Category Archives: Vegan Tips

Surprising Vegan: Frozen Treats

This article was written 20.05.06, so please excuse any reference/comment made about the corona virus lock down that is no longer relevant.


Just because we’re still stuck inside, doesn’t mean you can’t buy yourself some treats. And what to treat yourself with during these hot summer days than something refreshing and on a stick?

That’s right, I’m talking about surprising vegan treats.

Now, I know over the last few years there’s been a whole whack of vegan ice creams coming out from various companies, but, sometimes you don’t want ice cream, or you may not be able to find them where you are. Then what are you supposed to do? Sit in the corner and cry?

No!

You can head on over to your local store website (since y’know, we can’t exactly peruse in person), and check them out to see if they have any of the (much easier to find) products below.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Series - Surprising Vegan Frozen Treats - freezies, popsicles, Chapmans, Popsicle, Mr. Freeze, Sorbet, vegan food, vegan ice cream, vegan food blog, vegan food blogger, food blogger, Canadian blogger

Starting in the top left-corner, going clockwise:

  • Chapman’s Lolly Fruity
  • Chapman’s Banana Lolly*
  • Chapman’s Orange, Grape, Cherry and Fruit Punch Lolly
  • Chapman’s Soda Pop Lolly*
  • Chapman’s Triple Treat Lolly
  • Chapman’s Fruit Juice Twist Twister
  • Chapman’s Fruit Twist Twisters*
  • Chapman’s Stacked and Twisted Twister*
  • Chapman’s Mango Sorbet*
  • Chapman’s Rainbow Sorbet*
  • Kisko’s Mr. Freeze Jumbo Freezies
  • Kikso’s Welch’s Lemonade Freezies
  • Kikso’s Electro-Ice Sport Freezies
  • Kikso’s Tropics Freezies
  • Chapman’s Tropical Wave Sorbet
  • Chapman’s Triple Berry Sorbet
  • Popsicle Orange, Cherry, Grape Pops
  • Popsicle Tropical Paradise Pops*
  • Popsicle Firecracker Pops*
  • Popsicle Cyclone*
  • Maynard’s Fuzzy Peach Ice Pops*
  • Kikso’s Kids Sour Freezies*

There are also a few other treats that are vegan that I wasn’t able to find good pictures of. So, the other products I found that aren’t included in the above picture are:

  • Kisko’s Crush Giant Freezies
  • Kisko’s Welch’s Premium Juice Bars
  • Popsicle Jelly Belly

*As I said in my Surprising Vegan Candy (and a few other) posts in this series, the above items that are starred (*) are made with those food dyes that aren’t vegan.

I e-mailed Chapman’s and Popsicle to ask them about their products (Kisko actually says which select products use the food dyes on their website!), and the following is what I received as feedback:


AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Business Button (Square) - veganism, vegan food, vegan jokes, vegan merch

The struggle is real! Check out this and some of my other vegan merch here!


Chapman’s

Their website says ‘Whenever possible natural flavours and colours are used in production, and will be identified on the package label.’ (This statement was found here) So I e-mailed to ask if that meant all the other products that don’t list ‘natural colour’ use the food dyes, and they replied simply ‘that is correct‘.

Popsicle

So, I don’t want to knock any brands, but since I’ve started doing this series and have had to e-mail out multiple companies, I’ve noticed that the ones I e-mail that just so happen to be owned by Unilever either never answer me, or never give me a real answer.

I sent both companies the exact same e-mail, listing the specific products I was asking about, the food dyes I was wondering about and started both of them off with ‘I checked the FAQ and ingredients listed on the website, and I still had some questions.’

Anyway, this was Popsicle’s official answer: Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us at Popsicle.

All of the ingredients for out products are available on our website popsicle.ca. Just select the product you are interested in and click on the nutritional values, and you will scroll down and there is where you will find the ingredients. We hope this helps.

I did e-mail them back and restated I already checked the website and wasn’t able to find the answer to my question, but I have yet to receive an answer. (If I receive a real answer, I’ll update this article)

So there you go! Who says ice cream is the only frozen treat you can enjoy in the summer?


Like this post? Check out more here!

Store Crawl #2: Metro (Online Edition)

Welcome to second store crawl in my new series.

I want to start this off by saying that at the time of writing this post (20.04.07), the COVID-19 shut down of practically everything is still in full swing, so this store crawl is going to be a bit different.

Since I wasn’t actually able to go through and crawl the physical store, this will be a crawl of Metros’ online store. This means that not only may there be vegan items not listed, but that due to the virus and panic buying, they may not list items that are sold out, either.

I actually debated about scraping this post and doing a different one altogether, and to maybe back burner this series until things get back to normal, but then I figured in the midst of what’s happening, it may be more important now than before to keep the series going, as you may not be able to get groceries delivered from your favourite store, and knowing what other stores are offering without doing the research yourself (which takes hours, btw) would probably be helpful.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Store Crawl: Metro Online Edition - vegan, vegan food, shopping, vegan food reviewer, vegan food blogger

Also, I want to note: Since this is an online version, instead of listing the foods by section, I’m going to be listing them by brand.

I’m also not going to list the fruit, veg, grains or most snacks that are vegan friendly because seriously, how long do you want this post to be?

