Someone on Opposing Views asked a question, “Is there a middle way between vegan and vegetarian?”
The writer says that they are currently vegan for health, environmental and animal issues but that they’re considering eating nonvegan foods: “Ethically I would most likely indulge in cheese and eggs if I could be assured they were produced in a cruelty-free environment.”
Vegan is a type of vegetarian. If, when you say vegetarian, you mean lacto-ovo vegetarian, then you should say that. Because a strict vegetarian = a dietary vegan. Let’s review some definitions, shall we?
Vegetarian - someone who adopts a plant based diet. There are a variety of vegetarian types ranging from lacto-ovo vegetarian, ovo vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan… Even some people who eat fish call themselves vegetarian, though the proper term for those people is pesca-vegetarian or pescatarian.
Vegan - someone who abstains from using animal products for food, clothing, cosmetics, and other uses as much as possible. A vegan eats a plant-based diet, but they also wear plant-based clothes, and in general live a lifestyle that avoids any unnecessary animal use.
Now, onto your question about eating eggs. In general, calorie for calorie, eggs are the most cruel. As you said, free-range labels cannot be trusted and the humane farmer is rare indeed. Besides that, eggs are full of cholesterol and they pose a risk of salmonella infection.
Since we have no nutritional need for eggs, why bother?
If, for baking, you need egg replacements, here are some suggestions:
- Use a commercial egg substitute product like Ener-G egg replacer.
- Simply omit the egg and forget about replacing it.
- Ground up flax seeds.
- Mashed banana.
- A little soy milk curdled with vinegar.
- Soy yogurt.
- Nutritional yeast.
- Mashed cooked chickpeas.
- Water and baking powder.
- Mashed potatoes.
- Agar powder.
- Canned pumpkin.
- Purreed prunes.
Now, onto dairy. Again, we have no nutritional need for cheese.
Dairies tend to be incredibly cruel…removing baby calves and turning them into veal… overworking lactating mothers and slaughtering them at a quarter of their life spans… and remember that HSUS undercover video of cruel slaughter practices from a Chino slaughterhouse? Those cows were used up dairy cows. Every dairy cow is destined for death . She becomes cheap beef.
And in fact cheese is pretty bad for your health . It’s full of fat and cholesterol .
Better protein sources exist:
beans, quinoa, tofu, seitan, tempeh, edamame, nuts, faux meats, faux cheeses, nut milk, seeds, etc.
As for replicating the taste of cheese, I recommend trying some of the following vegan cheese brands:
- Follow Your Heart
- Bute Island
- Vegan Gourmet