Animal Writes
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From 25 July 2004 Issue

Just What Do You Eat?
By Katie Vann - [email protected] 

I’m 17 years old and the only vegan in my high school. When people mention my name it is often followed by the statement “Oh yeah, she’s a vegan.” While I am especially proud of my reputation as an animal activist, I am also surprised time and time again by all the misconceptions teenagers (and adults as well) have of a vegan diet. After I explain to them that it simply means I do not consume anything that comes from an animal, my response is met with a shocked face and posed with the question “just what do you eat then?”

I never could just think of a simple answer to this. Being a vegan is just a part of my life, and I enjoy a wide variety of tasty foods – to name them all would be absurd. Differentiating between what foods are vegan and what appear to be vegan, except for that dreaded last ingredient that always seems to pop up ruining the purity of the entire product, is a difficult process that takes some getting used to. Once you are used to it, reading ingredients on products is an easy aspect of veganism. Going to restaurants or fast food places and asking for ingredient lists or whether their food contains animal products is a whole other experience in itself. Seldom do local waitstaff at restaurants know what mono and diglycerides is so asking them whether or not a product is vegan is never an easy task. One resource I have relied on is the internet. Ingredient lists can often times be found on fast food chain websites along with their nutrition information. It takes some time, but eventually you figure out and remember what you can eat at each restaurant in your neighborhood and fast food chains.

Most people usually don't have the time to research their foods. Luckily, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ website for teenagers called has begun to compile website lists of some of the different vegan products that can be found just down the street at a local 711, in a supermarket, in a restaurant, or at a fast food joint. So whether you are an experienced vegan shopper who knows most of these products already or whether you are a vegetarian or meat eater in the process of converting to a vegan diet, these websites contain a plethora of common everyday foods that are vegan. Whenever you feel like you are getting overwhelmed or need some inspiration be sure to check out these websites available from

For the Fast Food Fanatic…

For the Late Night 711 Stop… 

For the Those Who Enjoy Their Kitchen... 

For the Restaurant Type… 

For the Mall Shopping Break… 

For the Supermarket Run… 

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