Earth Balance

  • Soy Free Traditional Spread
  • Original Traditional Spread
  • Creamy Peanut Butter & Flaxseed
  • Creamy Coconut & Peanut Spread

 

Yves

Lunch Meat:

  • Salami
  • Turkey
  • Bologna
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni (I know it’s not technically a deli meat, but the official Yves website lists it here)

Not-Dogs:

  • Jumbo Veggie Dogs
  • Meatless Veggie Dogs
  • Yves Mediterranean Harissa Sausages
  • Spicy Italian Veggie Sausages

Ground Round:

  • Original Ground Round
  • Italian Ground Round
  • Mexican Ground Round

Other:

  • Veggie Burgers
  • Souvlaki Veggie Skewers
  • Veggie Chick’N Tenders
  • Veggie Breakfast Links
  • Veggie Breakfast Patties
  • Broccoli Bites
  • Falafel Balls

 

Lightlife

  • Original Veggie Bacon
  • Veggie Chicken Tenders
  • Smoked Veggie Hot Dog Sausages
  • GF Vegan Burger
  • Beyond Meat Beyond Burger (don’t know why, but online they were listed together)

 

Tofurky

  • Italian Sausages
  • Polish Style Meatless Kielbasa Sausages
  • Marinated Roast Ham
  • Holiday Roast and Gravy

 

Daiya

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Store Crawl: Metro Online Edition - Daiya Foods Collage - vegan, vegan food, shopping, vegan food reviewer, vegan food blogger

Cheese/Sauce:

  • Plain Cream Cheese
  • Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
  • Mozzarella Slices
  • Cheddar Slices
  • Smoked Gouda Block
  • Cheddar Block
  • Mozza Style Cutting Board Shreds
  • Cheddar Style Cutting Board Shreds
  • Mozzarella Sticks
  • Cheddar Sticks
  • Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
  • Deluxe Alfredo Style Cheezy Mac
  • Deluxe Veggie White Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
  • Deluxe Cheddar Style Sauce
  • Deluxe Alfredo Style Sauce
  • Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing
  • Homestyle Ranch Salad Dressing
  • Blue Cheeze Salad Dressing

Frozen:

  • GF Supreme Pizza
  • GF Margherita Pizza
  • Cheeze Lovers’ Pizza
  • GF Classic Pepperoni Pizza
  • GF Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza
  • Crunchy Chocolate Fudge Ice Bar
  • New York Cheezecake
  • GF Chocolate Cheezecake
  • Key Lime Cheezecake

 

Amy’s Kitchen

Frozen:

  • California Veggie Burger
  • Roasted Vegetable No Cheese Pizza
  • Thai Red Curry
  • Pad Thai
  • Organic Veggie Loaf While Meal (listed as Veggie Loaf and Vegetable Meal)
  • Black Bean Enchiliada Whole Meal (Enchiliada with Spanish Rice and Beans)
  • Quinoa & Black Beans with Butternut Squash & Chard
  • Dairy Free Bean & Rice Burrito
  • Black Bean Vegtable Burrito

Cans:

  • Organic Split Pea Soup
  • Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup
  • Organic Vegetable Barley Soup
  • No Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Organic Medium Chili with Vegetables
  • Organic Spicy Chili

 

Silk  (All Silk products are vegan!)

Soy:

  • Organic Unsweetened Soy Beverage
  • Organic Original Soy Beverage
  • Chocolate Flavoured Soy Beverage
  • Soy Beverage For Coffee

Almond:

  • Original Almond Fortified Beverage
  • Unsweetened Almond Fortified Beverage
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Beverage
  • Vanilla Flavoured Almond Beverage
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Fortified Beverage
  • Berries and Acai Flavoured Dairy Free Almond Yogurt
  • Peach Flavoured Dairy Free Almond Yogurt
  • Vanilla Flavoured Dairy Free Almond Yogurt
  • Strawberry Flavoured Dairy Free Almond Yogurt
  • Hazelnut Flavoured Almond Beverage For Coffee
  • Dairy Free Almond Coffee Whitener

Coconut:

  • Original Coconut Beverage
  • Unsweetened Original Coconut Beverage
  • Almond and Coconut Blend Beverage
  • Vanilla Flavoured Unsweetened Coconut Beverage
  • Original Coconut For Coffee
  • Vanilla Flavoured Coconut For Coffee
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Yogurt Alternative
  • Unsweetened Plain Dairy Free Cultured Coconut Yogurt Alternative
  • Berries and Acai Cultured Almond Milk Yogurt

Cashew:

  • Original Creamy Cashew
  • Unsweetened Creamy Cashew Beverage
  • Vanilla Flavoured Creamy Cashew Beverage

 

Gusta:

  • Vegan Montrealaise Wheat Sausages
  • Vegan Espanola Wheat Sausages
  • Vegan Italiana Wheat Sausages
  • Pizzaroni Vegan Seitan Stick

 

Gardein

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Store Crawl: Metro Online Edition - Gardein Collage - vegan, vegan food, shopping, vegan food reviewer, vegan food blogger

Chicken:

  • 7 Grain Crispy Tenders
  • Crispy Chick’n Patties
  • Chick’n Sliders Mini Burgers
  • Chick’n Fajita Bowl
  • Teriyaki Chick’n Bowl

Beef:

  • Sweet and Tangy BBQ Wings
  • Beefless Ground
  • Beefless Tips

Patties:

  • Chipotle Flavoured Black Bean Patties
  • Spicy Breakfast Meat Free Saus’age Patties
  • Breakfast Meat Free Saus’age Patties

 

Sweets from the Earth

  • GF Flourless Cashew Flavoured Cookies
  • Nut Free Cupcakes
  • Blueberry Cheesecake
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake
  • GF Vegan Chocolate Cake
  • GF Vegan Espresso Cheesecake

 

Ben & Jerry’s

  • Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Half Baked
  • Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia
  • Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Non-Dairy P.B. and Cookies
  • Non-Dairy Coffee Caramel Fudge

 

Okay, I know that seems like a lot, but considering they’re a pretty big grocery store, this actually isn’t that much. It just looks like it all listed out.

