When I became vegan over 12 years ago, there weren’t many options available to vegans in grocery stores. You could only get soy milk at health food stores and there were only a handful of companies even making it. There weren’t many meat substitutes either, mostly tofu and TVP, which would have to be soaked in water and re-hydrated before you used it. These days however, you can get soy milk, vegan cheese, vegan yogurt, vegan chicken breasts and burgers, and so much more at your local grocery store.
Companies are starting to recognize that there are more and more people who are opting to live a cruelty free life by going vegan, and are producing products to meet their needs. These days being vegan doesn’t mean just living off tofu and vegetables. You can have all sorts of foods that are not only tasty but also contain no animal ingredients.
There are many companies that produce only vegetarian and vegan products, however, there are a lot of mainstream companies that are now also adding vegan products to their existing line of products. You can now find vegan versions of all your old favorites like burgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts and nuggets, ground beef, pizza, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream and so much more.
Not only are companies taking notice, but restaurants are also starting to realize that their clientele want more vegan options. Some restaurants have entire sections devoted to vegetarian selections and many restaurants are eager to accommodate you if you call ahead and let them know you’re vegan. I have had some of the most amazing food at non vegan restaurants simply by calling in advance so that the chef can prepare accordingly. They are often only too happy to make something special since they usually make the same things day after day. One chef told me he loved the challenge of cooking for vegans because it gave him a chance to try out new things.
Everywhere you look more and more stuff is being made vegan. More shoes and clothes are being made from natural fibers and synthetic leathers. Designers are opting to use faux fur and pleather instead of the real thing. Even high end car companies are offering fake leather and micro-suede instead of real leather for the seats. And as more people take on a vegan lifestyle, more companies will be forced to make cruelty free, vegan products to keep up with the demand.