With so many different diet and lifestyle choices, it is completely understandable to have some questions about what you may or may not be able to eat while following a specific diet. Of course, the way you eat is entirely your decision, but if you want to try an alternative approach, it helps to know some guidelines.
The vegan diet is one of the most restrictive in terms of which food you must remove from your diet. Vegans abstain from consuming any foods that come from animals. Since they are produced by poultry, it would seem logical to exclude eggs from the list.
However, it’s becoming more common for some vegans to consume specific kinds of eggs. It is referred to as a “vegan” diet.
Can Vegans Eat Eggs?
Most people undoubtedly know that vegans cannot eat any kind of meat or fish. However, dairy, eggs, and other animal by-products get less attention and may be harder to spot.
Simply stated, a true vegan does not eat eggs of any kind. Because they are produced by chickens and are technically an animal food product, they are off-limits.
Why Vegans Don’t Eat Eggs
Most vegans avoid eating eggs because they believe that being a vegan requires avoiding all forms of animal cruelty, including the production of eggs. Vegans are uneasy about participating in the sale and eating of chicken eggs because of the activities of the egg business.
Since farmed chickens are used to generate eggs, these hens are frequently kept in appalling conditions, in tiny cages, and are compelled to lay eggs until they get old. Once they stop producing eggs after this point, many are killed.
Essentially, vegans feel that the treatment of chickens and hens is absolutely terrible and shows utter contempt for their lives. Additionally, male chicks are frequently killed shortly after they are born because the industry does not require them.
Can a Vegan Consume Eggs Produce by Their Own Hens?
No, even eggs from one’s own birds are off limits to vegans. From a vegan perspective, eggs are not produced by chickens for human consumption. Rather, they are produced as a normal part of the reproductive cycle.
The eggs won’t be wasted. Unfertilized eggs are frequently consumed by chickens when they are left with their own eggs.
The nutrients found in eggs are vital for the health of chickens. To keep their hens healthy, many vegan chicken owners cook the eggs from their flock and then feed them back to the animals.
For people who live a vegan lifestyle, it is unacceptable to collect eggs from birds for sale or consumption. The health of humans does not depend on eggs. It is unethical and just not vegan to steal them for our own consumption when they are not our own.
Is There Any Flexibility in a Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet that includes eggs isn’t actually vegan, according to the rules. It is known as ovo-vegetarian instead. However, some vegans are willing to eat eggs occasionally. After all, producing eggs is a natural procedure for hens and has no negative effects on them.
Ninety percent of vegan dieters surveyed by researchers identified concern for the welfare of animals as their primary driving force. However, one-third of them concurred that if animal welfare regulations were raised, they might be open to various types of animal foods.
So, is there any flexibility while following a vegan diet? Unfortunately, the answer is no – but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat a mostly vegan diet while enjoying an egg from time to time. If you aren’t one for strict labels, you won’t have a problem with this approach.
What is a Veggan?
No, you aren’t reading that question wrong. The term veggan is becoming increasingly popular as vegans expand their unrestricted foods. The phrase “veggan” refers to flexible vegans who consume eggs from hens that have been raised responsibly.
Some people who worry that a strict vegan diet could lack variety, comfort, and convenience find that adding eggs helps.
Are There Benefits to Adding Eggs to a Vegan Diet?
With the exception of vitamin B12, which is mostly found in animal products like meat or eggs, a vegan diet can satisfy the nutritional demands of the majority of individuals. To receive enough essential minerals, like vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and iron, requires some preparation.
Vegans who eat eggs could find it simpler to fill in the gaps of these nutrients. Small amounts of each of these nutrients are present in one large, entire egg, along with some high-quality protein.
Additionally, some vegan populations that are more vulnerable to nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, such as kids and pregnant or nursing women, may benefit from a “vegan” diet.
Are There Any Vegan-Friendly Egg Substitutes?
Because of their specific leavening and binding qualities, eggs are a vital component in baking and cooking. But if you decide to stop using them, you can still make your favorite recipes using a variety of vegan egg substitutes that are available on the market and in your home.
Eggs play an important role in making baked goods. Eggs can give baked goods form, leavening, texture, color, and flavor in addition to their nutritional content. The ratio of eggs and flour, which contribute strength, and sugar and fat, which add tenderness, determines the height and structure of baked items.
Some store-bought alternatives can produce the same results as an actual egg, but there are also many whole foods that can achieve the same result. These substitutes include:
- Ground flaxseeds
- Chia seeds
- Mashed bananas
- Pumpkin puree
- Silken tofu
- Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar
- Aquafaba – made from chickpeas
- Vegan or plant-based yogurt
It is important to note that many of these alternatives require some form of prep. They can also affect the taste. So, be sure to do a little research and be open to a bit of experimentation.
Unlike baking with eggs, when you cook with eggs, they are an essential ingredient. Rather than acting as a smaller part of a whole, eggs add flavor and texture when used in cooking.
Liquid egg replacements are the easiest and usually the most popular vegan egg alternative. They can be found at almost any grocery store and mimic the look, feel, and taste of natural eggs. These liquid replacements work perfectly for omelets, frittatas, and other eggy breakfasts.
Tofu is another great substitute for dishes with scrambled eggs, such as stir-fry. While the texture will be different, tofu is a great source of protein (like eggs!). It also absorbs the flavors of the dish. It is a part of – yum!
There are plenty of brands to choose from, and the best way to find the one that works best for you is to experiment a bit. Don’t be afraid to check online if you can’t find a wide variety in your local grocery stores.
Are Vegan Eggs Good For You?
Like any other food you consume, it is important to practice moderation. With that in mind, be sure to consider how you prepare your vegan eggs and what other food you are preparing them with. Vegan eggs can be nutritious if the right ingredients are utilized.
But one thing is for sure—even only because they have no cholesterol—they are healthier than their animal-based counterparts. Regular eggs contain cholesterol, which has been shown to raise the risk of heart disease.
The yolks contain the highest concentration. Many people consume eggs to increase their protein consumption, but many are ignorant of the potential health risks that may result.
The healthiest vegan egg, however, can become a hazardous snack when prepared and presented in a way that increases the fat level.
Final Thoughts on Do Vegans Eat Eggs
If you want to follow the vegan diet to the absolute maximum, then you can’t have eggs – or any animal by-product for that matter.
However, diets and lifestyle changes only work if they work for you. With that in mind, if you want to follow most of the restrictions of a vegan diet with the addition of eggs, go right ahead!
Ultimately, you want to ensure that you are eating food that is good for your body without compromising any of your beliefs. While eggs are considered an animal-sourced food, they offer a great nutritional profile that provides fats, proteins, and vitamins and minerals.