Anyways, I hope you found this helpful, should you need to do some digging around your non usual digs for vegan food, at least this way you know you’ll be able to find some pre-made stuff.

Which I know isn’t everyone’s favourite, and I’m actually trying to move away from it, myself, but it’s better than starving.


Like this article? Check out more here!

Where Do Vegans Get Their B12?

B12 is a tricky little sucker for those of us who don’t eat meat.

Unfortunately, there aren’t very many plant sources of it out there. I remember back when I first went vegan, I couldn’t find any information in regards to it being in plants. The only thing I found was advice to take it in a supplement.

I’ve never been able to swallow pills, so I knew that wouldn’t be an option for me. (I used to be tongue tied as a child, and my tongue is still ‘attached’ pretty closely to the tip, so I assume this is why, though I don’t know for sure) I asked around in the vegan community, and the two things I learned that did have B12 were nooch (nutritional yeast) and fortified non-dairy beverages.


AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Business Button - vegan merch, veganism, vegan clothing, veganism joke

Looking for a subtle way to show your love of veganism? Check out my store for some awesome vegan merch!


Happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with pills and found somewhat more natural sources, I completely put it out of my mind and began my journey.

Doing research for this article, however, I’m happy to discover that there has been more research done since I first started my vegan journey, and there are a few more options we can add to our lists!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Nutrient Collage - Where Do Vegans Get Their B12? - vegan food, vegan nutrients, b12, silk, nori, nutritional yeast, shiitake mushrooms, spirulina

Starting in the top left-corner, going clockwise:

  • Silk Soy Original
  • Silk Almond Original
  • Silk Chocolate Almond Original
  • Silk Coconut Original
  • Silk Cashew Original
  • Silk Oat Yeah!
  • Nooch (Nutritional Yeast)
  • Spirulina
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Nori (Seaweed)

There’s still not too many sources of B12 available, but this inspires hope that we will keep finding more sources as time and research continues. Also, with only needing 2.4 micro grams of it daily, I think this is more than enough options for a bit of variety. And of course, there are lots of vegetables that have trace amounts of B12 in them, so while they’re not enough to use as a primary source, they definitely will help boost what you do eat in a day.

The Silk options I listed here aren’t the only sources, I’m pretty sure most, if not all of their non-dairy beverages are fortified with B12, as well as other plant milks – I just listed the original of the different kinds. And I was surprised to see that the oat beverage is only 42% of daily intake, when all the other ones were 50%.


Like this article? Check out the rest of the series here!

Vegan Milk Alternatives

… You’re still drinking cows’ milk?

In 2020?!

Why???

There are literally tons of non-cruel alternatives to cows’ milk. Why are you still funding such a cruel and unnecessary industry?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Milk Alternatives - vegan milk, hemp, soy, coconut, oat, pea, hazelnut, vegan beverages, what vegans drink, vegan tips, vegan food, vegan food blogger,

I made this collage out of alternatives I thought up in about 5 seconds.

Off the top of my head, I came up with:

  • Soy
  • Almond
  • Coconut
  • Pea
  • Oat

There’s obviously way more than just 5 alternatives – since you can make milk out of just about anything – but 5 alternatives for a 5 second brain storm is pretty good.

Some other popular alternatives are:

  • Rice
  • Cashew
  • Hemp
  • Hazelnut (Walnut, Pistachio, Macadamia, and just about any other nut you can think of)
  • Sunflower

So, now you know what’s wrong with dairy, and have at least 10 alternatives to choose from, what are you gonna do with this knowledge? You can no longer claim ignorance, since I’ve just given you all the info you need to make a change.

Wanna know what else I’ve given you?

Zero excuses.


Like this article? Check out more vegan tips here!

Vegan Fast Food: PizzaPizza Edition

Here’s the next installment of the Vegan Fast Food series.

I know, I know, another vegan series? Well yes, because apparently there is still surprisingly little information out there that’s quick access to help vegans, so I’ve taken it upon myself to put in the work for future generations. (You’re welcome)

I honestly don’t know why, but I’ve heard a lot of people bag on PizzaPizza. Personally, they’re my favourite pizza place! They actually allow you to have thick crust, have quality ingredients, their squishy fries are amazing and have some of the best vegan options! (For a non-vegan place)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Fast Food: PizzaPizza Edition - vegan food, vegan fast food, Pizza Pizza, vegan options

Starting in the top left corner, going across:

  • Classic Crust
  • Whole Grain Crust
  • Cauliflower Crust
  • Home-style Tomato Sauce (This is the same as the Italian Marinara dipping sauce)
  • Dairy-Free Cheeze (Violife)
  • Artichokes
  • Cilantro
  • Caramelized Onion
  • Hot Banana Peppers
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Sundried Tomato
  • Fire Roasted Red Peppers
  • Pineapple
  • Red Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Black Olives
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Green Pepper
  • Green Olives
  • Broccoli
  • Plant Based Pepperoni
  • Plant Based Chorizo
  • Hot Sauce
  • Sweet Chili
  • Bruschetta
  • Zesty Italian Salad Dressing
  • Balsamic Vinegrette
  • Potato Wedges
  • Regular Fries
  • Onion Rings
  • Sweet Potato Fries

Lays Classic, Ruffle’s All Dressed and most of their drinks are some other vegan offerings that aren’t listed in the picture.

