Can you imagine a life without bacon? Thanks to some plant-based alternatives, you don't have to!
One of the main misconceptions about becoming vegan is the myth that it’s a chore; it’s a process of sacrifice and austerity. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In the article below we explain why switching to a plant-based diet can be one of the most exciting things you can do – and we use vegan bacon to make our point!
Does Being Vegan Mean I Have To Give Up Bacon?
Many people who are reluctant to try veganism will grumble about all the things they have to give up. “I love full English breakfasts,” they’ll say. “Too much to stop eating bacon!”
But what if we were to tell you that you can go vegan and don’t have to remove any of the food you love from your life? It sounds too good to be true but, really it isn’t!
Many vegans, the vast majority of us in fact, have previously been meat-eaters – we guarantee you that most of us didn’t give up meat because of the taste! Many of us will have previously salivated at food you currently love, and none of us will have wanted to give up the taste either. When we switched to veganism, each of us for individual reasons (including animals, the environment or our health), we wanted to continue eating versions of the meals we’d previously savoured and enjoyed.
Thankfully, a number of companies spotted a gap in the market for this and realised there was quite a large group of people they could cater to if they created the correct products. So, in the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion in amazing plant-based products aimed at us. Browsing high street menus and scanning supermarket aisles today will quickly uncover everything from vegan pulled pork to faux gras, dairy-less chocolate to animal-free chicken burgers….and, perhaps most excitingly, vegan bacon!
Vegans don’t just eat seeds or rabbit food – we can eat plant-based bacon too!
Vegan Bacon Alternatives?! Tell Me More!
Pig-less bacon has been a popular staple of many vegetarian and vegan diets for a long time now. Colloquially it’s been given the nickname “Facon” – a portmanteau of “fake” and “bacon”. Sadly, it has not been regularly advertised with such a name, but it’s still easy to find examples of plant-based bacon in high street stores and on shelves in supermarkets.
Whilst not all of the following vegan brands can be found in each and every region, we recommend the following as some of our favourite bacon substitutes we’ve tried so far:
- VBites Meat-Free Rashers
- Vegan Cartel Vegan Bacon
- Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh
- Sweet Earth & Sage Smoked Seitan Bacon
- Lightlife Smart Bacon
- The Vegetarian Butcher’s Smoked NOBACON Bits
- Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon
We also recommend keeping your eye out in the coming months. More and more bacon products are entering the market – brands such as THIS are looking to pioneer their own meat substitute, and even non-vegan brands are looking to diversify their product list. We also suggest you even look in non-likely places for vegan bacon – did you know that Pizza Hut’s Bacon Bits are entirely plant-based?! If you’re particularly brave and daring, you can even make your own!
Does Vegan Bacon Taste Like Bacon??
Usually made from tempeh or seitan, fake bacon managed to approximate the texture of the real thing pretty accurately, the taste is fantastic and it even has a distinct smell which is likely to turn the heads of even the most stubborn non-vegan in your life.
We suggest that, to find the bacon you like the most, it is worth shopping around to find your favourite. If you don’t particularly like American-style maple-flavoured bacon, we don’t think you’d enjoy the vegan equivalent either; if you do, then why not try Tofurky’s version? If you prefer British-style rashers, then V-Bites might be your favourite.
So, if you can’t locate a vegan bacon you love after your first try (this is admittedly unlikely!), it doesn’t mean it’s not out there. Or even if you track down one you love (much more probable!), there could exist an even better vegan bacon perfectly matched to your taste buds and ready to be discovered. Trying many different bacons is a joyous and delicious endeavour!
Is Vegan Bacon Better Than Actual Bacon Then?
We might be biased but we certainly think so!
We’ve mentioned the variety of tastes and flavours and we haven’t even begun to address the other benefits of switching to vegan bacon.
Trying plant-based means that no animals will be harmed in the making of your breakfast which, when you have the choice of enjoying a great meal AND making sure pigs get left alone, seems a no-brainer to us. Pigs are one of the most intelligent domesticated animals and can feel intense distress and pain. We can have delicious fake bacon and allow pigs to live lives free of human-inflicted misery if we so choose, so why not? On top of this we know that animal agriculture is responsible for great environmental damage, and eating a plant-based equivalent can reduce our impact on the world.
Even on a selfish level, swapping meat for a vegan equivalent is good for us. We know of the links between bacon and cancer , so we can reduce our risks today with some small modifications to what we eat. Vegan bacon can make up part of a high quality, flavoursome and nutritious diet if we make plans to balance what we put on our plates.
Okay, But What About Cheese?
Even more than bacon, we hear many people tell us: “I would go vegan but…. cheese!”
Thankfully, we’ve got an answer for this one too – going vegan doesn’t mean giving up any of the products you like. We’re here to help advise you on non-dairy alternatives to milk, plant-based substitutes for meat and, for cheese-lovers, we recommend reading this blog post full of vegan cheeses!
Going vegan doesn’t mean giving up anything you love; it means discovering new things! New alternatives, and entirely new ingredients and flavours you might not have otherwise chanced upon. Switching to (or at least trying) plant-based is an exciting time in anyone’s life and we hope you join us in discovering new foods.
If you sign-up to try vegan we’ll send you more information on new foods, as well as an eCookbook, meal plans and nutrition guides to get you started. Click below to register for free and receive daily support for your first 31 days!
If you have any more questions on vegan bacon, or anything else to do with a plant-based lifestyle, then please either email us or message us on social media and we’ll be delighted to assist!