If people find out that you don’t eat meat, it’s only a matter of time before they question your survival; well, too many it seems that way. To them this is extreme. In return, how do they react? Usually, they question what is extreme to them by asking an extremely unlikely scenario. Something like, ‘would you eat meat if you were stranded on a deserted island? How do you get your protein? I could never live without bacon!’Lucky for them, those questions are not only irrelevant but can be worked around thanks to alternatives or substitutes for animal products in our diet. Now, I know you’re probably thinking ‘well, why would a vegetarian want to eat something that looks or tastes like meat?’ And for many, this holds true; but for others, the comfort and convenience of replacing certain ingredients in our food makes the compassionate choice a rather simple one.[spacer]For example, meatless meatballs can be substituted in a recipe where you would normally use… well, meatballs. You can even substitute bacon, deli turkey, Italian sausage, and even crab. There is literally a substitute or alternative option for almost any animal product out there! So if you’re wondering how I can live without a good hot dog or burger, simply, I don’t. I substitute with the animal-friendly, healthier choice! Fortunately, it’s as easy as that.The only tricky part about these is that there are still a good handful of meatless alternatives that contain eggs, milk, or some sort of dairy product. For vegans out there, this is where you should be extra careful. Specifically, companies like Morningstar Farms and Lifelight have products that are not only vegan but vegetarian, as well, making ingredients differ depending on the product. Like always, if you read the ingredients or check the label, this shouldn’t be too big of a deal and shouldn’t cause any guilt in the future. Also for vegans, there are dairy-free alternatives, as well! From sour cream, chocolate chips, whipped cream, egg replacer, and all the way to cheese, the options are endless. But when it comes to vegan cheese, here’s a tip: check the label! [spacer]A lot of times you will think a cheese is vegan because it is near meatless food but just because it says lactose-free doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain whey or casein! An perfect example of this is Veggie Slices, now called GO Veggie. Though they have vegan cheeses, they also have non-vegan cheeses, which I talked about above. These labels can be very misleading. Again, check those ingredients and look for the “V,” though this isn’t on every vegan product![spacer]To give you an idea of just how practical these meatless and dairy-free alternatives are, I will provide you with a variety of examples along with a company that carries them below:
· Buffalo Wings
Keep in mind that these are all examples and are not even close to the number of other options available when it comes to a specific food or a company that makes that food.
Also, don’t forget that there’s an abundance of recipes online that you can use to make nearly any of these products yourself! Or substitute them for other ingredients. For example, eggs can be replaced with bananas and or tofu, etc. Just be sure to do a little research prior to cooking so you know exactly how much or how many of something to use.
And of course, too much soy, or really anything, is not good for your heath. So make sure you space out your intake and keep a balanced diet filled with mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains!
These products won’t appeal to all, but you’re sure to find something that’ll satisfy your taste buds, devour those unwanted cravings, and keep your morals in check!