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A Note About Small Amounts of Animal Products in Foods

Some packaged foods have a long list of ingredients. The farther an ingredient is down the list, the less of that ingredient is in the food. People who have made the compassionate decision to stop eating animal flesh, eggs, and dairy products may wonder if they need to read every ingredient to check for tiny amounts of obscure animal products. Our general advice is not to worry too much about doing this. The goal of sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to help animals and reduce suffering; this is done by choosing a bean burrito or a veggie burger over chicken flesh, or choosing tofu scramble over eggs, not by refusing to eat an otherwise vegan food because it has 0.001 grams of monoglycerides that may possibly be animal-derived.

We discourage vegetarians from grilling waiters at restaurants about micro-ingredients in vegetarian foods (e.g., a tiny bit of a dairy product in the bun of a veggie burger). Doing so makes sticking to a vegetarian diet seem difficult and dogmatic to your friends and to restaurant staff, thus discouraging them from giving a vegetarian diet a try (which really hurts animals). And we urge vegetarians not to insist that their food be cooked on equipment separate from that used to cook meat; doing so doesn’t help any additional animals, and it only makes restaurants less inclined to offer vegetarian choices (which, again, hurts animals).

Remember that every vegetarian saves more than 100 animals a year from horrific cruelty—and by encouraging people around you to follow your lead, you can save many more.

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  • Kristen says:

    THANK YOU for posting this. I really struggle with this, especially because I was recently diagnosed with a nut and sesame allergy, so it’s nice to be able to order a veggie burger without stressing about whether the bun may have a little dairy in it. I can’t live on salads. I am really a perfectionist and it stresses me out as a vegan of 50 weeks.

  • Chiliwidle says:

    I was wondering if you had any advice for me with regards to what action I could take about the following situation.

    In March Tesco’s own brand cheese sauce changed packaging and no longer carried the suitable for veggies symbol. I emailed to complain about what I thought was a backward step, got nowhere so tweeted them. They confirmed that packaging was wrong and product was suitable for veggies on several occasions each time I chase this over last six months. Now they tweet me this morning and say it isn’t!

    I am a strict vegetarian and have been eating an animal product on their say so for six months. I am absolutely outraged and want some form of compensation about this that I can donate to good cause, to alleviate my feelings about eating an animal product for so long.

    Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?

  • Alex says:

    Egg-Free Dairy-Free Nut-Free Cake Original recipe yield:1 8 8 cakePREP TIME 15 MinCOOK TIME 35 MinREADY IN 50 Min INGREDIENTS * 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour * 1/2 tpooesan salt * 1 cup white sugar * 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder * 1 tpooesan baking soda * 5 tablespoons vegetable oil * 1 tablespoon white vinegar * 1 tpooesan vanilla extract * 1 cup cold water * 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chipsDIRECTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 8 inch baking pan. 2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Mix well with a fork, then stir in oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. When dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, pour in cold water and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan. 3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

  • Bittu says:

    I would not follow any fad diet if I were you. The best diet is spmily to eat a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Sorry, there is no magic pill to lose weight and keep it off long term.I would add cabbage to your diet though, if you don’t eat much of it. Cabbage is a wonderful food .very high in vitamins, minerals, and various phytonutrients. Even coleslaw would be a good way to eat more cabbage! : )

  • Colin says:

    @ the hardline vegans….there is NO SUCH THING as a 100% vegan diet. There are traces of animal products in the fruits and vegetable you eat, due to the fertilization process. Denouncing/shaming people who aren’t food nazis (inspecting every single ingredient in every morsel of food and badgering wait staff at restaurants) doesn’t do anybody any good. Not only does it make you look like a jerk but it also scares people away from ever giving vegetarianism/veganism a chance.

  • Loretta says:

    I love this article. I am still only a part time vegan, the main reason I started eating vegan meals is because I have minor intolerances to milk and eggs. I agree that having an intolerance or an allergy is WAY different than being 100% vegan. asking about trace amounts of animal products may not offend the waiter, but it may discourage someone sitting close by who is thinking of becoming vegetarian or vegan that its not worth the effort and put them off from trying. I disagree that supporting restaurants that have meat options is a bad choice. that to me is like saying that supporting friends who eat a vegan meal once a weak is wrong as well. the bottom line is be supportive of anyone trying to become vegetarian or vegan, keep living your lifestyle the way you want. If you want to be 100% vegan do so but don’t say the vegans who are 99% vegans are not against animal cruelty because that is still saving 99 animals no mater which way you look at it.

