A Dummy’s Guide to Vegan Replacements

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So you are curious about becoming a vegan, but you have no idea where to begin. Here is a very simple starter’s guide to some of the most common vegan substitutes for pantry staples.

Item: Butter/Some Margarines

Why it’s not vegan: Butter contains dairy and some margarines contain milk fat/modified milk ingredients.

Vegan  Substitute: Earth Balance Vegan Butter, olive oil, grape seed oil, canola oil, coconut oil.

Item: Milk

Why it’s not vegan: Contains dairy

Vegan Substitute: Almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, soy milk

Item: White Sugar

Why it’s not vegan: Charred animal bones are used in the refining process

Vegan Substitute: Evaporated cane sugar, coconut sugar.

Item: Honey

Why it’s not vegan: Produced by bees

Vegan Substitute: Agave nectar, brown rice syrup, organic maple syrup.

Item: Cheese

Why it’s not vegan: Contains dairy

Vegan Substitute: Daiya vegan cheeseBute Island Farms Gourmet Cheesevegan parmesan cheesecashew ricotta

Item: Scrambled eggs/Eggs for baking

Why they’re not vegan: They are unfertilized chicken ovum.

Vegan Substitute: Scrambled soft tofu with nutritional yeast and turmeric. Baking: Applesauce, banana, flax meal/water combo, Ener-G Egg Replacer, silken tofu.

Item: Gelatin (found in some gummy candies, marshmallows, gelatin dessert and some low fat yoghurt)

Why it’s not vegan: It is derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones.

Vegan Substitute: Agar flakes or powder

Item: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Fish, Shellfish

Why they’re not vegan: They are animal flesh

Vegan Substitute: Tofu, Yves Tofu products,quinoakamutGardein Vegan Products.

Item: Some Alcohol

Why it’s not vegan: Isinglass (made from fish bladder), egg white, and fish products are used in the filtering or clarifying process.

Vegan Substitute: For a list of vegan alcohol, visit Barnivore.

This list should be enough to send you into a purchasing frenzy. But remember, don’t overwhelm yourself. If you are feeling like you want to throw yourself off a bridge, go back and re-read “A Beginner’s Guide for Transitioning into Veganism”.

For tips on how to keep your grocery bill down, stay tuned for my next article “Vegan on a Budget”.

Courtesy of Contributor Jenny Duffy


  1. Nice one Jenny! Also important to note that not all soy milks are vegan – some contain whey, which is a milk product. Always best to check the label.

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    I’ve had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my
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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VegaNiz, The Vegan Project. The Vegan Project said: "So what's vegan and what's not?" A Dummy's Guide to #Vegan Replacements: http://theveganproject.ca/?p=3206 […]

  2. […] For a list of some common vegan replacements, check out “A Dummies Guide to Vegan Replacements”. […]

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