“Vegan” does not mean “never eating anything I know and love again”.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), if you have not heard of them, is a vegan organization that is an embarrassment to many vegans because of their borderline insane views and extraordinarily misleading and outrageous marketing campaigns.
Nonetheless, PETA remains the biggest and one of the best resources for vegan information, including a surprisingly comprehensive list of accidentally vegan items like the five I am about to list. They have many more than I have listed and their list is worth checking out (just ignore any crazy or sensational stuff they happen to be pushing on the sidebars). Check it out here.
Here is a list of 5 of my favorite foods I was surprised to learn are vegan when I began my journey into dead or tortured animal-free living:
1. Oreos and Nutter Butters!
I loved Oreos before going vegan but they are even better when dipped in a big glass of Coconut Milk. Nutter Butters make one of the best pie crusts you could ever want. Just blend or crush half a package, then mix with olive oil (about half a cup) to create a mixture you can press into a pie pan (I like to use my fingers) and cook it with the pie!
2. Cinnamon Life and Cap’n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch!
I love cereal and I am just crazy enough to mix both of these for Cinnamon Peanut Butter Crunch Life! Best with Almond-Coconut blend milk.
3. Laffy Taffy and Junior Mints!
Most taffy is not vegan but good old Laffy Taffy is, even in the non-banana flavors! I am not a fan of Junior Mints, personally, but in most theaters, they are one of the few vegan choices (along with original red Twizzlers and Swedish Fish).
4. Bagels and English Muffins!
Be sure to double-check the ingredients but almost every plain, blueberry, and cinnamon raisin bagel should be vegan (no eggs or butter are needed to make bagels but, obviously, an Asiago cheese covered bagel probably has… well, cheese). Thomas’ original English muffins (the original and best if you ask me) have always happened to be vegan. Great toasted and topped with a little olive oil, cinnamon, and sugar!
5. Manwich Sauce!
Hunt’s Sloppy Joe and Manwich sauces are vegan. That’s right. Vegans can enjoy gross, messy, strangely colored orange brown saucy burgers, too! Heat with either Tempeh or ground tofu. If you can’t find vegan hamburger buns, use English muffins!
Being vegan does not mean never enjoying many foods you already know and love. A lot of heavily processed foods are “accidentally” vegan, meaning it is simply cheaper to produce them without animal ingredients. It is a wholly different conversation around morality and your personal commitment and reasons for being vegan to decide if you should be supporting these companies and accidentally vegan products. Still, it is good to know (especially when you first adopt a vegan lifestyle) that when you need your cookie or Sloppy Joe fix, you’re covered.