If you are wondering about what foods vegans eat, you are not alone. Here we demystify what it means to be a vegan. As a rule, vegans do not partake in any animal products. This not only includes not drinking milk, but also not eating any food derived from animals such gelatin, which is derived from horse hooves, or honey, which is derived from bees. Vegans strictly stick to foods derived from fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and grains. Raw vegans do not eat any foods heated above 118 degrees.
Whether they eat cooked foods or not, vegans get asked lots of questions, some of them odd, and some of them are valid for those who don't fully understand veganism. Rounding out the most common things people wonder about vegans are where they get their protein from, can vegans eat chocolate, and, just as often, what's wrong with milk. Below we answer the most common questions vegans are asked about their diets.
Can Vegans Drink Milk or Dairy?
Because milk is derived from cows, milk is a no-go for vegans, even if it's organic or direct from a farm. The reasons for not drinking milk are, in fact, quite similar to the reasons people choose to become vegetarian: animal rights/welfare, environmental reasons, and health concerns. If you're curious as to why many people choose to avoid drinking milk, check out these facts about milk. And, if you're thinking about getting rid of dairy, you might be interested in the variety of dairy substitutes available. So you know, vegetarians who do drink milk or other dairy products are known as lacto-ovo vegetarians. That is, they eat dairy and eggs. These vegetarians are okay with eating animal products, but only if the product comes from a live animal.
Do Vegans and Vegetarians Eat Fish?
Vegans do not eat any animal products, whether from land or sea. Vegetarians also do not partake in eating seafood of any kind. People who eat no land animals, such as beef, chicken, pork or lamb, but do eat seafood are called pescatarians. Pescatarians eat much like lacto-ovo-vegetarians and add seafood to make up their diet.
How Do Vegans Get Enough Protein?
Protein is an essential part of a balanced diet. However, many Americans get way more than is needed because of our high consumption of meat. Add to that the promotion of high protein diets, and the prevailing thought is that vegans don't get enough protein. Because many Americans see fruits and vegetables as not having protein, they may think vegans lack adequate protein intake. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Nuts and legumes offer up more than enough protein for vegans, and many vegetables, especially potatoes, leafy greens, and grains like brown rice and quinoa provide plenty of protein as well.