  • Inga says:

    Meltem Dennis, you really are militant aren’t you? As for your comment of making the Holocaust look humane, do you even know what the Jews at Auschwitz went through? Study your history, then talk. As for you ‘dares’, do you really think anyone will respond positively to being abused that way? Do you honestly think that you’re helping the cause of ending animal cruelty by being like that? You’re really not. Humans are spiteful creatures, and those men you challenged might just munch down a piece of bacon in your face just to spite you. And as for the female solidarity you’re trying to push…. between human women and cows… I don’t see any heifers out with picket signs screaming for equal rights with bulls. Grow up and learn to communicate in a more dignified and calm manner and you’ll get a lot further.

  • Melanie says:

    I’ve been vegetarian since 1991 and I really do agree with this statement. I had a friend that was vegan at the time and she would do what she called “play 20 questions” with restaurant staff when eating out. There are plenty of Vegan options out there if you research ahead of time and dont make the waitstaffs life a living hell by doing this to them.

    Since going vegan I have been stressing out over ingredients (like Coffemate Coffee Creamer is not 100% vegan) and have vowed to stop. It true: it doesnt help the cause, nor does it save animals. Ive decided to focus on more pressing issues.

  • whalenca says:

    @Meltem Dennis. To say that animal cruelty makes the holocaust look humane shows absolute ignorance. If you don’t care about humanity how will anyone take your care about animals seriously? They won’t. Thank you PETA for asking people not to alienate others- it’s a shame what people who support animals have done and said, one step forward three steps back.

  • KCB says:

    Meltem Dennis- I can’t watch those videos either. To be honest, watching cruelty to animals doesn’t make you better than anyone else.

    I don’t need to watch it to know how horrible it is. Which is why I’m vegan.

  • Meltem Dennis says:

    Becoming a vegan from vegetarian was very easy for me after watching peta’s John McCarthy video which explains and shows the conditions these animals are in, makes Holocaust look humane really. Also just as valuable Sharon Needles video showing the terrified cow trying to breath as the blood gushes out of her slashed neck, then the pigs hanging by their feet, frantically struggling to escape while their throats are being cut. Anyone men enough to watch those, come on, I dare you (I am a women, stronger in my convictions of decency and respect for every species then any men who claim strength but have to drink their their milk and eat their bacon and eggs like good little boys). Wake up or should I say grow up, you’re not mamma’s boy anymore, make your own decisions, don’t be afraid to watch these videos. Oh, for the women, stop supporting death and slavery, you’re supposed to set the higher standard of caring and relating, do you realize those cows are females whose milk is for their young, same goes for chicken eggs, are you just blind, clueless, of afraid to see reality?

  • Selphy says:

    Milk contains pus from chronic udder infections and leftover antibacterial agents used for such infections. No matter how much post processing dairy goes through pus remains a large percentage of matter that makes up milk. Got pus? No thanks.

  • Selphy says:

    @anyone concerned with dairy products: dairy was never made for human consumption…hence why every mammal has their own unique milks to nourish their young. This is what I believe. The abuse alone is terrifying to me, those poor cows are kept pregnant and raped in a sense to stay that way and are pregnant every day of he year to provide humans milk. What is in that milk?

  • S says:

    Thank you for this article. I’ve been thinking about transitioning from vegetarian from vegan. Already, I don’t buy dairy products or eggs. However, I wouldn’t turn down pizza with real cheese (no meat on it of course!) or baked goods with eggs and milk in them. One of the reasons why I’m NOT a vegan is because I don’t want to go through long lists of ingredients each time I want to buy a food item to see if it has some animal product in it. I also don’t think I’d be able to memorize all these names for animal products. This has made me feel better, that it’s OK to not make a big deal about those small things. But to focus on the big things, that’s what is important after all! I think I’ll just stick with “vegetarian” but try and avoid dairy/egg as much as possible.

  • pj says:

    nice article. Since i have been a vegetarian my whole life, I always wanted the restauraunt to cook my veg food separately. I always got the subway ppl to change their gloves and stuff…

    Since being veg, was part of my culutre it was easy to adapt (hey i never knew the taste of meat to even want it).

    I truly respect the vegan/veg converted ppl, as i think it takes a lot of committment to adapt the lifestyle.

