CQC: I don’t like vegan food…

Common Questions and Comments - I don't like vegan food | thevegancrew.com

When I was in high school, my first job was working summers at the same company where my dad worked.  The job itself left a little to be desired, but it gave me the opportunity to ride to and from work each day with my dad and to regularly go out for lunch together — I can’t even begin to describe how much I cherish that time we had together.

Earlier this month, my dad said goodbye to the nine-to-five and entered retirement.  On his last day, I picked him up at his office for one final father-daughter, workday lunch.  On our way to the restaurant, he commented that he didn’t care where we went so long as there was something for him to eat.  I said that we weren’t going to a vegan restaurant, although, even if we were, there would be plenty for him to eat.  He lovingly scoffed.  You see, he doesn’t like “vegan food.”  (He must have forgotten the vegan penne vodka and sweet and savory jackfruit carnitas tacos that he happily chows down on at my place.  And my Texas sheet cake — his all-time favorite dessert, which he happened to have been eating on all week.)

I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  Maybe it’s the neighbor who won’t touch the vegan dishes at the block party or the vegetarian co-worker who, when food is ordered for the group, won’t eat the vegan option because she’s vegetarian, not vegan.

Maybe you’ve even said it yourself.

But here’s the thing about vegan food:  it’s just food.  Food that happens to be free of animal products.  And everyone, regardless of dietary persuasion, eats vegan food.  They just don’t call it vegan — it’s simply called, “food.”  So when someone says they don’t like vegan food, I say, “Bananas!”

Literally, bananas.  They’re vegan.  The plant kingdom has a plethora of options:

  • Apples, grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, avocados, watermelon, cantaloupe and any and all other fruits you can imagine.
  • Broccoli, sweet potatoes, potatoes, kale, celery, carrots, and all other vegetables.
  • Garbanzo beans, black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans — beans, beans, beans!  And lentils, too.
  • Nuts and seeds like walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, quinoa.
  • Grains such as rice, oats, millet, wheat and barley.
  • Mushrooms of many varieties — portobello, morels, shitake.

All the fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains and fungi anyone could want.

Who hasn’t gone to a baseball game and snacked on peanuts and crackerjacks, or gorged on a meal’s worth of chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant?  It’s all vegan.  So many snacks and meals and drinks are, generally speaking, already (accidentally) vegan.  Such as:

The problem isn’t vegan food, but, rather, the unfamiliar.  A vegan diet is an enigma to many, and it is hard for them to picture a satisfying plate once the steak and cheesy potatoes have been removed.  But when we frame it in terms of foods that they already eat and enjoy every day, we help to demystify veganism, open minds and make a plant-based diet more accessible.

What’s your favorite “accidentally” vegan food?


  1. says

    Such a great article, as always, Bobbie! You’re so right: the problem is the unfamiliar, not vegan food. The most common question people ask me is “Where do you get your protein?” They don’t realize protein is in many things (that they already eat), not just meat!

    • says

      Thank you! You’re right, the protein question is usually, hands down, the number one question vegans get — it was actually my first Common Questions & Comments post! It’s in virtually everything, making it easy to get enough protein on a vegan diet.

  2. says

    I adore your humour! You are completely right though. What is it with people sticking to their own label? Vegan food is natural!

  3. says

    Awesome article Bobbie. I was surprised to learn that Oreo cookies were actually vegan. I doubt it was by design and I definitely wouldn’t class them as good food of course, but maybe as a treat once in a while.

    I also wrote an article on my vegan/fitness blog around protein sources for vegans. I compared them to some of the more popular animal sources and they came out pretty good.

  4. says

    I LOVE pasta e fagioli and have had it more times this past week at my partners family place here in Italy that I can’t recall any of the other dishes we’ve had.

    We’re big fans of pointing out to people all of the already vegan meals that they’re eating but haven’t thought about in that way before. Just the other day we were all at the beach and decided to go for an evening freshly baked pizza and had a fantastic option covered in veg that we loved. You wouldn’t have been able to tell it didn’t have all of the cheese that can often come with Italian pizzas because the veg was just so good.

  5. says

    This is very true! People don’t realize how delicious vegan food can be! I travelled to Italy with my family for my wedding this past April and everyone thought I was crazy for deciding to “stay vegan” while I was there. My dad even said he was “impressed by my willpower.”

    The funny thing was that I didn’t need to have any willpower because the animal-free options available to me were amazingly delightful! It’s unfortunate that people would look at my plate and assume that I was “missing out.” If anything, I feel like my palate has been freed since going vegan. I’m better able to taste the wonderful flavors of plant-based foods without relying on animal products like cheese and butter.

    • says

      I’ve seen some fine vegan Italian meals, and they are truly decadent and delightful! I agree about the palate — I eat so much more variety (and enjoy eating so much more) than I did before I went vegan.

  6. says

    You can’t imagine up to what extent I feel identified with this post!!!!! My mother says that to me ALL the time! My favourite accidental food must be hummus! I’m so glad it’s such a “mainstream” food now!

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