Back to Basics: Chicken alternatives

Recently added these chicken-like chunks to vegan chili. Found the product a my local supermarket, Dominick's, in the produce section.

A family member once said to me, “We aren’t eating meat anymore.”

I responded with surprise, “Really?” (Knowing full well this could not be true.)

“Yeah, we just eat a lot of chicken these days,” she said.

So I had to ask the obvious, “You know chicken is meat, right?”

“Weellll, yessss, but I mean we don’t eat red meat anymore.”***

Meat, as defined by dictionary.com, is the flesh of animals as used for food — in case anyone forgot.

Poor chickens. Some of the worst treated animals on the planet. When will they ever get some respect. They are smarter than people think.

The good news is that there are tons of tasty faux chicken products available in mainstream supermarkets as well as Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and natural/health food stores everywhere. You can even find these products at many Super Targets. I will not claim that these products taste exactly like chicken but many have a similar flavor and texture. They can more than adequately satisfy the desire for meat especially when transitioning to a veg diet. For some, the taste may take some getting use to but it’s worth the sacrifice when you know you are not supporting factory farming and animal cruelty. Your conscience will thank you too.

If you are considering a veg diet, check out the options available in your supermarket. You will find chicken substitutes mixed in with the produce (sometimes in the “organic” section) as well as the refrigerated and freezer aisles. Visit the Humane Society of the United States’ web page for chicken-friendly products you will find in your grocery store. Also check out on-line stores such as Vegan Essentials if you live in a remote area that doesn’t offer faux chicken products. Don’t forget to ask your local market to stock these items if you can’t find them.

***Omnivores will say the strangest things to vegans…unprompted. I did not initiate this conversation and it was with someone I consider to be an intelligent human being. If you are new to being vegan, you will get use to these conversations. They happen more often then you might expect.

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