Going vegan or plant-based does ultimately mean your diet will change and you will consume different foods.
Whilst this can broaden the range of vegetables you eat and the recipes you cook, it can feel like you’ve had to bid goodbye to some of your favorite foods.
We posed a question to our followers on social media recently, asking ‘Do you miss anything since going vegan?’
The answers have been flowing through, with a very mixed bag of replies. Here are the top results.
“Cheese!!! It was the one thing that delayed me finally going vegan, and still miss it.” says Joanne.
Predictably, cheese was amongst the top answers of items people miss. The variety of cheeses and the ways in which they are cooked most likely play a big factor.
“Agree on cheeses.” A good stringy cheese pizza, cold cream cheese on a bagel, sharp cheddar and grapes on a cracker, fluffy cheesecake… I wouldn’t stop being vegan for the world but I do hope in time vegan cheese finds a way.” says Tanesha.
Many commenters have stated that ‘vegan cheese can’t compare’, and that they haven’t found a good replacement since making the switch.
“Cheeses. Been vegan nearly 4 years and yet to find anything that truly replaces it. There’s a lot of close contenders though!” says Ethan.
There have been several assessments to see how addictive cheese really is, and some even state that dairy cheese has proven to release high levels of dopamine.
Our advice to make the switch is to cut out all cheeses for a couple of weeks, then gradually reintroduce vegan cheeses as a replacement.
That being said, the development of vegan cheeses has come a long way in recent years, with delicious artisan vegan cheeses being introduced to the market.
Most supermarkets now stock dairy-free and vegan alternatives to dairy cheese so there is plenty to choose from!
We even have a guide on how to find the right cheese replacements based on what you’re cooking, which is bound to cut out a lot of trial and error!
Chocolates were mentioned quite frequently, with commenters saying that the nostalgic chocolates haven’t made the plant-based switch that quite measures up to the memories.
Literally only Maltesers. I only miss the pure joy of eating a whole box of Maltesers.” says Carys.
Notably, specific ones such as Jaffa Cakes, Maltesers and Wagon Wheels were ones that people were keen to see become vegan-friendly.
“Only Jaffa Cakes”. I haven’t had a Jaffa Cake since I went vegan 5 years ago. It’s the ONLY thing I miss. I used to get one big long box for Christmas. I can’t see why it’s so difficult to just take the egg out the sponge. Every time I go food shopping and I check the ingredients hoping that this is the day I can buy them but no. I love being vegan and it’s the best thing ever but please can I have my smashing orangey bits back? Cheers.” says Claire.
But things are looking promising as more and more big named brands, such as Galaxy and Cadbury, have released dairy-free versions in recent months.
We shall await with bated breath to see what comes out next, but in the meantime, there are plenty of chocolatey treats to indulge yourself with!
It may not be an edible answer, but still a valid response!
“I miss being able to order a meal without someone saying “Omg are you veeeegan? Where do you get your protein?” says Caitlin.
The freedom of going anywhere and eating whatever you wish without the judgment or questions of others is an aspect not usually anticipated when switching to a vegan lifestyle.
“I miss being liked and not judged by others. Living in truth is more important to me though.” says Magi.
One universal complaint was finding it difficult to dine with others since they had an omnivorous diet and asked unwanted queries. Or even feeling like a burden because of it.
“I miss being easier to host. I always feel so badly when I am invited somewhere for a meal and the host needs to call to ask about ingredients. I don’t like to cause so much fuss.” says Taryn.
However, opinions are shifting and more people are becoming more accepting of the idea of plant-based lifestyles.
A good tip would be to go to all-vegan venues where it is completely normal to order plant-based foods, or join clubs to meet others and socialise with vegans.
Furthermore, we have some extra tips here if you are struggling with being a solo vegan.
Nothing at all
Most answers did reflect a sentiment of not missing anything and having no regrets!
“The best thing I ever did!! I don’t miss a freaking thing. It’s about the animals.” says Cheyenne.
The joy that knowing a plant-based diet is reducing animal suffering is far greater than missing anything edible that was once eaten.
“Few things I miss, smoked salmon, smoked haddock, a boiled egg and some cheeses, but would never, ever go back, for me the animals’ lives mean so much more. Best decision I ever made.’ says Bren.
Giving up certain foods shouldn’t be seen as a loss, but as more of what you can gain.
“In my opinion the cravings all go away at some point. Been vegan for 5+yrs (vegetarian for a couple of years before that), not going back. I don’t miss a thing; especially with all the substitutes readily available (which I rarely buy), it’s easy to recreate anything that I’ve had before going vegan.” says Katharina.
New recipes, tastes and textures can all be found on a plant-based diet, and it’s shown to be kinder to our bodies, the environment and the animals.
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to like, comment, and share their thoughts!
Find out how to answer those tiring questions once and for all by tuning into the latest episode of The Simply Vegan Podcast!