Category Archives: other

The Best Vegetarian Options at 17 Fast Food Chains

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It’s hard out there for a vegetarian. Especially when it comes to snagging quick eats on the cheap. In a fast-food world where the burger reigns supreme and drive-thru menus tout vegetable sides inexplicably containing pork fat, options are, well, limited. But that doesn’t mean it needs to all be doom and gloom — all the major fast-food players have at least one tasty veg-friendly choice on their roster to keep you satisfied. And to save you from staring blankly at the drive-thru screen searching for something you can eat, we’ve rounded up the very best option at all the big chains.

Important note: many of the selections on this list are fried, which means there’s no guarantee that they’re not cooked in the same oil as non-veg items. If you’re ordering at a fast-food spot, this is probably a risk you’re already willing to take, but just know that if you are conscious of contamination, many of these suggestions will not work for you. You should probably just ask. Or just say “who cares,” because you’re starving.

Credit: Flickr/Jay Reed

Chick-fil-A: Waffle fries

When a place is named after the animal it serves, you’re kinda out of luck. But since you’re here (why are you here?!), the waffle fries are good. And they’re allegedly vegan.

Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s: Veg It. Thickburgers

Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s (Carl’s Sr.?!) offer up a “Veg It.” option for their Thickburgers. At Hardee’s, that just means a burger, but minus the patty. At Carl’s, though, they offer up a package of fried zucchini you can load onto the bun. Why they haven’t seized the opportunity for a commercial featuring Paris Hilton washing a car while eating a zucchini is beyond us, but it seems like a missed opportunity for their campaign.

Credit: Aaron Miller/Thrillist

McDonald’s: Oreo McFlurry

You might be tempted to go for the legendary fries at the Golden Arches, but turns out the oil they fry ‘em in actually contains beef flavoring, so don’t be fooled. Instead go for a creamy, cookie-filled McFlurry. When it’s your tastiest option, no one can fault you for eating dessert for dinner. NO ONE.

Whataburger: Egg & cheese biscuit

Whataburger’s biscuits are delicious on their own, and especially with honey butter. But that does not a balanced meal make. That’s why the egg & cheese biscuit is king. And yes, it’s still good with honey butter.

Credit: Flickr/Adam Kuban

Sonic: Cheese tots

Sonic is the only fast-food chain where it is imperative to forgo fries for an order of cheese sauce-covered tots instead. Golden and crispy on the outside, fluffy and starchy on the inside, these salty spuds are the spirit of sonic and demand space in your stomach. Of course you could choose to get them plain, but when melty cheese is a choice, there’s really no choice at all.

Jack in the Box: Stuffed jalapeños

Jack’s forte is gigantic burgers, some of which are stuffed between grilled cheeses that aren’t on the regular menu. Luckily, they have all-day breakfast, with egg sandwiches and mini pancakes. But let’s be honest. If you’re here, it’s because you want something fried. So thank goodness for cheesy jalapeño poppers, which go pretty well with curly fries and a late-night viewing of The Wall.

Credit: Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

Taco Bell: Anything and everything!

T-Bell is without a doubt the greatest fast-food spot for meatless folks, but that’ll happen when your options are exactly the same as everyone else’s. Pretty much everything at Taco Bell can be made meat-free with beans and/or potatoes as the replacement protein, you just gotta ask. My personal favorites are the Crunchwrap, Cheesy Gordita Crunch, and Quesarito, but really, the world is your beefless burrito. Or whatever.

Arby’s: Mozzarella sticks

What, you didn’t know that Arby’s has mozzarella sticks? Fair enough. It’s hard to see past the Meat Mountain. But, as with any place that serves them, the mozz sticks at Arby’s are insanely good — as good as anything that you can get at a bar, but cheaper.

Credit: Flickr/Pam

Culver’s: Fried cheese curds

Most people head to this Midwestern chain for the ButterBurgers, but even if you’re a full-time carnivore, the Wisconsin cheese curds are the real star. The chain started in the home of the curd, so it only makes sense that they’re one of the few fast-food spots where you can snag some of these squeaky morsels of all that’s right in the world. Made with both yellow and white cheddar and deep-fried to crispy, golden perfection, these lil’ guys are addictive and almost too poppable.