The Veggie Quesadilla unfortunately won’t let you switch to dairy-free cheeze, but both the Calzones and Panzerottis can be customized to be vegan. The Italiano Blend, Sweet Garlic and Pepper and Chili Flakes are also vegan, if you wish to add those to your pizzas as well. (They’re listed under ‘free toppings’)

The Garden Salad is also vegan, but beware the croutons: they have whey in them.

The Honey Garlic dipping sauce is also fine, if you’re a vegan who eats honey, but the Honey Mustard dip contains eggs.

And, as always: These ingredients are for Canada only. I recommend you look up the ingredients for your own country.


Like this article? Check out more here!

4th Year Veganversary

I don’t want to start each of these with ‘isn’t it crazy’ but…

It is crazy! Being 4 years vegan feels awesome to say!

And as cliché as it is, it really feels like I’ve been vegan forever. For almost two decades of my life, I was contributing to such atrocities and I didn’t realize what I was doing. How someone could see the proof of what’s happening and remain uncaring is such a foreign concept to me, my brain seriously doesn’t compute it. Why would anyone willingly choose to be cruel?

I’ll admit, I was taught in school that beef comes from cows, pork from pigs, etc., but for some reason, as a child, it didn’t click to me that those meats were the flesh from the animals. It’s not exactly like they tell a bunch of kids that in health class. It’s not an excuse by any means – the info was always there to be learned, and I am ashamed it took me so long to begin to look into things – but as soon as I started to research I was so sickened by what was happening, I vowed to stop contributing to that right then and there.

While on the subject of the horrors that happen, if you haven’t checked out Earthlings yet, I highly recommend it. It’s pretty graphic, but if you can’t stomach what’s happening to the animals, maybe you shouldn’t be paying other people to do that on your behalf.

I also think it’s kind of funny that the year I went vegan was the same year I put out my first three novellas. I’m not saying it’s at all related, but well… three in 1 year is a lot.

Last year, I focused more on the food aspect of being vegan, so this year I think I’m gonna focus on all the good you can do for the planet.

 

Exhibit A:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - 4th Year Veganversary - Vegan anniversary, vegan food, animals saved, veganism

Look at those stats! I’ve saved 1.6 million gallons of water, 43,800 square footage of forest, reduced my CO2 emissions and saved 1,460 animals lives – all by just changing my diet!

Now, veganism is much more than just a diet, but even just by changing what you eat, look at all the good you can do!

To put these into perspective for you:

The average 8 min shower takes 17.2G of water. Saving 1.6 million gallons is the equivalent of 93,023 showers – this is about triple the amount the average person will take in their lifetime! (The average person will take 28,000 showers)

For baths – which use 70G of water per bath – this is the equivalent of 22,857 baths.

The average person eats 300lbs of grain per year. 58,400 lbs of grain is enough to feed 1 person for 194.6 years. (or 2 people for an entire lifetime [provided they die at 80])

Would you rather not shower/bath or eat for literally your entire life (and then some), or just give up animal products for 4 years???

Exactly.

If you’re interested in learning how to go vegan, to save not only animals, but the planet you live on, I recommend checking out my Vegan Tips page. I have everything from where to start to the answers to some of the most common misconceptions.

Before I went vegan, I consumed roughly 7,300 animals. That means I still have 5,840 animals to save – or 4 more years being vegan until my scale is balanced. While it’s sad for me to think about all the animals I carelessly consumed before I knew better, it helps to know that I’ve since stopped that and am working hard to not continue the cycle of horror.

Since going vegan, it’s made me much more cautious of not only what I put in my body, but to also be wary of what others tell me. I try not to take anything at face value, and I recommend you do the same. Don’t just trust some stranger-on-the-internets’ opinion – do your own research and come to your own conclusions. You may learn something about yourself, like I did.

I learned that while I liked to think of myself as a good, compassion person, I really wasn’t living that way. So I decided to do something about it. That’s the great thing about life! If you don’t like something about yourself, you can take steps to change it!

One of the biggest values I have is being self-sufficient. Should shit hit the fan, and a global disaster happens (let’s face it, we’re not very far from something happening), I think it’s important to be able to rely on yourself, and know that you have the skills to survive without relying on ‘society’ – especially because ‘society’ as a whole isn’t the best.

Let’s be honest, living in a way ‘society’ deems ‘unworthy’ or ‘weird’ usually just means you think for yourself. Why would you want to be part of a culture, city, etc. that frowns upon making your own opinions?

I hope to one day be able to live in a way where I’m doing the least amount of harm as I can. This means using less single-use plastics, growing most (if not all) of my own food, finding reusable resources for everything I can, and using renewable energy.

And, (not that I planned that), that actually brings me into a great segway into introducing my new article series: No. Mad.

It’s a new section of the website I’ll be making to chronicle my upcoming adventures of travelling around the world, learning about solar panels, and living as naturally as I can. You guys will come along with the ride and will get articles and a great inside look into the world I’ve been slowly working toward.

The No. Mad. Intro will be published March 3rd, so be sure to keep an eye out for that!

Aaand I think that is the perfect place to wrap up this article.

I can’t wait until next year when I get to say I’ve been vegan for 5 years, 10 years, etc.!

Oh, and, I still haven’t died from nutrient deficiency. 😉


Like this article? Check out more here!

