Bacon: And Other Words that Belong in the Vegan Vocabulary


W. Bishop

It’s time for the vegan community to stand up and claim some words that omnivores currently think they own. Since going vegan, I’ve been inundated with comments from my meat-loving friends about using words that they, for some reason, think are exclusive to being flesh-eaters. It’s time we vegans got these words back.

  • Meat. Or, meaty. This word conjures up images of flesh on a grill or a slab of animal at the butcher, however, the word “meat” also refers to the meat of a mushroom. Or the meatiness of an eggplant. “Meat” does not belong to meat eaters and the Meaty Vegan wants this word back.
  • Milk. Milk comes from a coconut and can be made using nuts (and other seeds). Something non-dairy can be milky just as much as something can be creamy.
  • Cream. And creamy. While these words connotate an image of dairy cream, pretty much anything with a creamy texture can be considered cream. Therefore, we can put cream in our coffee without being called out.
  • Cheese. Same as cream. Can be made with any number of ingredients and we vegans don’t have to explain ourselves (or prove ourselves) if we’re serving macaroni and cheese. Or a cheesy Alfredo. It’s vegan.
  • Butter. If we offer butter on something or list it as an ingredient in a vegan meal, it’s vegan. Contains no dairy. Which comes from cows. Did you know that butter comes from cows?
  • Bacon. This is now a flavor and no longer a cut of pig. If something can be bacon-flavored and not contain actual pig, it can still be called bacon. I make my bacon with mushrooms. And it tastes like bacon. Kevin Bacon contains no pig.

One word/flavor that we cannot truly claim is “chicken.” For some reason, chicken is both the flavor and the animal. We do have un-chicken or chicken-free products that let us know what to expect when eating them but the word “chicken” will always be both the flavor and the animal. Which brings to mind another question entirely.

Would meat eaters ever go to a steakhouse and order cow? Or, two fried eggs with a side of pig? Words like “steak” and “tenderloin” and “pork” help omnivores further detach themselves from the actual beast from which these foods are derived. Would a BLT be as popular if it were a PLT?

Go vegan.