A&W: Root beer float

“This place basically invented the root beer float. And they use cane sugar. If you can get one in a frosty mug, it somehow tastes even better. That’s probably not gonna happen at one with a Taco Bell stapled to it, but you can still dream.” – My editor who insisted on writing this because I hate root beer

Credit: Thrillist

Dairy Queen: Blizzard

This one is a given. Shockingly, DQ has not (yet) found a way to incorporate bacon into all of their signature stormy soft-serves, which means they’re all fair game. And delicious. The flavor options are plentiful, and while we could give you an exact pick, we know it’s rare for a veggie to have this many choices, so we’re gonna let you do you. But also we really like Reese’s. NO PRESSURE.

KFC: Potato wedges

I’ve been spreading the gospel of KFC potato wedges for approximately 26 years. I’m only 23, so you do the math. They’re just that good. You can actually see the seasoning on these wedges — they’re salty, peppery, and kicked up just the right amount of notches to make Emeril happy. Though they’re already lightly battered and crunchy, if you get a particularly crispy one, you’re in for a treat. To give you a sense of how you’ll feel after biting into these babies, my boyfriend and I once accidentally ordered a family-size portion of them at 9am in Penn Station. There were no regrets.

Credit: Flickr/Stephan Mosel

Burger King: Veggie burger & onion rings

The King bestows upon all vegetarians the gift of an actually solid, complete meal comparable to that of a meat-eater dining there. For one, they actually use MorningStar patties, aka what every vegetarian awkwardly brings to a BBQ, so you know this is legit. But they also have onion rings. We know other spots have those too, but BK’s are particularly tasty, and obviously taste way better when accompanied by a burger, an option seldom seen by vegetarians when it comes to fast food. And yes, we know this is technically two picks, but your Grandma told us you were looking thin.

Wendy’s: Fries & a Chocolate Frosty

Contrary to popular belief, the Pythagorean theorem actually proves that it’s a really bad life choice to order fries sans a Frosty on the side. Without the Frosty, we’d probably be telling you to snag a broccoli and cheese baked potato (still a good option!), but the sweet-and-salty combo of hand-cut fries dipped in a creamy, chocolatey shake is where it’s at, for anyone, meat-eater or not. And yes, we know this is also technically two picks, but that’s on Pythagoras, not us.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Qfl247

In-N-Out: Animal Style fries

Sure, you could get the not-so-secret grilled cheese, but have you forgotten you’re at In-N-Out? Because you are. And that means it’s your responsibility as a contributing member of society to get something Animal Style. And since you’re not getting a burger, you’re getting fries. Covered in melty cheese, grilled onions, and special sauce, you’ll be just as satisfied as your meat-eating pals. Though might we suggest an Animal Style grilled cheese be a future thing that exists?

White Castle: Veggie sliders and/or onion chips

Upon the announcement of veggie sliders coming to Harold and Kumar’s chain of choice, meat-eaters of the world acted as if this new development had a profound effect on them. It did not. Instead, leaf eaters were just getting the extra option they were fully entitled to. The Dr. Praeger’s sliders full of veggies like carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, and broccoli are here, and they’re pretty damn good. They even come with a choice of sweet Thai, honey mustard, and ranch sauces. Unfortunately, these things aren’t permanent menu fixtures and will disappear at some point, so once that sad day comes, go for the onion chips. These fried-up petals are tasty as hell and it’s basically like eating a deconstructed, fast-foodified blooming onion.

Popeyes: Cajun fries

You might take a glance at the Popeyes sides menu and think you have a killer arsenal of choices. But you would be sorely mistaken. Red beans? Pork fat. Cajun rice? Meat sauce. Green beans? Turkey bacon. Mashed potatoes & gravy? Pork. It’s a sad, sad, Southern world. But it won’t be if you get these crispy, Cajun-battered fries bumped up with spices like garlic powder, cayenne, and paprika. With a crunchy exterior and a flavorful-but-not-overpowering spice blend, these guys don’t even require a dipping sauce, and are the best you can do as an herbivore getting down at Popeyes. I don’t think I need to tell you that these must be paired with a fresh, fluffy biscuit — but these must be paired with a fresh, fluffy biscuit. Class dismissed.