    Big thumbs up to you gys…

    now iam working towards becomming vegan, but its taking a bit of work than i anticipated…:P…

  • Anthony says:

    To Erin below,
    On a small scale, I personally think raising animals for their flesh and product is fine. If everyone was responsible for their own meat/dairy production (family farming) is totally fine. The problem, in my opinion, is that it isn’t and everything is blown out of proportion and things get f*cked up in the long run. That is part of my reason for a meat free lifestyle (and hopefully someday animal product free); I didn’t know what went on with my meat before it got to me.

  • Nancy says:

    The most significant problem that I see with this entire discussion is the constant insistence on titles. Being a vegetarian is about not eating meat, not lording it over a waiter or a friend or a stranger. The obsession with being able to “call myself” a vegan is missing the entire point. It took me several years to get over the fear that I would call myself a vegetarian and then accidentally ingest some small amount of meat and be “called out on it.”. Now that I am a vegetarian, I decided to test out being a vegan for a while. When I mentioned my plan to a friend, her first comment was, “well, TECHNICALLY, you shouldn’t be wearing those clothes if you were a TRUE vegan.”. This from the ultimate carnivore! So, now I have decided to call myself a vegetarian and live a vegan lifestyle to the best of my ability. No need for fancy titles. When my kids think I’m making vegan soup, they balk at it. When I make soup for dinner, without the title, they eat the leftovers for snack as well. The best leaders don’t need titles.

  • Heidi says:

    I haven’t eaten dairy products since March 9th and today for the first time I forgot about it and ate some chesse at lunch and 15 minutes later had severe stomach pains and was wondering if any would might know why this was?

  • Heidi says:

    Well I wprl at a Christian school where my daughter goes to. When I announced that I was going vegan every one at the school I worked with looked at me like I was nuts and out of my Mind. I am 41 years old and I feel like no one really care about animals and there saftey the way that I do and every one says what I read on Peta is nuts as Peta doesn’t know what they are talking about. The Lunch Lady says to me today that I am not being a good example to the kids by going vegan and not eating meat or dairy products. We have a boy from inda in Pre-K at my daughters school that is vegetarian and no one says anything to him but for me I am a adult and not a good example by doing this the lunch lady tells me. What should I do about this?

  • emmalah says:

    it’s not always the hens or cows that directly suffer from producing the products we consume (but they do suffer greatly often enough because of rough treatment) Also, i consider dairy to be far more twisted and sickening than eating flesh products. The reason for this can be greatly explained if you look it up, but basically cows have to have given birth to produce milk and their baby is taken from them within hours and the milk is taken for our consumption and male calves are considered a ‘by-product’ of the dairy industry and killed shortly after birth to be used in pet food and other poor quality products. And male hens, because they aren’t “high quality meat” and cant lay eggs are dropped into a macerator alive to be ‘processed’. so, really, eggs and dairy are still truly horrific.

  • Erin says:

    ok so I’m really confused about eggs and dairy. I have hens who lay eggs and they are not being mistreated. Cows give milk but are not being harmed. I do believe that being vegan is healthier and would like to consider this lifestyle but I think that eggs and dairy should be ok. Please attempt to explain this to me or convince me otherwise I’m going vegan and still eating eggs and dairy. Thanks for the help.

  • Don Randall says:

    I have to disagree with those who insist that being vegan refers to people who exclude all food and medicine products with trace amounts of animal products. Certainly I would agree to sign a petition so that pharmaceutical and food companies make a full disclosure of ingredients and provide 100 percent vegan alternatives. But in the meantime, I’m not going to stop taking life-saving medicines and supplements until the companies are regulated. The default for all medications should be not only vegan, but also hypo-allergenic and gluten free.

  • Bill in Detroit says:

    I began to be a vegan the first time I came home from the grocery store without any (overtly) meat products. I ate or gave away the meat products that were already in my house and just didn’t buy any replacements. That was several years ago. I wavered back and forth until recently, being a “mostly-tarian”.

    Now, I’m “in”.

    A lot of people have to abstain from meat to save even a single cow from a horrible life and a gruesome death, so whatever I do is no more than an incremental contribution to a combined whole. For me, being vegan is not a grudge match or a holy crusade … it is simply taking responsibility for my health and that of the planet to the extent that I reasonably can. I agree with the writer of the precipitating post whose reasoning seems to be “do the best that you can without repelling others and move on”.

