Judaism teaches the importance of always asking questions, so it may come as no surprise that Jewish vegans are popping up left and right, questioning a system that tells us to eat animals and cause unnecessary suffering.
How easy is it to be a Jewish vegan? Every Jewish vegan knows that once you’ve cycled through all the holidays, it’s a piece of (vegan) cake. Explaining to your mishpocha may be a chore at first, but soon, you’ll start your own traditions while still honoring those you were raised with.
You know you’re a Jewish vegan when you dip your Rosh apples in agave instead of honey. (It’s less sticky anyway!)
Or when you once had the startling realization that you’d never get challah on Shabbat again—only to find you can make your own without eggs.
Actor-author Mayim Bialik even included a vegan pretzel challah in her cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, which you were probably very excited to see released a few years back.
You know you’re a Jewish vegan when you’re suddenly especially interested in the traditions of Sukkot, which is celebrated with a temporary structure decorated with vegetables—basically, a harvest festival!
And Chanukah is probably your favorite holiday, now that you’ve figured out how to make eggless latkes better than Bubbe’s.
Plus, other important Hanukkah traditions can easily be established or made vegan, like gelt for the dreidel game and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
Or maybe it’s Purim, now that you’ve mastered vegan hamantaschen.
You’re a Jewish vegan if your Passover Seder plate has a big red beet in place of the shank bone.
And you know that a plain piece of matzo is your friend, as it’s usually vegan.
You were probably ecstatic when you finally mastered a vegan matzo ball.
Or you thought that you’d never have matzo brei again—then you discovered that you could use tofu or Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg.
You’ve watched that Rugrats episode about Passover more times than you’d care to admit.
And you always get some sort of stuffed bell pepper or mishmash of carrots and mushrooms at b’nai mitzvahs—tasty but predictable.
You know you’re a Jewish vegan when you’ve been asked more than once if being vegan is the same as being kosher. (It definitely isn’t—warning: graphic.)
You know exactly which vegan products are kosher.
You probably once thought you’d never have a perfect bagel with cream cheese again, but then you found Kite Hill’s delicious vegan cream cheese—and had to Instagram it.
And you top that sucker with carrot lox.
Or tomato lox!
Now I have a question for you: What other aspects of Jewish religion, tradition, or culture have you veganized? Share your ideas—and recipes—with your friends and family on social media, and next year, you’ll have more vegans at the table.