Ed. Note: Did you know that May is ‘Be Kind to Animals Week?’ Today, Michelle Kretzer at PETA shares some meat substitutes to help you kick the animal product habit. Here at Eat Drink Better, we like to think of these – often processed – meat and dairy substitutes as a way for folks to transition to a plant-based diet, not as dietary staples. If you’ve been wanting to give plant-based eating a try and need something to help you on your way, these can be a great sometimes food to help you on your journey!
These days, it seems like everyone from Bill Clinton and k-os to Jessica Chastain and Venus Williams is going vegetarian or vegan. Whether people choose to make the switch to help stop animal suffering on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, to improve their own health, or to protect the environment, they often complement their healthy fruits and veggies with faux meats and dairy-free products to make mouthwatering meals that fool even the most die-hard meat addicts.
For me, realizing that I didn’t have to give up the taste of some of my favorite foods was the tipping point in deciding to go vegan. My thought was, “If I can eat something that tastes about the same and costs about the same but is better for me, animals, and the planet, why not do that?” It’s been more than a decade now, and I can honestly say that I love my healthy and delicious vegan meals, and I have never looked back.
Here are some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan foods that I’ve discovered along the way, and I’m not sure how I ever lived without them:
Meat-Free Chicken and Turkey
- Boca Original Chik’n Nuggets
- Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
- Tofurky Deli Slices
- Gardein Chik’n Scallopini
- Field Roast Celebration Roast
- Yves Veggie Cuisine Original Meatless Jumbo Hot Dogs
- Vegetarian Plus Vegan Shrimp
- May Wah Vegetarian Market Vegetarian Salmon
- Boca Ground Crumbles
- Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips
- Nate’s Meatless Meatballs
Dairy and Egg Substitutes
- Ener-G Egg Replacer
- Rice Dream Original Rice Milk
- Tofutti Cuties Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
Since this is “Be Kind to Animals” Week, it’s the perfect time to give a vegan or vegetarian meal a try. PETA offers a mountain of vegan recipes in an easy-to-use database, and there are many plant-based cookbooks, such as PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s The Compassionate Cook and Mary McCartney’s new release, Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking.
And if you’re still searching for more inspiration to help you take the leap, watch “Glass Walls,” the meat industry exposé that Mary’s dad, music legend Paul McCartney, narrated for PETA:
Image Credit: Be Kind to Animals photo via Shutterstock