    You people who take the hard line … do you have ANY idea what you sound like to newcomers? Why not present this life style as “eventually you’ll end up -over there-, but, for now, start -here-.” It seems that having a million people who are 90% vegan would accomplish far more good than having 100,000 absolutists.

    There is a place for militancy … but there is also a place for walking softly.

    I respectfully decline to shuffle around feeling guilty for not having a perfect understanding of the chemistry underlying some non-meat product — you will never get me aboard that particular guilt train. I’m reading. I’m learning — quite a bit. But I’m not obsessing.

    BTW, I just read / viewed “Forks Over Knives” (book + DVD). It makes some compelling motivational arguments for the vegan lifestyle from the health-conscious / selfish point of view. If it will make me & mine healthier that’s all I need to know. The rest … the humane treatment of animals and the environmental bullets avoided … are bonuses.

  • becker says:

    I 100% agree with sam.

  • Informed consumer says:

    This article is SO wrong in so many ways. If you don’t care to “devote so much time to anything”, don’t bother calling yourself a vegan or telling yourself that you are doing the animals any good at all. It is not doing the animal any favors by only using “trace amounts” of them. There is nothing Nazi about that way of thinking either. It is easy being vegan. It is a simple healthy way of cooking and living that people would quickly realize once given a chance. There is a right and a wrong way to inform others that you have food sensitivities. You don’t need to be an ass about it. It is simply being informed about what you purchase and making the quiet statement by not buying an item contains animal products.

  • Joe C says:

    This in my opinion is a great article. When I go to the grocery store I check every single ingredient of items that I buy. I make sure I pay attention to trace amounts. When I go out to eat though , I will not fuss about small trace amounts. I have turned my whole family onto meatless mondays and if I scolded them for using a piece of bread with trace amounts of anything that would just be moronic. I am someone that stays away from animal products but will not associate myself with ego maniac nazi vegans that turn the general public off. Dont you all understand that things like the launch of meatless mondays in breweries ect. cut down so much on meat production and show people that meatless can be easy and great? For example- if everyone stopped eating meat do you really think there would even be a market for trace amounts in anything? There wouldnt be because it would be too expensive. if everyone all of a sudden started eating no meat or dairy and ate veggie burgers instead of hamburgers do you really think farms would stay in production just for trace amounts of whey to put in bread and patties? If everyone switched to soy-cheese that may have any trace amounts would diary farms last? Obviously not. This is about trying to get the world to help animals out , not about narcism and people that think they are better than others.

  • AlwaysLearning says:

    PETA, I have to agree with Harvest. While I respect and value the information you are giving it would be nice if you could label things with “pure vegan” or “trace amounts” so that people, like myself, who wish to completely abolish animal products, even trace amounts, will still have convenient and useful information.

  • Sarah says:

    Great advice! As a vegan myself I follow this way of thinking and have had many friends and family members ask me about this with concern if they wanted to be vegan how difficult it would be to do so with these restrictions…I find that having an open mind and outlook and not getting caught up in the unwritten “rules” is a simple and empowering way to remind oneself of what it is that vegans and vegetarians are trying to do in the first place: choose a compassionate way of living in order to save animals lives as much as we can do so! Thanks PETA for being so bad ass as always. All my love!

  • Sabrina says:

    This is the part that scared me off initially from being Vegan. I thought to be Vegan you had to be a animal product Nazi and I don’t care to devote that much energy, time, and resources to anything, let alone what I eat. I think this really opens Veganism up for me and makes it a real option. As for people who really do insist on everything being ‘pure’, I would say that’s impossible and puts off people like myself from Veganism and from that person. I don’t want to spend time with a nut.

  • Ann says:

    I think this is reasonable advice. I want to try to go vegan but the more i think about it this could be really hard. I’m hoping that if i do my best that over time i can look back and see that i’ve consumed fewer animals. (i don’t think that giving up food made from animals will be that hard, now that i’ve read about how animals are treated in the ‘food industry’ but buying products that are cruelty free may be too expensive. i’m going to try)

  • Kat says:

    I’m a strict vegetarian and the thought of having a veggie burger cooked in the same place as a beef burger really does put me off, so I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for food to be cooked with seperate utensils.