Surprising Vegan Crackers




Last year, I did Surprising Vegan Soups, and since it’s starting to get cold again, I figured what better compliment than to do a crackers addition? We wouldn’t want your soup to get lonely, would we?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan series - Crackers - vegan food, surprising vegan food, food share, Ritz, Triscuits, Premium Plus, Crispers

Listed from the top-left corner going clockwise:

  • Triscuits Original
  • Triscuits Hint of Salt
  • Triscuits Reduced Fat
  • Triscuits Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Triscuits Roasted Red Pepper
  • Triscuits Rosemary and Olive Oil
  • Triscuits Wasabi and Soy Sauce
  • Triscuits Organic Original
  • Triscuits Cranberry and Sage
  • Triscuits Sriracha
  • Triscuits Fire Roasted Tomato and Olive Oil
  • Triscuits Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil
  • Triscuits Dill, Sea Salt and Olive Oil
  • Triscuits Olive
  • Triscuits Garden Herb
  • Triscuits Balsamic Vinegar and Basil
  • Triscuits Ginger and Lemongrass
  • Triscuits Thin Crisps Cinnamon
  • Vegetable Thins
  • Premium Plus Unsalted Tops
  • Premium Plus Salted Tops
  • Premium Plus Whole Wheat
  • Crispers All Dressed
  • Crispers BBQ
  • Crispers Salt and Vinegar
  • Ritz Original
  • Ritz Whole Wheat

There were a few cracker brands I never heard back from in regards to certain ambiguous ingredients (a favourite seemed to be ‘flavour’ with no further explanation) so I obviously didn’t include those as I wasn’t 100% certain.

You may be surprised to see Crispers listed here, and I would’ve been too. When I was doing the Surprising Vegan Chips collage, I was going to add them, but I found out their official definition was: Crispers crackers are packed with intense flavour and a satisfying crunch! They’re baked, not fried, making Crispers a great snack alternative. (Also, apparently they’re only available in Canada)

As always, these are all vegan as of Canadian ingredients – if you’re in a different country, please do your own research and check the ingredients for your own region as sometimes they change.


Like this article? Check out the rest of the Surprising Vegan Series!

Surprising Vegan Chips




In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d put out the next Surprising Vegan article. I know that you can eat chips all year round, but since I already did a Halloween candy post, and chocolate one, with the addition of chips, you can have the most rockin’ Halloween party snacks around.

No more sitting in the corner crying because there’s ‘no vegan food’ – with this series, carnists have zero excuses.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Series - Surprising Vegan Chips - vegan food, chips

In order starting from the top left corner, clockwise:

  • Neal Brothers Easy Rounders
  • Neal Brothers New Classics
  • Neal Brothers Pure Pink
  • Neal Brothers Pure Pink and Vinegar
  • Neal Brothers Sweet and Smoky BBQ
  • Neal Brothers Maple Bacon Forever
  • Neal Brothers Srirachup
  • Neal Brothers Deep Blue
  • Neal Brothers Deep Blue Flax
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Late July Resturant Sea Salt
  • Late July Resturant Lime
  • Late July Purple Corn
  • Late July Chia and Quinoa
  • Late July Cantina Dippers Blue Corn
  • Late July Cantina Dippers White Corn
  • Late July Sweet Potato
  • Late July Sea Salt
  • Late July Red Hot Mojo
  • Late July Sublime
  • Late July Bacon Habenero
  • Late July Jalapeno Lime
  • Late July Sriracha Fresca
  • Late July Blues
  • Late July Crispy Yellow Corn
  • Lays Oven Baked Original
  • Lays Salt and Vinegar (Blue Bag)
  • Lays Classic*
  • Doritos Ketchup
  • Doritos Sweet Chili Heat
  • Old Dutch Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Original
  • Ruffles All Dressed
  • Ruffles Original
  • Tostitos Multigrain
  • Tostitos Restaurant Style
  • Tostitos Scoops
  • Tostitos Rounds
  • Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Veggie Chips
  • Pringles Ketchup
  • Pringles Original

*Lays Classic is made with pork enzymes in the US, making them not vegan. However, in Canada they don’t, so they’re safe to consume. Check out the US list here (at the time of writing, I’ve only been able to find a Canadian and US list, I’d suggest contacting the company for other specific countries)

This list (as well as this series) is always for Canadian ingredients – ingredients may differ (and therefore products may or may not be vegan) in differing countries. Please do your own research and look up the ingredients for specified foods for your own country.

This list also doesn’t mention all the marketed-as-vegan chips (like the Que Pasa Nacho chips – I recommend these btw, they’re so good!) as this is the Surprising Vegan series. If you Google ‘vegan ____’ tons of different options come up, but the point of this series is to find non-vegan-marketed foods that are safe for vegans to eat.

There are many instances where known vegan food might not be available, so it’s always great to have a list of foods that you know you can eat that may be easier/cheaper to find.

Where Do Vegans Get Their Iron?





I do apologize that this article was a day late. As we all know, life got in the way and prevented me from finishing on top (also why there is no Throw Away Fic this week).

Better late than never though, right? Especially when it comes to learning about nutrition. This is the third installment of my Vegan Nutrient Collage series.

It’s not as common to get questions about iron, but it’s still good to bust myths. Most people know iron is in blood, so I understand the logic of ‘animals have blood, I should eat them to get iron’, but luckily for us, iron isn’t only found in blood. It’s in all kinds of plants, too!

Take a look for yourself:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Nutrient Collage Series - Where Do Vegans Get Their Iron?

