What Won’t Vegans Eat?

You may be wondering – ‘What can’t vegans eat?’

Actually, it’s more WON’T than CAN’T.

Veganism is a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothes, products or any other purpose. It involves the understanding that we can live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life without causing harm to other creatures. Unfortunately, there are whole industries built for the exact opposite – profit over principles. We’ve all funded these dark businesses (albeit unintentionally or unknowingly) throughout our lives. But the good news is it’s so easy to stop!

Food is a great place to begin. If you’ve read our page ‘What Will Vegans Eat?‘ then you’re already off to a great start. There’s a huge amount of choice out there that’s cruelty free. There are vegan alternatives for everything listed below, so please don’t feel restricted.

But what about the things that vegans won’t eat? We’ve compiled a list of the things that are non-vegan, with a brief, non-graphic explanation of why. Read on!

vegan food shopping

There’s more to food shopping than meat, eggs and dairy – just check out this vegan food haul

  • Meat. The obvious one! This is ANY meat not labelled vegan. It should be very, very clear if it’s faux meat or not. Vegans believe that flesh belongs on a living, breathing, pain free animal. It’s not ours to purchase or use. FACTS: animals feel pain, even humane meat suffers, no animal wants to die.
  • Fish and seafood. This is exactly the same as meat, and includes crustaceans such as mussels and oysters. The only reason we put it as a separate point, is because sometimes people get confused and try to claim that fish / sea animals don’t feel pain or are somehow less worthy beings than those on land. Not true. Many studies have proven that fish feel pain, form relationships, and most importantly, don’t want to be killed and eaten.
  • Dairy – anything made with the milk of an animal. This includes traditional milks, yoghurt, cheese, cream​ and butter. Traces of milk can be found in anything, from crisps to pastries, so do check labels to be sure. The reason why vegans oppose the dairy industry is its exploitation of animals on such a severe scale. If we focus on cows for example, they are forcibly impregnated, have their calves taken away at birth, are kept in terrible conditions, and forced to produce far higher quantities of milk than is natural or comfortable. This cycle is repeated over and over until the cow can no longer become pregnant / produce milk… she’s then killed. In terms of health, the milk of other species is simply not meant for us. Cows milk has a specific nutrient make-up, with high fat content designed for calves who put on rapid weight in their first few months of life.
  • Eggs – from hens, fish or any other animal. Eggs come from a terrible industry. Birds in cages so small they cannot stretch their wings. Chickens that won’t see the sun until the day they are killed. Millions of day-old male chicks thrown into grinders or gassed because they are commercially useless. All of this just so we can eat a product that’s high in cholesterol anyway.
  • Honey and bee pollen. Any bee products are off the table
    bees in hive making honey

    Honey belongs to bees

    for us vegans. Disease is rife in hives, and the insects are forced into unnatural behaviours while we steal their produce. Simply put, these items come from exploitation.

  • Gelatine. Made by boiling the bones and hides of animals… lovely. This crafty ingredient sneaks into a number of things, such as sweets and jelly. You can often tell if it’s non-vegan as the ingredients list will state pork or beef gelatine. The goods news is that you can find vegan gelatine, made from agar agar or carrageenan. It should be stated on the pack which one it is.
  • Lard and animal fats. As these are products are directly from animals, they’re off the list for vegans. Look for items with healthy oils instead.
  • E numbers*. These are the scientific looking numbers on labels that help to flavour, preserve or enhance a food in some way. Some E numbers are suitable for vegans, but some aren’t. When you’re ready, start to become familiar with the non-compliant ones.
  • Some alcohol*. Isinglass is often used to make beer or wine. It’s a substance from fish bladders, and really quite unnecessary to use. Alcohol can be just as tasty without it!

*We go into more detail on E numbers, alcohol and other nasties on our Hidden Ingredients page.

reading food labels in the supermarketReading and interpreting labels may be tricky at first, but after a few months the process will become quicker – we promise. Don’t be disheartened if you fail to spot a non-vegan ingredient and therefore purchase the wrong thing, it’s a learning curve! For ease, look for products that explicitly state ‘suitable for vegans’ or do an online food shop so that you can filter for vegan products that way. You can visit stores that are well known for catering for vegans, such as Holland and Barrett and Ocado. If you need help spotting non-vegan foods, head over to our Hidden Ingredients page.

Vegans aren’t perfect. We can be mis-informed in a restaurant. We can forget to check the label on something that we’ve eaten for years, not knowing it now contains milk. Despite the best of intentions, we can make mistakes. It’s important to recognise that it’s ok – we’re only human after all, not robots! It doesn’t make us any less vegan or ethical, as long as we do things with intent, and consciously refrain from taking part in animal exploitation.

As a new vegan, there will be a learning curve for you. Focus on cutting out the obvious and as you become more educated and comfortable, work your way down the list above and adapt to your new lifestyle. You may find at first that you’ll be checking a lot of labels, googling every day, but don’t worry, it will soon become second nature! You’ll find delicious staples for your diet and discover new foods.

Do you have any questions? Want to know if anything is vegan or not? Ask us below!

