So, in a perfect world we’d all eat foods that come from companies whose values align perfectly with ours. We’d eat only organic veggies from local farmers, and products made in net-zero shops by third-generation artisans. This is not a perfect world, though, and sometimes you find yourself on a road trip with only a gas station worth of food to survive, or at the movie theatre and you forgot your own snacks (I know, gasp), or maybe just PMSing and lazy. Whatever. I’m not here to judge.
So, in these situations, you need to find the products that weren’t intended to be vegan (obviously), but accidentally are. Please note that some of these may have come into contact with non-vegan ingredients, or may contain trace amounts (for example, bone char in white sugar). That said, I agree with PETA that “While PETA supports a strict adherence to veganism, we put the task of vigorously reducing animal suffering ahead of personal purity. Boycotting products that are 99.9 percent vegan sends the message to manufacturers that there is no market for this food, which ends up hurting more animals.”
I’d like to start this list off with a personal vice of mine:
1. Oreos. Yeah, even though they have that creamy white centre, there’s no milk in these bad boys (or eggs etc.). In first year university when I was eating from the cafeteria and desperate for anything vegan that wasn’t salad sans dressing, cups of hummus, and insane amounts of chips and salsa, I ate these by the bag. I could buy them at every corner store, and the sugar kept me awake when I was studying. I’ve been known to eat a whole bag in a day or two, although I don’t recommend that. Yeah, I would love to be one of those perfect holistically healthy girls who lives on sprouted grains and kale, but I’m not. These days I’m somewhat better, since I have a kitchen to make my own baked goods and I’m not a student, but for those rainy day snack raids, these are king.
2. Yup, Twizzlers are vegan, too. As I kid we used to have movie nights sometimes with my mom and my sister, and we’d get to have coke floats, and we’d bite the ends off of Twizzlers and drink them through the “straw.” I swear, my mom normally fed us super-healthy (we didn’t have juice or white bread or packaged lunches/snack). These days Twizzlers don’t come to mind a lot, but they sell them at pretty much every movie theatre, so they’re a solid choice if you want something sweet during your cinema experience.
3. Sour Patch Kids. Speaking of the movies…these little sour, sugary nuggets of goodness and food colouring are vegan, so hit them up at the movie theatre (or elsewhere). Are you an eat-em-whole person, or a bite-off-their-head-and-limbs-systematically person?
4. Movie theatre popcorn. It might be obvious that I like snacking at the movies. I mean, who can stand the soul-destroyingly awful “pre-shows” without something to stuff in their mouth? Not me. Movie theatre popcorn (without extra butter added, obviously), is surprisingly usually vegan. It’s popped in canola oil most of the time, and the yellow colour is just an industry secret, I guess. Be sure to ask what the ingredients are at your local movie theatre, but chances are you’ll be in luck.
5. Creamed corn. So, if you hate Del Monte that’s totally cool. There are plenty of other brands (this pic was just the one that reminded me most of that section at the grocery store). Sure, this corn is sugary and usually GMO, but the previous snacks have been pretty atrocious for you as well, so what the hell. This is vegan, despite the fact that it has “creamed” in the name. Weird, I know. I was sick recently and there was no food in the house so I ate a can of this stuff for the first time in YEARS, and I wouldn’t recommend trying that much at once. Still, if you have fond childhood memories of it, go ahead and indulge. It’s animal-product-free.
6. Ritz Crackers. I was never a fan of these – I feel like they melt into a glob of mush in my mouth, but a lot of people love them, so if you’re one of those people and also vegan, knock yourself out.
7. Salt and Vinegar Kettle Chips. Wierdly, a TON of chips have added dairy products (and not just the “sour cream and onion” types). These ones don’t, though, so yay. I like Kettle brand the best of all the supermarket chips, too, so it’s a double win.
8. Keloggs Unfrosted Pop Tars (select flavors). I have never, ever liked Pop tarts. I actively dislike them, actually. But who am I to say what treats people should enjoy, so here you go, guys. Munch away to your heart’s content.
9. Marmite! Now this stuff, I love. It’s controversial, I know, but I’m addicted. I love it when I want something salty in the morning, since a lot of the time I have oatmeal, toast with unsalted peanut butter, a smoothie etc. It’s brown gold, you guys. For serious. Those who love it will totally agree with me, and everyone else will be disgusted, but I just don’t care. I have no shame. Our love is pure, Marmite and I.
10. McCormick Bac’n Pieces. Weird, right? I don’t like the taste of meaty stuff (and didn’t even when I wasn’t vegan), but I guess if you miss it you could get your fix this way. I don’t have a lot to say about this one other than….what is it made of?
Disclaimer: These ingredients are subject to change by the manufacturer, so check before you chow down. Also, none of these are good for you. You’ve been warned.