A List Of What Vegans Can And Can’t Eat – The Many Foods Vegans Can Eat & The Few Foods Vegan’s Don’t Eat

I wrote a post the other day about what vegans can not have but it was filled with philosophical musings and included the complete vegan lifestyle.

Many folks loved it, but I also got a few requests from people who were embracing veganism and those who knew vegans and wanted to invite them round for a vegan dinner, but they didn’t know what foods vegans could eat, and more importantly they didn’t know what foods vegans could NOT eat.

So for those of you this is a vegans can and can’t eat list. It’s pretty complete, but I can’t obviously identify by manufacturer all products that are vegan.

But if you pick from this list the foods that vegans do eat you will have a happy vegan over for dinner and you will have a quick way of identifying vegan foods and becoming vegan yourself if that is your choice.

I’ll start with the foods that vegans can or do eat:

Foods vegans can eat
All fruits: Bananans, citrus, kiwis, avocados, melons, berries, cherries, apples, mangos and on and on.

All veggies: Kale, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spinach, lettuces and on and on.

All grains: rice, quinoa, oats, barley, wheat, teff, corn etc.

All legumes: soybeans, black beans, chickpeas, black eyed peas, kidney beans, fava beans etc.

All seeds: flax seed, sesame seed, poppy seed etc.

All nuts: walnuts, brazils, peanuts, cashews, chestnuts, almonds, filberts, macadamia etc.

All of the above products in their natural state vegans can eat. Canned beans are usually vegan too unless they are pork and beans. But beans in tomato sauce are mostly vegan.

Most whole grain breads are vegan as traditionally, most breads do not use milk ingredients or eggs unless they are milk or egg breads.

Many pastas are vegan too except for fresh pasta which usually has eggs and of course egg noodles. Most dry pastas like spaghetti, macaroni etc are vegan.

The key ingredients to look out for when buying pastas, breads or other manufactured products based around the above vegan foods which are suitable for your vegan are milk ingredients, eggs, honey, gelatin and whey powder. If you don’t see those ingredients on the list of ingredients you are 99% assured that you have found a vegan product.

Needless to say, you won’t buy products that contain any of the ingredients listed below, which brings us the to the list of foods vegans don’t eat.

Foods vegans DO NOT eat
All animal flesh: This includes not only meat like steaks, ribs, bacon, pork, lamb, goat, veal etc but also fowl like chicken, turkey, pheasant, duck etc. Vegans also do not eat fish like tuna, mackerel, trout, sea bass, salmon, fish eggs etc. as well as seafood like calamari, oysters, lobsters and crabs etc.

If you think of it this way you’ll identify 99% of the flesh based foods that vegans don’t eat. If it moves, has a mother or eyes then vegans don’t eat it.

All dairy and their products: Vegans don’t eat any animal milk like goat milk or cows milk and they also don’t eat any dairy based products. No milk based ice cream, no milk based cheese, no milk based creams of any kind, no yoghurts etc.

All animal eggs: Vegans don’t eat chicken eggs, duck eggs, fish eggs as mentioned above or products made with them.

Honey: Vegans don’t eat honey as it is from bees which are insects and as such are from the kingdom animalia. Some vegans are not as strict with honey so your best approach is to ask your vegan if you can use honey in any recipes. If you are thinking of becoming vegan, please don’t use honey. Read my link above or this one for reasons why honey is not vegan.

All animal by-products: This can be quite an extensive list, but most vegans will be delighted if you avoid giving them these most common animal by-products in their food. Vegans don’t eat any animal based broths like beef or chicken broth (often used as a base in many soups including some vegetable pre-made soups), gelatin (made from skin, sinews and tendons of cows and horses), whey/whey powder (milk product), casein (milk product) and royal propolis, royal jelly and beeswax (all bee products).

That is the list of foods vegan don’t eat. It is based on the level of veganism that I feel comfortable in identifying with as a vegan who wants to encourage more people to embrace veganism as something easy to do and to allow vegans to live comfortable in an omnivorous world both socially and sympathetically.

Some vegans are much stricter than me, but I feel that if you avoid the foods just listed above or foods containing them you have avoided 99% of foods vegans can’t eat. I’ll come over and enjoy any vegan meal you prepare based on this list of foods vegans can and can’t eat.

For absolute certainty, if you are having vegans over for dinner or lunch, send them this link and ask them to identify any foods not on this list that they don’t consume.

To help make it easier for you, I have identified vegan substitutes that you can offer to vegans in place of many of the foods vegans don’t eat. These are foods that vegans DO eat which can make it easier for you to replace the non-vegan foods with.

Vegan meat substitutes: Tofurky roast, vegan sausages, vegan burgers, vegan chicken breasts, vegan ribs.

Vegan dairy substitutes: Soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk, vegan coconut ice cream, soy ice cream, soy cheese and soy yoghurt.

Vegan egg substitutes: To replace one egg in a baking recipe use 1 tablespoon of finely ground flax seed with 2 tablespoons of hot water. Allow mixture to become gel-like over 5 or so minutes stirring intermittently then use as you would the eggs.

For scrambled egg replacement, break up firm tofu with tofu scrambler mixture and fry over medium heat with a little oil and some chopped green onions, red peppers and a dash of salsa.

That’s how you feed a happy, healthy vegan. Give it a try yourself, you just might like it!

Categorized as Food


    1. Pastries are not strictly vegan if they have eggs or milk in them or on them.

      However, eliminating any obvious sign of animal products on your food is of greater concern to me than having the occasional pastry for breakfast. In other words, I think there is greater good (in limiting animal suffering) by having a pastry for breakfast than bacon and eggs or even cereal with cow’s milk.



    2. No they don’t. At the very least, please be honest about it to your vegan friends or guests.

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