vegan, vegan blocks,
Canberra Weekly answers your most googled vegan questions. Photo: Istock.

This is your one-stop shop for all your vegan questions.

Have you ever invited a vegan friend over for dinner, only to find yourself panicking what you will feed them, let alone wondering if they can even share a glass of wine with you?

Whether you’re vegan, thinking about converting, know someone who is, or are purely interested in the weird, wonderful world of veganism, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s start off with a strange one, and one of the most asked vegan questions on the internet, whether Sir David Attenborough is vegan.

Is David Attenborough a vegan?

Sir David Attenborough
David Attenborough said the world can’t support billions of large meat-eaters. Photo: Getty Images.

Does the 94-year-old man who is on a mission to save the planet put animals on his plate?

His most recent advice in the documentary A Life On Our Planet is that we must save the world by changing our diets to cut back on meat.

“When it comes to the land, we must radically reduce the area we use to farm, so that we can make space for returning wilderness,” Sir Attenborough said.

“Large carnivores are rare in nature because it takes a lot of prey to support each of them … whenever we choose a piece of meat, we too are unwittingly demanding a huge expanse of space.

“The planet can’t support billions of large meat-eaters. There just isn’t space.”

So, is David Attenborough vegan? The simple answer is no.

He reveals that he is no “doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan” but he has cut back on meat, and occasionally eats free-range chicken.

Red, red wine you make me feel so fine

For all the wine lovers out there, the question stands, is wine vegan?

We all picture some jolly husband and wife on their farm who use their bare feet to squish delicious grapes … and voilà! You have wine! Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case.

Yes, there are SOME vegan wines, but you must read the label.

Many wines are not even vegetarian because of a process called ‘fining’. Without the fining agents, the wine will self-stabilise and appear hazy.

Fining agents are commonly made from several animal products: casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg white protein), gelatin (animal tissues and bones), and isinglass (gelatin fish bladder).

Vegan wines that are fined use vegan-friendly agents, such as bentonite clay, activated charcoal, limestone, and silica gel.

There are also several winemakers going for a natural approach who simply don’t add the fining process to their wines, labelling them as ‘not fined/not filtered’.

Here are some Canberra district vegan wine options:

wine, wine grapes

100% vegan friendly wines:

Have a selection of vegan wines:

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got vegan food in my tummy

Whether you’ve lived in Canberra your entire life or are new to the capital city, it is always handy to have your own vegan café and restaurant encyclopedia.

Canberra vegan cafe’s and restaurant’s:

vegan, vegan food, healthy food, energy balls,

Mixed menu:

Birkenstocks

Everyone wants to get their mitts on a pair of Birkenstocks, the shoes which famously became cool because of their “ugly” nature. They do have a selected vegan collection.

Birkenstock declares the vegan collection is produced with animal-friendly, ecologically-sound and sustainable materials.

Many of the classic style sandals have a cork footbed with macrofibre lining, and the upper is the signature Birko-Flor Birkenstock synthetic leather, which claims to be skin friendly and easy to clean.

The Birkenstock EVA line of sandals is marketed as safe to wear in the water and is oil and grease resistant. It is made from a non-toxic synthetic compound called ethylene vinyl acetate, which in short means a durable safe plastic.

Short vegan questions, answered quickly

What are vegan beauty products, and who are they?

skittles, sweets, candy

Cruelty free beauty products contain no animal derivatives and have not been tested on animals. Whether it is makeup, deodorant or skin care, the list is never ending.

Some popular Australian and international brands include:

Herbivore Botanicals; Hummm; Inika Organic; Asuvi Deodorant; Lovebyt; KVD Vegan Beauty; Elf; Milk Makeup; Sukin, Tarte; Cover FX; Aesop; Mecca Max; Bangn Body;

Is Baileys vegan?

Traditional Baileys Irish Cream is not vegan, but the liqueur company now have their own 100% dairy-free vegan almond and vanilla flavoured liqueur.  Just imagine how tasty that would be with a spiced chai latte!

What about Skittles?

Yes and no.

Skittles don’t contain any animal derived products, but they do use cane sugar which may have been processed with animal bone char. Although the bone char isn’t in the Skittles, it’s up to you whether you’re comfortable eating them.

Is there a vegan substitute for condensed milk?

There sure is! Nature’s very own milk from those delightful coconuts makes some delicious, condensed milks which can be found at most supermarkets. Keep an eye out for the ingredients as some may contain refined cane sugars.

What is vegan cheese?

The cheese varieties are commonly made using vegetable proteins such as soy, nuts, cashew, macadamia, and coconut and vegetable oil. 

Are oysters vegan?

Some say yes, some say no.

Oysters are technically not vegan because they are a living organism and are classified as bivalve molluscs.

So what are bivalve molluscs? Bivalves are water-dwelling headless animals that live in a shell made up of two hinged sections. Molluscs are a type of invertebrate which is an animal that doesn’t have a spine, including squid and octopus, snails and slugs.

However, people will argue that oysters are vegan because they don’t have a central nervous system, meaning they technically don’t feel pain.


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