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5 of the Biggest Lies Most Vegans Believe

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By Naturalon
Sometimes it seems as if there is a war going on between vegans and meat eaters. Those who eat meat and dairy products believe eating only plants is unhealthy and/or unnatural. Vegans saying that meat eaters are disgusting and eating meat is unnatural. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

Here’s how to get the right nutrients in your diet when you’re vegan

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If you’re a vegan or thinking about making the switch, it’s important to note that following a plant-only diet can present a number of nutritional challenges. A vegan diet can make it more difficult to supply your body with the right amount of nutrients each day, for example. So it’s important to carefully plan your meals to ensure you consume a wide variety of highly nourishing foods. There are three crucial areas to be aware of on a day-to-day basis:

The 18 Most Annoying Things About Being Vegan

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1. People who pronounce it “vaygun.”

Vaygun sounds like we came to Earth from the planet Vega. Which…actually, now that sounds kind of cool. Keep on saying that, grandmas who say “vaygun.” We can’t stay mad at you.

People who pronounce it "vaygun."

2. Everyone you know is suddenly a nutrition expert.

Seriously with this protein thing.

Everyone you know is suddenly a nutrition expert.

3. Suboptimal fake meats

Let’s be honest — there are some truly fantastic vegan alternatives out there…but we’re not 100% there yet.

Suboptimal fake meats

4. The vegan option at a restaurant is ALWAYS a wrap.

Ah, wraps. I dimly remember — roughly 10,000 wraps ago — when I used to not HATE EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR.

The vegan option at a restaurant is ALWAYS a wrap.

5. The vegan option at a wedding is ALWAYS grilled vegetables.

I don’t want to seem ungrateful, and I’m certainly not going to complain, but that looks like A LOT of zucchini. Is all. Whatever, forget it. Thank you for inviting me to your wedding and for providing a vegan option when you didn’t have to. I am a terrible person. I take this one back.

The vegan option at a wedding is ALWAYS grilled vegetables.

6. And let’s not even talk about continental breakfast at a hotel…

Free breakfast sounds sooooo good until you realize that literally the only thing you can eat is hash browns with a side of hash browns, with a black coffee. Yes, fine – also a fruit cup. But, like, this is a secret and don’t tell anyone, but vegans feel pretty much the same way about fruit cups as everyone else does.

And let's not even talk about continental breakfast at a hotel...

7. Getting constantly trapped under the weight of your own logic…

…and having to be like, “Yes, true. OK, that is a great point, but also…remember how this all began with me just politely turning down the cheese dip? YOU STARTED THIS NIGHTMARE CONVERSATION. You just forgot that you did.” GODDAMN IT, CHELSEA.

Getting constantly trapped under the weight of your own logic...

8. Secretly finding this funny.

Sometimes a good burn is just a good burn.

Secretly finding this funny.

9. People saying “humans are ‘meant’ to be carnivores.”

Meant? Meant? By whom?

10. Getting lumped in with the gluten-free people.

For Christ’s sake, it’s already hard enough!!!

Getting lumped in with the gluten-free people.

11. The “vegan at a dinner party” joke.

Because it’s fucking true. 🙁

The "vegan at a dinner party" joke.

12. No, seriously. The “vegan at a dinner party” joke.

THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, VEGANS.

No, seriously. The "vegan at a dinner party" joke.

13. People saying stuff like this and thinking they’ve vanquished you with their genius.

“Oh no, I have been defeaaaaated. I would like to formally apologize for initiating this discussion by asking the waiter to hold the cheese on my veggie burger. Please immediately begin force-feeding me hard-boiled eggs until I explode under the weight of my own contradictions. It’s all I deserve.”

People saying stuff like this and thinking they've vanquished you with their genius.

