by Aly Henneberry and Aubree Weaver
November is National Vegan Month. Multiple people at our school are vegan and plan to participate.
Veganism is a diet that excludes meats, dairy products, and all other animal ingredients. Some vegans go beyond just food and will avoid personal and household products that are tested on animals and avoid purchasing animal-derived products such as leather, fur and wool.
According to americanvegan.org, there are also a lot of spiritual reasons to be vegan. This can include having an ethical relationship between human and other living creatures, physiological human design, repairing and maintaining health, and practical solutions to the populations explosion.
A vegan diet can include grains, beans, vegetables, fruits and legumes. There are also a lot of alternatives to meat and dairy, like vegan hot dogs, dairy free ice cream, and dairy free cheese. Also, there are foods like veggie burgers, soy milk, and tofu.
“I get to eat foods that taste good, and really, they’re kind of healthy,” said Hannah Dickson, a vegan sophomore at BHS.
Even though veganism seems like a very hard lifestyle, there are many junk food options that vegans can eat such as Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Krispy Kreme fruit pies, Twizzlers, Tritos, Hershey’s syrup, Fruit by the Foot, Oreos, Monster Energy drinks, and many more.
“When I’m running out the door generally I just have pasta and tomato sauce or something like that; sometimes I’ll do fancy stuff,” said Dickson. “I like pineapple fried rice a lot. I get that without egg.”
There are vegan dishes all around us and sometimes, with a creative eye, you can take a common dish the features meat and make it vegan. One recipe that has been converted to being vegan is Chicken Casserole. A vegan version to this common dinner item is as follows:
Vegan Chicken Casserole
3 cups vegan potato leek soup (or vegan mushroom soup)
7 oz. elbow pasta
1/2 can peas (or equivalent frozen)
onion powder or minced onion to taste
1 (generous) pint Beyond Meat vegan chicken or any chicken substitute you prefer
1/2 package Daiya chunk cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 package Daiya chunk monterrey jack cheese, cubed
cracker crumbs for topping
salt and pepper to taste
optional: water chestnuts
Mix all ingredients except cracker crumbs and pour into 9×13 casserole dish that has been oiled. Cover with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until bubbling all over and golden brown. Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
*Vegan soups, Beyond Meat chicken and Daiya chunk cheeses can all be located at Food Matters or Whole Foods.
Happy World Vegan Month!