World Vegan Day is Nov. 1, celebrating the founding of The Vegan Society in November 1944. Although the number of vegan Americans has grown over the years, it’s still a small group, representing just 2% of the adult population, according to a 2012 Gallup study.We can understand why. In terms of food, a vegan is someone who does not eat anything that comes from an animal. That includes meat, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products, and even honey (which is made by bees). It also eliminates any animal-derived products like gelatin, which can come from the hides, tissues, or bones of cows and pigs.
But that doesn’t mean a vegan’s diet has to be limited to fruits, vegetables, and tofu. These traditionally health-conscious folk can indulge in brand name foods, too.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has compiled a list of “accidentally vegan” foods, which includes cookies, chips, and salad dressings. These products may not be great for your waistline, but you can breathe easy knowing no animals were harmed in the process.
Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Frosting (Classic Vanilla)
Other than a possible issue with how sugar is processed, many Duncan Hines frosting flavors are a-ok for vegans.
Sugar is an issue for some vegans because some refined sugar is processed with animal bone char, although this is not stated as an ingredient in sugar.
The classic vanilla frosting flavor contains sugar, vegetable oil, water, and corn syrup, but no milk products. On the other hand, vegans generally have to be wary of homemade frostings, which may contain butter, milk, or heavy cream.
Milk’s favorite cookie is surprisingly safe for vegans. The classic creme filling isn’t made with milk products.
Classic Fritos contain just three ingredients: corn, corn oil, and salt.
Jell-O Instant Pudding Mix (vanilla, chocolate, lemon, pistachio, and banana creme)
Although classic Jell-O is made with gelatin, many of the instant pudding flavors, including vanilla, are vegan-safe.
Del Monte White Corn Cream Style
Despite its label, this corn product doesn’t actually contain any dairy cream. When corn kernels are grated, they release some milky pulp. This food is thickened with sugar and corn starch.
Hunt’s Manwich Sauce
We can’t speak for what ingredients you use to make sloppy joes, but on its own, Hunt’s Manwich Sauce doesn’t contain any meat. It’s mostly a mix of tomato puree, sugar, and assorted spices.
Nestle Nesquick Syrup
Nestle Nesquick Syrup is meant to be added to milk or ice cream, but the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors don’t contain any dairy products.
Newman’s Own Light Italian Dressing
Many salad dressings are made with lecithin, an emulsifier that keeps oil and vinegar from separating, which can come from egg yolks.
However, several Newman’s Own dressings, including Regular Balsamic and Olive Oil and Vinegar are just fine to smother on your salad. Newman’s Light Italian Dressing is also safe, although regular Italian contains milk.
Smucker’s Marshmallow Ice Cream Topping
Marshmallows, like other gummy candies, are made with animal-derived gelatin. Smucker’s Marshmallow Ice Cream topping is thickened with cellulose gel, which comes from plants and is therefore vegan-friendly.
Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
Margarine is usually touted as a butter-free alternative, but it can still contain trace amounts of dairy products such as whey, lactose, or casein. Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread is non-dairy and gelatin-free.
Annie’s Organic Worcestershire Sauce
Traditional Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, a type of fish. Annie’s Organic Worcestershire Sauce is a good alternative, deriving its flavor from garlic, onion, clove, and chili pepper.
Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, Dum-Dums, and Smarties
Vegans don’t have to feel left out on Halloween. PETA has an extensive list of vegan candies, which includes a number of gummy and hard candies, though sadly, no chocolate.