  • Levi says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for several years now and I am planning to go vegan as soon as the dairy products I’ve already purchased are gone. I found this article very helpful and encouraging. In fact, I was about to scrap the idea of becoming vegan because it seems as though there is a trace amount of animal derived products in so many unbelievable items. I don’t think many of those denouncing this list realize what they are actually doing. Vegans already have a reputation as being crazy. If your personal choice is to eliminate even trace amounts of animal derived products, great. Just don’t derided the rest of us who are trying. The time those folks use worrying about a minute amount of animal product could go to a much better use if they’d volunteer at an animal shelter, a wildlife rehabilitation center, or a farm sanctuary.

  • Audrey says:

    I think this is a good point to make. I do wish there was a good list out there of animal product ingredients and such, sometimes I look at nutrition facts, and I don’t have any idea. I also don’t micro manage small intakes of whatever, in fact, in my own personal belief, more of it for me is that -I- (my family) don’t buy meat whether at the grocery store, or a restaurant. (i’m only vegetarian.)

  • Bill in Detroit says:

    The ‘all or nothing’ attitude is what makes for the impression that vegans are “total whack jobs” … and keeps more of us from associating with you.

    It’s not good enough for you that we go 99% of the way. Nope, in order to call ourselves ‘vegans’ we have to be ‘pure’. Sounds like Germany in the 1930’s … it’s just a way to justify ostracism.

    Very few people “just become” vegans. Nearly all transition to it. We develop a taste for meat while still in diapers and that never leaves us until we learn appetizing alternatives and adjust our expectations regarding food — and that takes time. In many cases, it also means developing new social networks and that can be very, very, difficult. Making friends on the basis of a shared revulsion for powdered eggs makes little sense … as does dropping an old friend because the restaurant they favor serves no vegan fare.

    So don’t get in my face about a minor ingredient in a hot dog bun that I’ve filled with an Italian sausage flavored hunk of vegan soy-meat. I have no intention of becoming an absolutist / fanatic about my food, but I -am- working on eating in a way that is healthy for me and for the planet. When I get to the point where none of my food is obviously from meat origins, I’m going to call myself a vegan and there is not one thing you can do about it.

    Think about your ‘all or nothing’ attitude the next time you turn a Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon or Adventist away from your door … the same mechanism is at work. You want acceptance and converts to your absolutist sense of morality but you reject theirs because it, also, seems absolutist. (None of them actually are and a large proportion of Adventists are vegetarians.)

    I’m here because I am looking into – and leaning towards – veganism just the same as I looked into and became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    I don’t like your earth-religion focus … it is very troublesome for me and will keep me from ever fully associating myself with you. It’s like that minor defilement of the food that you find so repugnant … so I’m sure you’ll understand.

  • RK says:

    You make good points. I’m not always picky about micro-ingredients, but when I am, I make sure no jumpy potential vegans can hear me and get scared off. 😀 Hehe.

  • ConcernedVegan says:

    It frustrates me to see that a person making steps toward vegetarianism is discouraged by vegans that say vegetarian is not against animal cruelty. I wish everyone would know their roots. If you were not raised as a vegan, you too ate meat at one point. You learned about the cruelty, health benefits or many other reason to become vegan/vegetarian and made the change. Most people transition from vegetarian to vegan, but need time to feel comfortable with that. Other vegans make me NOT want to say that I’m a vegan. They put people down (including other vegans) for making choices that may go against their own extremist belief. For vegans to stand there and police each other really only hurts their argument of eliminating animal cruelty because it discourages others that may transition to vegetarianism and then veganism eventually to even TRY vegetarianism is the first place.

  • Harvest says:

    PETA, I respect your position. However, as a vegan looking for accurate information, I would appreciate you being more careful about labeling foods, restaurant meals, etc. vegan. By dismissing “trace” animal products in these items, you are essentially re-defining what is vegan. We vegans hope that you will appreciate our motivation and ask that you not “lighten” up our defining conviction.

  • sam says:

    My general advice is to do what you feel comfortable with. If we only buy pure vegan products then surely the market sees a REAL higher demand for vegan produce (i.e. products marked as 100% animal product free. If vegans continue to buy seemingly vegan products that actually contain trace amounts of animal product then we are encouraging the market to produce goods with animal product in them. No ‘vegan message’ sent there I’m afraid. And I’d find it hard, personally, to call myself a vegan if I were consuming food I knew contained animals.

