a lot of other vegans feel the same way. But it’s important to keep to in mind that if they’re not advertised as vegan then they could change their recipe at any time. It would be wise to continue to check their ingredient list before purchasing.
All of this to say, you have vegans who live off of salad and smoothies and then you have junk food vegans who live off of non-dairy ice cream, veggie burgers, and pizza. Most people are somewhere in the middle. Just like you have omnivores who eat very healthy and those that don’t. We make up a relatively small portion of the population, but there has been enough demand for vegan products that a lot of companies are obliging. We have options and options are good.
So, what do vegans eat? The same things everyone else eats. They’re just different versions of the same foods that are tweaked to align with our morals. Not so complicated after all.