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  • Why try vegan?
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1. HEALTH:
Many objective studies show that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke. It also cuts your risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and breast. Processed meat is classed as a carcinogenic.
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2. THE ANIMALS:
Can we justify the suffering and death of animals, when we can live happily and healthily without inflicting it? A high proportion of 'meat' animals never see daylight, and many die in their cramped, unhygienic surroundings before they reach the slaughterhouse. Even humane meat is marketing. Is there a humane way to kill somebody that doesn't want to die?
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3. HUMANS:
Veganism isn’t just an animal rights issue, it’s a human rights issue too. Feeding grain to livestock reduces the amount of food that is available to underdeveloped nations. Around 75% of soybeans produced are fed to animals, for example. People go hungry, while that same food they could be eating is given to animals raised for slaughter. Many of these slaughtered animals are then transported to affluent countries such as the UK, for us to eat!
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4. THE ENVIRONMENT:
Most of us have realised by now that climate change is real and happening as we speak. Raising animals for food uses many more resources than growing plants. 30% of the ice-free surface area of the Earth is used to either rear livestock, or grow the food to feed it. They produce a huge amount of methane (cows alone in excess of 150 billion gallons per day!), and methane is thought to be 25 to 100 times more harmful than CO2. This is all without mentioning pollution, deforestation, land degradation, and water scarcity.
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These are brief explanations, do feel free to conduct your own research or ask questions.
Do you think it's worth it so we can eat meat?
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Katy
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #veganmealplan #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #dairyfree #flexitarian #glutenfree
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Did you read it yet?⠀
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Have a look over my latest post: ⠀
Which Vegan Documentary Should You Watch?⠀
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Not all documentaries are graphic or about animal abuse. I've included films about health, marine conservation and the environment. Find out which one suits you!⠀
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LINK IN BIO⠀
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #landofhopeandglory #cowspiracy #dominion #documentaries #veganlife
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I'm always going on about how great vegan food is... but even the best of us can make some fatal errors at meal time!⠀
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Crumpets, melted cheese, and marinated grilled tempeh.⠀
A nice easy lunch, I thought. Not the healthiest, but I'm busy and pregnant.⠀
WRONG!⠀
It was awful - dry and hard. But it seemed like a good idea at the time...⠀
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Spill the beans! What's the worst meal you've had?⠀
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #veganmealplan #veganshopping #foodfails #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #veganfails
  • Which Vegan Documentary Should You Watch?⠀
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That's the big question!⠀
Many people have heard of vegan documentaries, but are either too scared to watch one, or have no idea where to start. How about you?⠀
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Those of us who have watched documentaries found them vital in our vegan journey, allowing us to make an emotional connection to animals and the suffering we pay for them to go through, and take our health more seriously.⠀
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This post includes documentaries that span a range of topics, and I narrowed it down to those that are crucial for new vegans too. Give it a read!⠀
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Of course, there are plenty more documentaries out there. Have a recommendation? Comment on the post and let me know!⠀
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Katy⠀
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LINK IN BIO - CHECK IT OUT!⠀
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #vegandocumentaries #vegandocumentary #cowspiracy #forksoverknives #whatthehealth
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We can 100% thrive on a vegan diet.⠀
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Don't believe me?⠀
Even the NHS, WHO and Association of Nutritionists and Dietitians have confirmed that a well-balanced vegan diet is suitable for all stages of life, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and childhood.⠀
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There are many misconceptions around vegans being weak or deficient, but many athletes, bodybuilders and regular people are thriving as vegans. Just look at Tony Gonzalez, Venus Williams and the 'Hench Herbivore'!⠀
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Any lifestyle can be unhealthy if we don't eat the right things. With the fast-food culture, many of us are consuming too much saturated fat, refined sugar, refined carbs and processed foods. ⠀
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We could all do with a rundown in nutrition! I've created two guides - basic nutrition, and advanced nutrition, which are in my bio.⠀
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Katy⠀
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #animallover #friendsnotfood #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #vegannutrition #veganhealth #govegan #healthyliving #veganhealth
  • How did Learner Vegan materialise?⠀
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I’ve met wonderfully supportive people along my vegan journey, but also a few judgemental folks that criticise and argue in a non-constructive way. There’s been masses of complex information to understand along the way, on a huge variety of vegan-related topics. Some of it can be a struggle to understand.⠀
Veganism doesn’t have to be as hard as I made it for myself! And that’s really why I wanted to create this site.⠀
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Firstly, to create a safe space. Somewhere you can come if you fall off the wagon. No judgement, no criticism. Just a friendly face and support to reach that vegan goal, whatever it may be or however slowly you are working towards it.⠀
Secondly, to help people who were like me 6 years ago. People with no clue about veganism, perhaps even with pre-conceptions and doubts about the whole lifestyle. But with a thirst to find out more, to make some kind of change, because supporting these violent industries doesn’t sit right with them anymore.⠀
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Does any of this sound like you?⠀
You may not know where to start. You’re probably overwhelmed by the masses of conflicting information out there. I was too!⠀
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Learner Vegan is a one-stop shop. It makes everything simple and easy to understand. I’ll talk you through ethics, shopping and cooking… plus everything else! I’m on hand as your vegan guide. To answer tricky questions, motivate you, and help you back on the wagon if you slip up.⠀
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Remember: reading this is your first step toward a compassionate lifestyle. I’m all for celebrating these small changes, because every change is an animal saved.⠀
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What do you need help with?⠀
Katy⠀
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#newvegan #learnervegan #veganbeginner #vegancommunity #vegetarians #veggielife #veggielove #veganhelp #vegansupport #dairyfree #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #meatfree #meatless #veganbuys #veganmealplan #veganshopping #animallover #friendsnotfood #veganwannabe #vegannewbie #goingvegan #beingvegan #almostvegan #veganuk #ukvegans #ukvegan #vegansofig #veganforlife #govegan
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