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Lentils 6.6mg
  • Soy Beans (29.2mg)
  • Chickpeas (12.5mg)
  • Red Kidney Beans (15.1mg)
  • Oatmeal 29.9mg
  • Fortified Cereal 18mg
  • Quinoa 6.3mg
  • Brown Rice  .8mg
  • Spinach 6.5mg
  • Swiss Chard 4mg
  • Kale 1mg
  • Swiss Chard .2mg
  • Sesame Seeds 21mg
  • Sunflower 7.4mg
  • Cashews 6.7mg
  • Peanuts 6.7mg
  • Pistachio 4.8mg
  • Pumpkin Seeds 2.1mg
  • Tofu 13.2mg

With only needing 16-18mg (a bit more if you’re a menstruating woman) it’s really not that hard to get all the iron you need. As long as you eat a balanced diet, you shouldn’t have trouble getting any of the essential nutrients you need to survive.

This will be the last entry of the Nutrient Collage series for this year – but don’t worry, I’ll continue the lesson into the new year!

Next month is Halloween – the spookiest time of the year! Not to worry vegans – there’s plenty of Halloween treats we can still enjoy! Next month I’ll give you Surprising Vegan Chips so you can get your snack on. Until then, check out my Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy collage and start stocking up!


Like this article? Check out more Vegan Tips!

What Non-Vegan Ingredients Are Lurking In Non-Foods?





Warning: This article includes pictures that may be considered graphic/disturbing. If you find any of the below images hard to look at, perhaps you should ask yourself if you’re really okay with continuing to fund the cruel practices that result in the below images.

Yep, it’s true – we humans put animal pieces/bits/by-products in all kinds of things that have nothing to do with food!

If you’re shocked, well don’t feel too bad – it’s not exactly like companies put ‘insect exoskeleton’ or ‘sheep fat’ on the label. They disguise these animal by-products by giving them a different name, so that they can sneak them under the radar.

This is why veganism is so much more than a diet, it truly is a lifestyle change. If you’re committed to reducing your harm to animals, then read through the list below to discover some of the most common animal by-products that are hiding in non-food items.

Unfortunately, the way society is, it’s literally impossible to be 100% animal product free, that’s why there’s no such thing as a truly 100% vegan – it’s just impossible in today’s world. While it can get overwhelming to see just how many everyday things have animal products in them, I don’t want you to freak out – take things slowly. It can be overwhelming, but don’t fret if you’re unable to cut out using all of the things listed below, it’s not feasible for everyone, and that’s okay. As long as you’re aware, and are consciously trying to reduce your harm, you’re doing enough. So try not beat yourself up too bad.

Alright, let’s start with the most obvious:

 

Leather

If you didn’t know, leather is cow skin. (Or snake, alligator, buffalo, sheep and more) Yep, you read that right, leather products are literally skinned animal. Do you really want to walk around like Michael Myers? (Why do you think his nickname is Leatherface?)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Skinned Cow - animal cruelty, what's wrong with leather, cows, skinning, leather, suede

Suede

Pretty much the same as leather, (made out of animal skin), but suede is ‘fuzzy’. Either way, you’re wearing dead animal.

Fur

Fur can be in many things, including: coats, boots, blankets, etc. If it’s not faux, the fur once belonged to an animal, usually mink, foxes, and raccoon dogs. These poor animals are often de-furred alive, often without the use of anaesthetic, or pain pills. Is it really worth torturing an animal and taking its’ only defence against the cold, when we as humans have so many other options?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Skinned Raccoon Dog Alive - animal cruelty, fur, what's wrong with fur, raccoon dogs, skinning, live-skinning, leather

This animal was still alive at the time this picture was taken. If you can’t even look at the above image, or find it disturbing, you shouldn’t be wearing fur. Help prevent the above from happening by shopping for faux, or find other alternatives.

 

Wool

Where do we get wool from? Sheep. We shear the wool off the sheep to use for sweaters, blankets, socks, etc. What’s wrong with wool? Well:

  1. Shearing: Let’s start with the practice everyone knows about. Farmers shear sheep to get their wool. But, often shearing is painful for sheep, and is much more than just a haircut. But wait, don’t sheep need to be sheared? Well, no, not at all. Undomesticated sheep only produce the amount of wool they need to survive, which truthfully isn’t that much. Same as we have genetically bred chickens to be too fat for their legs, humans have genetically modified sheep to overproduce wool that now requires the support of the shearing industry. Their bodies have a hard time supporting the weight, and some risk suffocation because they can’t breathe.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Shearring Injury - animal cruelty, wool, what's wrong with wool, sheep, shearing, shearring

(Those marks are scars from old cuts, not ribs/bone)

Why are they bred to produce so much wool? Because most shearers are paid per sheep, not an hourly wage. Meaning they need to get the most amount of wool possible from a sheep in a quicker time frame. This also results in carelessness by shearers, and sheep often get injured from the quick paced shearing. Anything from nicks, to amputation of their udders, ears and other body parts can happen.

  1. In Australia (where about half the world’s wool comes from) farmers often practice ‘mulesing’ which is a terribly cruel procedure in which farmers use tools resembling garden shears and carve chunks of skin/flesh from lambs’ backsides in an attempt to prevent a parasitic disease called ‘flystrike’. This practice is commonly performed without painkillers. And why does this happen? Because we’ve bred them to produce as much wool as possible, a sheep’s’ skin has wrinkled, and this wrinkled skin accrues excess moisture, which attracts flies. These flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin, resulting in maggots consuming the sheep’s’ skin.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Mulesing - animal cruelty, wool, what's wrong with wool, mulsing, sheep, tail-cutting

  1. What happens once the sheep begin to produce less wool? They get shipped off to a slaughterhouse and sold for meat, just like cows, pigs and other animals. Many are killed by having their throats’ slit while still conscious.

