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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi =)

I've been vegetarian for a little over 6 months now but I only joined this site earlier today. I was quite content to just stay veggie, and to be perfectly honest, hadn't really given much thought to veganism. I've always made sure to buy organic and free range dairy products and, naively so, thought I wasn't doing any harm. The media (in the UK at least) has portrayed these so-called 'animal friendly' farms as being completely free from cruelty and have always led me to believe that cows and chickens alike are living out their lives happily and, for the most part, in the way nature intended. But after visiting PETA.org.uk I am absolutely disgusted! How can they call it 'free' farming when these poor animals are kept in cramped, filthy sheds? I've been reading the articles on there for the past 3 hours, and had to force myself to watch some of the video links so that I can have a bit more of an insight into the conditions in which they are reared. They actually made me throw-up three times and I practically cried throughout the entire thing. =(

So basically, I'm wondering what sort of things are okay to eat. I usually have the Quorn meals and faux meat products, but, as far as I'm aware, these are only vegetarian foods. What sort of vegan products are available on the market, and where can you buy them? I live in England by the way.

Thank you in advance =D
 

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If you want to eat veganly, check ingredients lists, and start off by avoiding animal products: Milk (including casein and whey), eggs, gelatin (which is not even lacto-ovo vegetarian, but is a common mistake), and perhaps also honey. That will avoid the most harm there. You can research and ask us about other ingredients, because you enter gray areas -- where the ingredient in question has the possibility of coming from animal or plant origins but is not known due to labeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info =)

I think the main problem will be the fact that most foods seem to contain a million different ingredients, and unless you're actually familiar with them, it's impossible to know exactly what they are =/

By the way, do you know if rennin is the same thing as rennet? I've seen it listed on cheese I think, and have avoided it because I wasn't sure.
 

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PETA has an ingredient booklet (US version) you can take with you to the supermarket. It lists which obscure titles are lacto/ovo, vegan, neither, or it depends. I don't know if all the terms mean the same thing in the UK or if they have another they offer Brits. Might want to check with your area veg organization to see if they have one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImperfectTruth View Post

Thank you for the info =)

I think the main problem will be the fact that most foods seem to contain a million different ingredients, and unless you're actually familiar with them, it's impossible to know exactly what they are =/

By the way, do you know if rennin is the same thing as rennet? I've seen it listed on cheese I think, and have avoided it because I wasn't sure.
Yes, it's the same thing. But if you're wanting to go vegan (I assume so based upon the forum you entered, and the mention of PETA), then all dairy cheese should be avoided because dairy cows often have an even worse life than beef cows.


I'd stick with froggy's advice to start off by avoiding the major ingredients: milk, eggs, gelatin, whey and casein, and of course meat, fish and poultry. If you avoid all those you'll cut out at least 98% of animal derived ingredients, and you can worry about the last 2% of ingredients that are sometimes derived from animals as you get more comfortable reading labels.
 

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Originally Posted by ImperfectTruth View Post

What sort of vegan products are available on the market, and where can you buy them?
The main brand of vegan fake meat is Redwoods which you can get from health food shops like Holland and Barretts. I really like their Cheatin' Ham, but they sell sausages, fishless fingers, chickenless nuggets etc. You can get veggie mince in the freezer section in some supermarkets, but I've forgotten the brand. You could try tofu, especially the Cauldron marinated kind which supermarkets sell. I think Linda McCartney pies and sausages are vegan now.

Alternatively, some Chinese food shops have tinned mock meats which can be tasty, but very oily.
 

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You can get RealEat soya mince, which is vegan, in a lot of supermarkets. Also the Linda McCartney sausages are vegan. Cauldron sausages aren't :-(, but the tofu is. Holland and Barrett have a lot of fake meat stuff, or if you can find an independent health food/wholefoods type shop near you they may have a wider range of things. I've also noticed a couple of brands of spicy beanburgers which are vegan, the Dalepak ones and a newish brand called Grassington's (saw these in Somerfield the other week).

Another tip is that some of the 'value' brand products in supermarkets are vegan when you might not expect them to be (presumably because removing the animal products means they don't cost as much to make). Recently I've spotted vegan garlic bread, Christmas puddings, apple pies...
 

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You can get this excellent pocket book from the UK Vegan society (link kindly provided by Joe) called The Animal Free Shopper. It not only lists ingredients but brand named foods (even store brands) and tells you what is vegan. You still have to check because products can change their ingredients but it works 99% of the time.
 

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As you like Quorn, etc, and perhaps are using these to replace meat-y dishes, perhaps you might like to give TVP a go - you can get it in health food shops over here in the UK, and it comes in mince or chunks, flavoured or unflavored. You don't have to freeze this and it keeps for ages in the cupboard.

Alternatively, try lentils and beans to replace them - I would normally check the ingredients if you are buying tinned ones, but if you are buying dried (which keep, but take more cooking...) then you should be ok.

Soy milk and suchlike is really easy to get hold of - but make sure it is vegan. Some of the fortified ones aren't, although most mark it out.

I have yet to find a decent cheese though, although toffuti better than cream cheese is pretty darn good.

Go on a Health Food Shop adventure, that's what I say -see what you can find!

Good luck!

pirate x
 
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