What Do Vegans Eat? You Might Be Surprised!
People unfamiliar with vegan diets often assume that they are restrictive and B-O-R-I-N-G. For example, they think everyone who eats a vegan diet is thin and survives on seeds and salads. It is true that there are many thin vegans. And maybe there are some who survive on salads and seeds alone (although I don’t know any). In reality, people who choose to eat a vegan diet are as varied as the plant-based foods they consume. The commonality is simply a shared decision not to consume animals and animal by-products.
Vegans are men, women, boys and girls of nearly every ethnicity, race and religion. Vegans are young, old, married, single, straight and gay. Vegans work in all sectors of society and belong to every socio-economic group. Some vegans are bodybuilders and some are Olympians. Some vegans are famous, but most are not. Some vegans are extremely fit and others, not so much. I know vegans who have celiac disease, some that don’t eat soy and some who don’t even like vegetables!
Research shows that on average, people who eat plant-based diets live longer and healthier lives than those who consume animals and animal by-products. I am not saying that I personally will outlive any specific person who eats animals and their by-products. I’m simply talking “averages.” Irrespective of the length of my life, I’m glad I eat a plant-based/vegan diet for the many added benefits.
To begin, my digestion has improved significantly since I stopped eating animals and animal by-products. No more bloating, indigestion and stomach pain. No more popping antacids and other pills to eat foods I don’t need and are not healthy.
Another bonus of eating a vegan diet is knowing that I am doing something positive for the environment and the planet the next generation will inherit. I feel good about that.
Eating a vegan diet has also introduced me to an incredible array of grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. Foods I never even considered eating when I consumed animals and their by-products. Whole grains like grano, farro, wheat berries, sorghum, millet, couscous – to name just a few. And all sorts of cruciferous and composite vegetables, as well as those from the grassroot, goosefoot and buckwheat families. Of the 40,000 different rice varieties, I’ve sampled lots more on a vegan diet than I did when I ate animals, although I still have a long way to go. And don’t even get me started on fruit and legumes!
I would eat a plant-based diet even without any added perks because I don’t want to support the cruelty inherent in modern day factory farming practices. Practices that are the inevitable result of eating animals and their by-products. I live and eat quite well without it, thank you very much.
So, if you (or someone you know) think vegans only eat salads and seeds, or that a plant-based diet is boring, think again because nothing could be further from the truth! Just consider this condensed list of the foods I have enjoyed in the past two months alone . . .
- Artichoke Crab Cakes, Au Gratin Potatoes, Almond Cheesecake, Alfredo Pasta
- BBQ, Breakfast Benedict, Biscuits & Gravy, Burgers (bean &other varieties)
- Cauliflower Cutlets, Cornbread, Cinnamon Rolls, Caesar Salad, Casseroles (several varieties)
- Dumplings, Date Bread, Dirty Rice
- Enchiladas, Eggless Salad, Ettoffee
- Fajitas, Frittata, Fromage de Brie, French Toast
- Greek Food, Gumbo, Garlic Roasted Vegetables
- Hors d’oeuvres, Hot Pot, Huevos Rancheros
- Irish Pudding, Indian food, Ice Cream
- Jambalaya, Jackfruit Pulled Pork, Jam Doughnuts, Jerky
- Kabobs, Kale Waldorf Salad, Kung Pao
- Lasagna, Lavash, Lo Mein
- Milkshakes, Moo Shu, Mushroom Palmiers
- Nachos, New England Boiled Dinner, Noodles Romanoff
- Onion Soup, Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies, One-Pot
- Pizza, Potato Salad, Pad Thai, Pigs (Happy) In A Blanket
- Quiche, Quesadillas, Quinoa Bake and Cakes
- Risotto, Ratatouille, Rice Crispy Cakes
- Scrambles, Stroganoff, Spring Rolls
- Tempura, Tamales, Tandoori
- Udon Noodles, Umami Anasazi Beans, Upside-Down Cake
- Wellington, Walnut Loaf, Wraps, Whipped Cream
- Yaki-Soba, Yogurt Parfaits & Yellow Curry
I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the point. The variety of plant-based/vegan food is nearly endless and a vegan diet is anything but boring.
PS – I also ate some salads and seeds.
Note from VEW: Thank you Veganstreet.com for the wonderful graphic illustrating the diversity of vegan fare. For delicious vegan recipes and more check out Vegan Street
Author: Kris Giovanini
Former attorney and founder of VegansEatWhat.com, Kris is long time vegetarian who was healed of severe digestive problems after eliminating all dairy from her diet. Says Kris "if I can make great vegan food, anyone can"! Kris devotes her time to promoting vegan diets and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.