Vegans do one thing exceptionally well. They abstain from the use of animal products.
They do this by being vigilant in what they eat, as well as what they wear, what they buy, and how they lead their lives. But, can vegans eat fish? More specifically — do vegans eat tuna?
Someone who identifies as a vegan will not eat tuna. This is because vegans choose not to eat any produce from a living animal (e.g., milk, eggs, meat, etc.). Some people differentiate “meat” from fish, but a true vegan won’t eat anything that comes from an animal. Someone who only eats fish is considered a pescatarian.
There are many reasons why people choose to become vegan. One of the most common reasons is the prioritization of animal welfare.
We cover the following items in this post:
- Can Vegans Eat Tuna?
- A Safe Alternative to Tuna: Vegan Tuna
- Final Thoughts: Do Vegans Eat Tuna?
Can Vegans Eat Tuna?
This is a great question. We break down the answer below:
- Do vegans eat tuna? No.
- Can vegans eat tuna? Yes. However, they choose not to.
Nonetheless, a vegan can choose to eat tuna if they please.
Being vegan is a lifestyle choice and there are no health repercussions associated with eating animal products. That is unless the person in question has additional reasons to avoid tuna. People who may be susceptible to mercury should avoid tuna, or limit how often they consume it. Examples include pregnant women and infant children.
Additionally, it may be hard to go back to animal products after spending considerable time away from consuming them. Robin Foroutan, an award-winning registered dietitian & nutritionist, has noted that sensitivities to reintroducing animal meat may be more mental distress rather than your body truly reacting to the action of digesting the meat.
A Safe Alternative to Tuna: Vegan Tuna
So, what can you do if you want to eat something tuna-like, but the vegan lifestyle leads you to avoid the real thing?
You go for some vegan tuna!
A vegan alternative to tuna is a mixture of food that replicates the consistency of tuna, but it doesn’t contain any animal products.
One of the most common substitutes is using mashed chickpeas. The precise texture is not like tuna, but it provides something that can be used in a similar way to tuna. Mashed chickpeas can be used as an option in sandwiches, on top of a baked potato, or in a salad. Or really anywhere else you’d usually crave tuna.
To make vegan tuna, do the following:
- Drain a tin of chickpeas and then mash with a fork in a shallow bowl.
- Then, add some seasoning. You can go with some personal preferences, or you can go with some classics like salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Adding some finely chopped nori will replicate the salty taste of tuna. Some other ideas of seasoning to add are vegan mayo, lemon juice, chopped capers, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, tamari, soy sauce, or white vinegar. I’d recommend playing around with the different flavors to see what you like best.
- Refrigerate the vegan tuna if you’d like it to cool off.
- Eat it!
If you’re looking for a good sandwich recipe, we recommend the Chickpea of The Sea Tuna Salad Sandwich.
Final Thoughts: Do Vegans Eat Tuna?
Vegans don’t eat tuna. It simply goes against their core beliefs as part of a vegan lifestyle.
They can choose to eat tuna if they’d like to, but they then will no longer be truly vegan. There has been some research done on how many vegans return to their prior, meat-eating life, but there have been arguments on the quality of the data used for the research. Nonetheless, there are no known issues in going back to tuna, should you choose to.
Our world continues to adapt to food sensitivities, allergies, and preferences as we continue to learn more about the impacts various foods have on diverse sets of people. As such, there are plenty of vegan-friendly options and replacements for those who lead a vegan lifestyle. And as many of our dads have said in the past: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Fish Can Vegans Eat?
Being vegan is a lifestyle choice. Vegans choose not to eat any fish.
However, unless medically prevented from doing so (which is extremely rare), vegans can always go back to eating animals should they choose to do so.
Is Tuna Vegan Friendly?
Tuna is not, but there are some alternatives such as using mashed chickpeas as a base. Remember that no fish can be considered “vegan-friendly.”
Is There Plant-Based Tuna?
Yes, there is! A great example is Good Catch, Fish-Free Tuna. You can also find other companies that make plant-based tuna or how to make your own by searching Google for some recipes.
What is Vegan Tuna Made of?
It can be made in a few different ways, but the most common method is by using mashed chickpeas.