While things like meat, eggs, and cheese are easy to avoid, adhering to a vegan diet is far more nuanced than it can seem—especially when processed foods with long ingredients lists and difficult-to-pronounce names can disguise animal products. For example, white sugar can be filtered with bone char, charred animal bones that can make sugar appear whiter (although this process is reportedly used less and less in food these days). And certain candies, which may seem vegan-friendly, include the ingredient confectioner's glaze, made from bug secretions.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) includes a number of products with refined sugar, natural flavors, or other ingredients that in some instances can come from animals on its list of "Accidentally Vegan" products. The organization explains the position as follows: "While PETA supports a strict adherence to veganism, we put the task of vigorously reducing animal suffering ahead of personal purity. Boycotting products that are 99.9 percent vegan sends the message to manufacturers that there is no market for this food, which ends up hurting more animals."
Vegan individuals will have to choose for themselves whether compounds like these fit into their personal animal-free diet or not, not to mention whether processed foods fit into a nutritious diet to begin with. Still, some of the PETA-approved picks are items you'd never expect to be vegan. Read on to see some of the most surprising.
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Being vegan doesn't mean it's all wheatgrass, all the time. You'd never guess that these grocery picks are vegan-friendly!
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls aren't even the most surprising item on the list! See 11 more "accidentally vegan" products here.