When I tell people that I don’t consume meat, eggs, milk, cheese, or other animal-based foods for ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian reasons and that I haven’t for more than two decades, some are quick to ask, “So what do you eat?”
This question always leaves me tongue tied, not because I don’t know what to say, but because there is so much to say. Seriously, it’s easier—and faster—to explain what vegans don’t eat than what we do.
I won’t recite the contents of my local vegan-friendly grocery store—or the menu options at my favorite restaurants—but basically, vegans eat the same kind of food that everyone else eats, including burgers, burritos, tacos, pastas, pizza, stews, soups, sandwiches, sushi, casseroles, chili, and more. We just opt for vegan versions of these popular dishes. Check out PETA’s How to Go Vegan page to learn more.
I also enjoy an assortment of delicious international dishes, including pad Thai with tofu, chana masala, and curried vegetable dishes. You can find mouthwatering vegan meals at most Indian, Ethiopian, and Thai restaurants.
Many popular chain restaurants offer tasty vegan options as well.
Don’t be afraid to try new things! I’m a big fan of falafel, hummus, tempeh, and other foods that I didn’t even know existed until I went vegan.
Eating vegan is also great if you’re on a budget! Try one of these quick and easy vegan meals for $3 or less. Many versatile vegan staples, including beans, rice, vegetables, tofu, and pasta, are relatively inexpensive compared to meat, eggs, and dairy “products”—especially when you factor in all the money that you won’t be spending on statins, blood pressure pills, or other medical expenses for ailments you’ve incurred by eating fatty, cholesterol-laden cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches.
It’s important to eat healthy foods. Colorful mixed greens salads are quite delicious and nutritious, and all plant-based foods are cholesterol free and generally low in fat and high in fiber and other nutrients. I like to make vegan chicken salad and eggless egg salad. Oh, and during cookout season, I love creamy dill potato salad, black bean and corn salad, mock tuna salad, summery pasta salad, and BBQ tofu salad as well as fresh fruit salad and quinoa and green bean salad.
Don’t worry, though: Vegans can still eat Fritos, Cracker Jack, and many other “accidentally vegan” snack foods. It’s easy to make vegan cakes and cookies, too. And you can find vegan ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s and Sub Zero—and TCBY has the country’s best vegan frozen yogurt.