 

Silk

Silk comes from worms. (Or spiders) Yes, they count as animals. (If bees count, so do worms)

You may be wondering: Why does it matter if we take their silk?

Silk is the fiber that silkworms make to make their cocoons. (Similar to a caterpillar) For humans to get the silk, manufacturers’/collectors boil the worms alive while they’re in the cocoon. This prevents the worms from transforming to the next stage of their life cycle (the pupal phase), where they make a hole in the cocoon by releasing enzymes, which often cause the silk fibers of the cocoon to break down, and thus make them unviable for harvesting. Boiling the cocoon not only kills the worm by boiling it alive, but also makes the cocoons easier to unravel. Often times, after being boiled, the worms themselves are eaten as well.

Roughly 10 billion cocoons are required to produce the 70 million pounds of raw silk that are needed yearly.

 

Down

Down is the under-feathers from geese, ducks and other birds. Down is used most often for pillows, winter coats, and comforters. The feathers used for down are often taken via live-plucking. (I.e., the bird isn’t dead when the feathers are taken) You know the feeling of needing to tweeze/accidentally getting an arm hair ripped out? Imagine that pain ten fold, all over your body.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Live-Plucked Duck, Goose, Bird - animal cruelty, live plucking, feathers, down

Beeswax

For those who don’t know, beeswax is a natural wax that honey bees produce. It’s formed by the bees into ‘scales’ by eight wax-producing glands in their abdomen. They then ‘discard’ the wax in or at the hive.

To put it in laymen’s terms, beeswax is essentially bee poop.

It would probably be faster to list products that don’t have beeswax, so to save time, I’ll just list a few examples:

  • Natural food wraps
  • Candles
  • Shoe/furniture polish
  • Surfboard Wax
  • Cutler’s Resin (a glue used in the handles of cutlery knives)
  • Tambourines (often used by percussionists on the surface for ‘thumb rolls’)
  • Oil/Body Paint
  • Soaps
  • Lip balm/gloss
  • Egg decoration (such as Easter egg crayons, dye, etc.)
  • Cream/lotion/moisturizers
  • Make-up (eye shadow, blush, eye-liner, etc.)
  • Moustache wax/hair pomades

It is even an ingredient in surgical bone wax, which is used during surgery to control bleeding from bone surfaces.

As you can see, beeswax is in many different products, and isn’t specific to one group of them. This isn’t saying that all of the variations of these products contain beeswax, just that it’s most likely an ingredient. Always read the label on every product to ensure you know what’s in that particular item.




Now, onto the less obvious animal by-product names:

Carmine

Carmine or Red #40 (or Allura Red AC) is the fancy name they decided to give red food colouring/red dye, perhaps because if they called it what it actually is, crushed cochineal beetles, nobody would buy the products.

Speaking of food dyes:

  • Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue FCF)
  • Blue #2 (Idigotine)
  • Green #3 (Fast Green FCF)
  • Red #3 (Erythrosine)
  • Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
  • Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow FCF)

All 6 of the dyes listed above are tested on animals. These food dyes are not only used in foods, however – since they’re food-grade safe, they’re often also used in soaps, bath bombs, creams/lotions, and more. Pretty much if a non-food item is dyed a certain colour (and the label doesn’t specifically say it’s vegan), chances are good you’ll find one of the above listed in the ingredients.

If you can’t tell or aren’t sure? Call or e-mail the company to get your answer. In my experience, if a company doesn’t use one of the above, you’ll get a speedy, in-depth reply explaining what they use instead. If they do use one of the above (or other animal ingredients) chances are good they’ll take a while to reply, if at all. If you can’t find the info for the ingredients used on the website, chances are good they’re using an animal-derivative.

My rule since going vegan: if they’re hiding it, they probably shouldn’t be doing it. If I ask a company, and they don’t get back to me, I assume it’s not safe and try to find an alternative.

 

Bone Char

Exactly what it sounds like, the charred/ash remains of animal bones. This stuff is used mainly in the processing of sugar. This is why Oreos (and many other things) aren’t technically vegan in the US, because the sugar used is made with bone char. In Canada, our sugar isn’t processed this way, so Oreos, and other products are vegan. (Check the processing for your own country, as it can vary)

Bone char can also be found in plastic bags.

 

Tallow

Tallow is a rendered for of animal fat, usually from cattle. Tallow and its’ derivatives can be found in all kinds of non-food items, such as: fabric softener, eye makeup, lipsticks, foundations, shampoos, moisturizers, and other skin care products.

 

Castoreum

Does your perfume like vanilla? Then it might contain castoreum, which comes from a beavers’ castor sac – which is a gland between its’ pelvis and the base of it’s tail.

Yep, your sweet, vanilla scented perfumes, lotions and/or candles have the aroma from a beavers’ ass.

 

Polymers

Not all polymers are non-vegan. The polymers used specifically in plastic bags as a ‘slip agent’ (used to reduce friction) is made from animal fats. Companies like Tyson Foods are reportedly experimenting with keratin protein (found in chicken feathers) to be used in new plastic bags, adhesives and non-woven materials.

As if using the remains of animals isn’t bad enough, using plastic bags is also contributing to the destruction of the ocean. Birds and sea turtles often mistake shredded bags for food, and by ingesting these products their stomachs are filled with toxic debris.