  • chris says:

    In principle, I agree with you, however for many vegans the thought of eating something that was cooked on a grill contaminated by flesh fat is abhorrent. You do not have to ‘grill’ the restaurant staff to politely inquire if an option of cooking a vegan item separately is possibe? If not, fine, I’ll have the salad. One can gently and politely educate without bullying. You are more likely to get an honest answer that way anyway. This helps all vegans in the end.

  • Cat says:

    Bottom line:don’t be a veggie Nazi!

  • Rebecca says:

    Thank you PETA. Big changes take small steps. A vegan diet is less daunting when it is done in stages, and anyone making the transition should take this advice. If you wish to be the purest of vegans, that is your personal choice, and I think it is obvious that trying to force this difficult ideal onto others causes more harm through angry words, dissonance, and a frustration with the difficulty of the lifestyle and the people who live it rather than the non-harm that your heart wishes on the world.

  • SettleDown says:

    LOVE this article, thank you PETA. I think most of the comments below are ridiculous. Look, if you want to be your “100% I won’t ever touch anything animal whatsoever” vegan who will deny eating a piece of something because .001% of an ingredient might be from animal product, I TOTALLY support you. But please cut the crap and whining that PETA is telling people to not worry about .001% of something being animal related. And even though the article is clear, some people don’t get it. It’s not saying accept milk in your coffee. It’s not saying eat cheese on your veggie burger. It’s saying that if there’s an ingredient that is very very insignificant and you can’t tell if it’s animal-derived, don’t worry about it. FYI, PETA’s goal is to stop the suffering of animals. Not to cater to the 100% vegans. FYI to the 100% vegans, ALL of the fruit you eat has traces of animal product in it because of the fertilizer, so there’s your 100% down the toilet.

  • Julian says:

    I pledged to be vegan yesterday afternoon I’ve done a lot of research but i still don’t know about the random items in my house that might be cruel to animals. May someone please tell me what i should and shouldn’t use and may you please dumb it down.

  • Michael Self says:

    For true vegans (I’m new and want to be 100% vegan), we cannot go by this list from PETA. The point about leading others along may be helped by this list. I’d love to eat Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter, but if there is refined sugar in it that has been processed with bone char, I’m not doing it.

  • Susan says:

    Sorry but I don’t get it… either you are against animal cruetly or you are not… And being vegetarian is NOT against animal cruelty. Ever see those battery cages those hens are kept in… yeah go ahead and enjoy that omelette. Being vegan on the other hand, is… NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS OR BY-PRODUCTS… THAT is to be totally against cruetly to animals. And unfortunately, I’m not sure that being vegan or vegetarian is saving any animals… there is more meat thrown away in this country than you can imagine. I wish there was some kind if national registry where we could sign up… then we might actually do some good and save some animals. I am still sticking to my vegan lifestyle though, no matter what. I am not going to be responsible for the suffering of these poor animals. And if you are worried about what you are possibly getting if you eat out… then eat at home… it’s not the end of the world!

  • AkiraMakena says:

    Actually, a lot of sushi places are very vegan friendly – And if you’d smell the fish, it’s not a good sushi place. Haha 😛 But before I turned vegan, I was addicted to sushi, and it was kinda sad parting with it. I found out that you can just request the chef to prepare something vegan for you. They’ll usually happily agree. They love a challenge(: As for BBQ places… Well, from my experience in a small town in a meat-and-dairy county… Almost everything is slathered in some sort of animal product and the smell is obvious, haha. But yeah. I just wanted to tell you about the sushi thing.

  • Kat says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 10 years, and I have recently started cutting back on eggs and dairy. When I move to Chicago for grad school this fall, I hope to transition to being completely vegan. I see no harm in courteously asking for an ingredient list at a restaurant or politely refusing a dish in someone’s home because it contains trace amounts of animal products. It creates awareness without causing undue tension. However, I would never expect a restaurant to wash all of their surfaces, especially for me, although I can understand why some would. Whenever friends say, “I don’t think they have anything you can eat there,” I simply reply that I’m creative and will be able to find something, which is usually the case. The only restaurants I absolutely refuse to go to are sushi and barbecue joints because the smell absolutely nauseates me, and they are notoriously bad for not catering to vegetarians, much less vegans.

  • Erin says:

    Allergy = one could DIE if the substance is ingested.

    Vegan = choice.

    By all means, request your veggie burger be cooked on its own grill, I don’t disagree…just stop saying it’s the same as an allergy. It simply isn’t.

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