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Can You Be a Soy-Free Vegan?

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Can You Be a Soy-Free Vegan?

Does giving up (or even cutting back on) the meat in your diet mean you have to eat lots of soy-based fake meat?

Honestly, I find it kind of confusing that so often when you talk about eating less meat, people so often bring up fake meats made from genetically modified soy as if that’s the only other thing you could possibly eat. That’s just hands-down untrue, and I think it makes veganism or even eating less meat seem like something unattainable or very expensive.

You can eat less (or no!) meat without ever eating fake meat, and not all fake meats have soy in them. I love me some fake meat – don’t get me wrong – but it’s not for everyone, and you can be a vegan your whole life without ever eating a Tofurkey sausage, if that’s something that’s important to you.

It’s also possible to eat soy without eating genetically modified soy. One surefire way to make sure anything you eat is not genetically modified is to choose organic. Organics, by definition, can’t be genetically modified. You can also look for the Non-GMO Project label on foods. Foods bearing that certification have been verified to be GMO Free.

I know that some folks see vegans as high and mighty when we talk about food, and I want very much for this discussion to not be that way. I respect anyone who’s making mindful food choices, whether I completely agree with them or not. We’re all trying to choose diets that reflect what we feel is best for our bodies and for the planet.

This article isn’t even about convincing you to go vegan. It’s just about dispelling the common misconception that vegans have to eat fake meat and lots of soy.

On the next page, let’s talk about vegan main dishes that don’t involve any fake meat.

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Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Vegan, Vegetarian, , , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

87 comments

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8:06AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

it's possible I'm a vegan and allergic to soy and nuts . some of my staples are quinoa and vega sport makes great protein bars & shakes (natural , soy free,vegan,nut free,sweetend with stevia) ,and while it doesn't taste to good alone pea protein is great for baking ,you can get it at the health food store.

8:05AM PST on Jan 4, 2014

it's possible I'm a vegan and allergic to soy and nuts . some of my staples are quinoa and vega sport makes great protein bars ? shakes (natural , soy free,vegan,nut free,sweetend with stevia) ,and while it doesn't taste to good alone pea protein is great for baking ,you can get it at the health food store.

5:09PM PST on Mar 5, 2013

thanks for the link to the baigan bharta (something to try next summer!)

3:41AM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Good recipes to add to my toolbox.

6:10AM PST on Feb 20, 2013

What's wrong with veggies and fruit??? Who needs Soya anyway...

4:40PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Yes you can! There is plenty of soy-free vegan food available :)

2:41PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

My niece is ~ she's allergic to soy. And yes, she has to read labels constantly. You'd be surprised.

1:43PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

For people who suffer from kidney stones, unfortunately, most beans, nuts and tofu products contain high amounts of oxalic acid which is the basis of stone formation. If such a person chooses to get protein sources from meat, I cannot condemn that person for trying to avoid the very painful condition which would otherwise occur. Sad but true situation for some.

7:53PM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Not even fake meat is okay now? For real? I am left speechless by articles like these.

2:45PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Thank you

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