It’s also estimated that only about 1% of plastic bags are recycled. This means that for an average family, only 1 in 15 bags are recycled. Couple this with the fact the average amount of plastic bags used a year in Canada is 3 billion (100 billion in the US), and the fact it takes roughly 400 years for plastic bags to break down, you can hopefully start to see the problem.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Non-Vegan Ingredients in Non-Food - Sea Turtle Eating Plastic Bag - single use plastics - save the ocean

Also, while we’re on the subject, just a quick note: most of the pollution found in the ocean is from the fishing industry, specifically, fishing nets.

 

Stearic Acid

Again, not all stearic acid is made from animals. Animal-derived stearic acid is made out of animal fats. This non-vegan stearic acid can be found in many things, but the biggest/most common seems to be tires for bikes, cars, etc. In tires, it’s used to help the rubber hold the shape under friction.

Another uncommon thing animal-derived stearic acid is found in? Fireworks! (This genuinely surprised me.)

It’s used to coat metal powder and is used to prevent oxidation, which allows the fireworks to be stored for longer periods of time.

 

Glycerin

Just like with polymers and stearic acid, glycerine can come from either animal or vegetable fats.

Glycerin is found in many different products, including:

  • Soaps
  • Shampoo and conditioners
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Ointments
  • Cough syrups
  • Perfumes
  • Lotions
  • Shaving cream
  • Inks
  • Glues
  • Anti-freeze and brake fluid

Unless the label on a product specifically lists ‘vegetable glycerin’, it’s best to ask the company, or stay away all together (if that’s an option) if you can’t get a clear idea of the type.

 

Chitin

As explained in my Vegan Sunscreen post, chitin comes from the exoskeletons of crustaceans, insects and arachnids. Protecting yourself from the sun by rubbing a dead spider on you? No thank-you!

 

Elastin

Elastin is a type of protein, found in the artery walls, intestines, lungs and skin of animals. Elastin is most often found in anti-aging products and sunscreens.

 

Animal Glue

Used most often in shoes, handbags and is even sometimes used for fixing wood instruments, ‘animal glue’ is made by boiling animals’ connective tissue or bones.

It’s apparently the ‘best’ for fixing musical instruments made out of wood, like violins or pianos. It’s also one of the most readily available and widely used glue.

I unfortunately could keep going with this list, but in the interest of not making this article too long, I’ll be ending it here. As you can see, there are many different animal-derived ingredients that can be found in non-food items. This is unfortunate for people who are trying their best to avoid exploiting/using animals, but as said at the beginning of this article, it’s impossible in society today to be 100% vegan.

Another thing to keep in mind, is this list is only talking about non-food products that contain animal ingredients – this isn’t even counting the massive amounts of products that are tested on animals, such as: shampoos, lotions/creams, sunscreens, makeup and more.

And, (just to make things more confusing) cruelty-free does not mean a product is vegan. The difference is, cruelty free means the product just isn’t tested on animals – it says absolutely nothing about the ingredients. There can be products out there that are cruelty-free but not vegan. But, on the flip-side, if a product is vegan, that means it’s cruelty free.

Cruelty-free \= vegan (Cruelty Free does not equal vegan)

Vegan = cruelty-free (Vegan always equals cruelty free)

This is why it’s important to read the ingredients and the label of each product. I always do my best to creep the company’s website to see if I can dig up the answers to my questions, (fortunately many companies are now making things like ‘cruelty-free’ and ‘vegan’ selling points for products) but if you can’t find the information you need on the website, always, always be sure to e-mail or call the company. If you ask them directly, they’ll most likely give you an answer (or might give you a generic ‘check out our FAQ page!’).

If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, I usually will end up not buying the product, or looking for a vegan company substitute instead. Another thing I’ve recently started doing is to make my own products if I can’t find an alternative.

While the above is nowhere near an exhaustive list, I hope this article has helped you realize that there are animal products in many different non-food items. I also hope that the information in this article will help you be more mindful of what’s in the products you’re buying, and will hopefully allow you to make a more informed, kind choice with the products you buy.


Sources:

Food Colouring Article: http://www.yourdailyvegan.com/2011/10/warning-what-you-dont-know-about-food-colors/

Raccoon Dog Picture taken from: peta2TV Youtube channel, ‘Olivia Munn Exposes Fur Farms!’ video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab7L8NRRYho

Sheep Facts: https://gentleworld.org/whats-wrong-with-wool/

Tyson Foods plastic bags experiment:

https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/9-everyday-products-you-didnt-know-had-animal-ingredients.html

Stearic Acid Tires: same article as plastic bags (9 everyday products)

Plastic Bags used in Canada/400 years to break down: http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/678924/Environmental+Law/Will+2018+be+the+Year+of+the+SingleUse+Plastics+Ban

Leather/Cow Being Skinned Photo: https://www.all-creatures.org/aip/nl-20130526-leather.html

Live/Plucked Photo: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/373/242/428/tell-outdoor-gear-companies-to-end-down-plucking-torture-of-live-geese/

Mulesing Photo: https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-clothing/wool-industry/mulesing/

Shearing Injury 1: https://www.petaindia.com/features/another-patagonia-approved-wool-producer-exposed-help-sheep-now/

Sea Turtle Eating Plastic Bag Photo: https://www.mcsuk.org/news/turtle-eats-plastic-bag

Silk Info: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombyx_mori

Glycerin info: https://gentleworld.org/hidden-animal-fats/