14. Not being able to eat cheese.

Not gonna lie, miss that stuff.

Not being able to eat cheese.

15. Cake at the office.

I want to join in but I can’t. 🙁

Cake at the office.

16. People who don’t know peanut butter doesn’t have butter and coconut milk doesn’t have milk.

17. Being called a hypocrite if you feed your pet meat, and crazy if you don’t.

18. Other Vegans

Ugh — other vegans are THE WORST. Who talks like this???

Other Vegans

6 Ways To Stop Ruining Veganism For Everyone

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I’m a vegan. I love vegan food. I like some vegan people. But most people don’t.Some vegans are ruining veganism for the rest of the human population. It’s time to take a stand and stop the madness!

9 things all vegans who travel know to be true

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Whether opting for a simple city break or an exotic retreat, vegans who travel take their convictions with them. And there’s plenty of ways to enjoy yourself while championing animal welfare. Here are nine things that all vegan travellers will know.

There’s A Big Difference Between A Plant-Based Diet And A Vegan Diet

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By huffpost
Reducetarianflexitarianvegetarian ― there’s a diet out there for everyone. That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure we get it all straight. One diet (or lifestyle) that’s been gaining in popularity among nutritionists, celebritiesand millennials is the whole foods plant-based diet. The diet mostly appeals to anyone who’s looking to live a healthier lifestyle, but its smaller environmental footprint makes it particularly appealing to millennials. If you’ve heard people talking about a whole foods plant-based diet, you may have thought this was basically just another word for veganism, but you’d be wrong. Really wrong. And we’re going to explain why.

Vegans abstain from eating any animal products. According to The Vegan Society, “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.” This means that many vegans also don’t purchase leather goods. But it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re eating lots of whole foods plant-based meals. Vegans could get through life eating processed foods and snubbing their veggies just like anyone else. Think potato chips, (vegan-friendly) gummy candy, and even cookies.

whole foods plant-based diet, on the other hand, emphasizes eating whole fruits and vegetables, consuming lots of whole grains, and staying away from (or at least minimizing) the intake of animal products and processed foods for health reasons. That means that even vegan desserts made with refined sugar or bleached flour are out. It does not restrict their purchase of leather goods.

There are no strict guidelines or definitions for what constitute a whole foods plant-based diet other than focusing on eating lots of fresh produce and minimally processed foods. Some people on a whole foods plant-based diet don’t eat any animal products, while others will eat a restricted amount. It’s flexible in that way, but strict in its focus on eating whole foods.

We’re not saying that a vegan can’t be on a whole foods plant-based diet or vice versa, but the two are not interchangeable and we want to make sure you know it.

This guy drank ten cans of Coke a day. Here’s what he looked like after a month…

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A lot has been and still is said about the dangers of excessive sugar consumption, and there is much criticism of brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi for playing a role in this unhealthy development.

8 Foods You’ll Be Surprised To Learn Aren’t Always Vegan

Glasses of light and dark beer on a pub background.

By Julie R. Thomson
We live in a very vegan-friendly food world these days. Even Ben & Jerry’s has put out a couple of vegan flavors. Unfortunately, not all foods are so nice.  We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but there’s a chance that some of your favorite foods are not as vegan-friendly as you may have thought. You probably already know that honey isn’t vegan and you know the ugly truth about red food dye (it’s made out of crushed beetles), but there are more foods you’d never suspect are made with the help of animal products. We’re talking candy, beer and sometimes even cereal.

GOING VEGAN IS HARD: 8 INCONVENIENT TRUTHS WE ALL NEED TO ADMIT

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OK, before I get bombarded with comments on how I am trying to scare people off veganism, let me get this straight: I do think going vegan can be very easy, once you set your belief system and mind into it. Yet, there are some ‘hard’ aspects of it that people should be prepared for. How would you feel if someone told you swimming was easy, without letting you know what exactly you should expect when you go into the water? Most likely, you will start choking! And quickly give up… It’s a good idea to admit some of the difficulties of going vegan and take the pink glasses off for a little while.

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