By Sam Tucker, Australia and New Zealand Outreach Coordinator
I have a confession to make. I like the taste of meat.
I didn’t go vegan because I suddenly didn’t like the taste, I went vegan to stop the massive amount of cruelty involved in animal agriculture. So it should come as no surprise that when it comes to meat substitutes, I’m a bit of a self-taught expert.
If you follow this blog, you’ve probably read about all sorts of vegan meats and other vegan products available in the US. But if you live in Australia, like me, you’ve probably also had some difficulty finding them. Whilst many of these products can be found at organic supermarkets and specialty stores, few can be found in your standard supermarket. Luckily here in Australia, we have our own range of tasty vegan foods at all supermarkets.
This new series of blog posts is aimed at helping people to eat vegan in Australia, and will include reviews and recommendations of animal-friendly products and restaurants.
To kick things off, let’s talk about some meat substitutes, all of which can be found at your local Coles or Woolworths.
Two brands you want to keep an eye out for (available at both Coles and Woolworths) are Fry’s and Vegie Delights. Fry’s entire range is vegan, and Vegie Delights mark their vegan products with a green ‘V’ in a circle.
Vegie Delights make delicious “chicken” style tenders and burgers which can be found in the frozen section of your supermarket, as well as mince, sausages and a Sunday roast in the chilled section. In addition to being really tasty, these products are also packed with iron, protein, B12 and zinc.
Fry’s make mushroom pies with chunks of vegan meat, crumbed schnitzels and banger-style traditional sausages, which can all be found in the frozen section of the supermarket. The schnitzels are my personal favorite, although the pies are also great to stick in the oven on those nights when you just can’t be bothered with cooking.
Another great brand of vegan meat is the Linda McCartney Foods range, although it’s only available at Woolworths. However they do make delicious vegan sausage rolls, pies, mince and burgers.
If you’re willing to venture away from Coles and Woolworths, Asian grocers generally stock a much larger range of vegan meats, including vegan duck, fish, prawns, ribs, chicken and more. If you’re looking for the kind of vegan meats that would fool even a die-hard carnivore, look no further than your local Asian grocer. Lamyong’s “vegetarian prawns” are particularly convincing, resembling not only the taste and texture, but also the appearance of the real thing.
Do you have a favorite Australian vegan meat? Share your opinion in the comments below!