The Legal Vegan

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF's Staff Writer on August 7, 2013

Vegan – (VEE guhn) – Vegans choose plant-based alternatives to animal-based foods. Vegans wear cruelty-free clothes rather than leather, wool, cashmere, silk, or fur. Vegans use cruelty-free personal and household products that have never been tested on animals. Vegans also do not support events that exploit animals, like marine theme parks, zoos, circuses, rodeos, and other “entertainment.”


Why ALDF is Vegan

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is dedicated to protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system. That is why ALDF has used the law to make groundbreaking advances for animals by fighting landmark cases of cruelty on factory farms and in laboratories. Billions of animals are slaughtered, tortured, maimed, and abused each year as standard practice in laboratories and industrial agriculture. Because of this, ALDF works hard to establish better laws for animals, stronger sentences for animal abusers, and education programs across the nation.

One of the best ways we can all join together to stop the abuse of animals is to simply not purchase products or support industries that abuse animals. So from the cupcakes in the office kitchen to the meals at animal law conferences, all ALDF events are cruelty-free.

Listen to what Nicole Roth, one of our board members, has to say:

Being vegan is good for animals—and good for our planet! A cruelty-free diet reduces our carbon footprint far more than driving ecologically responsible automobiles. What’s more, three quarters of the grain grown in the U.S. isn’t for human consumption, but for animals raised as food. If animal welfare and environmental sustainability isn’t enough, veganism also provides the healthiest diet. Animal-based diets mean higher cholesterol levels, food-poisoning incidents, and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Many top athletes thrive from a vegan diet high in plant-based, energy-rich antioxidants.

A Vegan Kitchen

Vegan food is everywhere! Along with healthier alternatives, a vegan diet can include your guilty pleasures like pizza, French fries, ice-cream, candy, and sweets. Of course, vegetables, fruits, vegan pastas, beans, and tofu are vegan too!

Animal-based IngredientsHamburgerHot Dogs


Grilled Cheese sandwich

Cheesy popcorn


Milk Chocolate

Cream cheese/ Sour Cream

Coffee Creamer

Ice Cream



Sausage/ Chorizo





Gelatin (often found in candy)

Scrumptious AlternativesVeggie burgerTofu Dogs

Vegan Cheese

Grilled Daiya Cheese Sandwich

Earth Balance Aged Cheddar Puffs

Soy, Almond, Coconut, or Rice milks

Dark Chocolate

Tofutti Soy cream cheese/ sour cream

Soy or Coconut Milk Creamers

Soy or Coconut milk ice cream, sorbet

Egg Substitutes, tofu, bananas

Vegan Wine

Soy Chorizo

Agave Nectar, Maple Syrup

Harvest Award Olive Oil Spread


Soy Powder


Great News! Many familiar foods in your pantry may already be vegan:

  • Fritos
  • Lays potato chips
  • Ruffles potato chips
  • Ore-Idea tots/Fries
  • Mission food tortillas
  • Reduced Fat Bisquick
  • Pillsbury Crescent rolls
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola bars
  • Teddy Grahams
  • Oreos
  • Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding
  • Fruit by the Foot
  • Swedish Fish
  • Sour-Patch Kids.

Vegan Cookbooks


Visit ALDF’s Pinterest boards for a whole host of yummy recipes, links to websites, cookbooks and more! Here are a few vegan cookbooks we love:

Household Products

Unfortunately, some household products are not cruelty-free and contain animal products or were cruelly tested upon animals. Often items like makeup, hairspray, toothpaste, detergents, and shampoos have been tested on animals, while soap, candles, and glue come from animal products. Nowadays vegan alternatives are readily available in most grocery stores! Buying cruelty-free products is a great way to protect animals as a consumer.

Dining Out


  • Look up the menu prior to visiting.
  • Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Mediterranean restaurants often have vegan options.
  • Explain that you specifically don’t eat meat, eggs, fish, milk or butter.

Some Phone Apps that can make this process easier:

  • Animal Free provides a dictionary of animal products, alternatives, as well as a barcode scanner to see if a product is vegan.
  • Cruelty Free helps users find cruelty-free household and personal products.
  • Happy Cow provides options for local vegan/vegetarian-friendly restaurants.
  • VeganXpress is a convenient database of vegan options at many fast-food and chain restaurants.

6 thoughts on “The Legal Vegan

  1. Sharon Rousseau says:

    Hi, thanks for everything you do, thanks for this great article. I’m vegan & totally happy w/ it, but in Atlanta it’s very hard to find dining out options. Thanks for cookbook guide & dining out suggestions. Very best wishes, & if we win Lotto, you all are on top 10 list of donations! Sharon Rousseau

    1. ALDF says:

      Thanks for your kind words!!

  2. Ginnie R. Maurer says:

    Under your list of vegan items in pantry, why so many junk food items? How about peanut butter, all fruit spreads and juices, most pastas, meatless spaghetti sauces, etc.

    1. ALDF says:

      Good question! I think the author was hungry when she wrote this ;)

  3. mariam says:

    Thank you for all you do for defenseless, abused and exploited animals; not only vegan is compassionate and the future, but vegans are the true “green” generation…those who eat meat and consume eggs and dairy contribute to the pollution and destruction of our environment.
    So, I’m a proud vegan and I thank all the vegans for their generous and loving contribution so those who come after us can live in a better world…thank you

  4. Shreyansh B. says:

    Vegan since birt

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