Animal Aid

ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL PRODUCTS - And ingredients to beware of...

Many people now recognise that, for a healthy diet, a high proportion of our supermarket shopping should be done in the fruit and veg section. It's also more generally appreciated that we can buy protein-rich soya and pulses (such as lentils) to replace meat. But did you know how wide the range of alternatives is?

Meat and Fish: Bacon, chicken, ham, beef, turkey, pepperoni, fishcakes, sausages, pies, pasties and burgers can all be replaced by ready-made veggie versions. And your own favourite recipes for meat-based stews, bakes and bolognese dishes can easily be adapted to tasty veggie versions. For ideas and recipes see our Recipe Collection.

Eggs: Eggs can be replaced by tofu in almost any recipe - even cheesecake. But if you're baking other kinds of cake, one alternative to an egg is half a mashed banana or a little orange juice.

Dairy Products: You have a choice of straightforward replacements for any dairy product these days, whether milk, yogurt, cream, ice cream, flavoured drinks, butter or cheese. So-called vegetarian cheeses won't contain rennet but, being made from milk, they are still a product of the abusive dairy industry (see our Going Dairy-free factfile).

Once you become aware and start checking labels and asking questions, you'll discover bits of animals in food products you once thought were entirely innocent. But fear not, there's always an alternative!

Suet: Solid fat from kidneys of cattle or sheep. Vegetable suet
Rennet: Derived from calves' stomachs and used in most cheeses. Soya cheese: e.g. Tofutti cream cheese, and Cheezly or Scheese hard cheeses.
Whey: A by-product of cheese-making. Choose a dairy-free version of the product you want to buy.
Gelatine: Made from animal bones, skin and ligaments. It is found in many products, including sweets, ice cream and some yogurts. Agar agar/carrageenan/pectin: There are numerous gelatine-free alternative products.
Lactose: A sugar obtained from milk. Watch out for it in certain brands of various products, including some crisps, olives and biscuits. There are a host of products where lactose doesn't get a look in.
Worcestershire Sauce: May contain anchovies. Vegan Worcestershire Sauces: Anchovy-free versions include Life & Health Worcestershire Sauce.
Wine: Many wines are clarified using blood, bone marrow, egg albumen, fish oil, gelatine or fish bladders. Vegan wine: Most supermarkets stock wines clearly labelled as vegetarian/vegan. A wide range of other wines are also animal-free. Animal Aid has its own selection.

Go veggie - it's better for you, animals and the planet.

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