21 Signs That You’re a Vegan From the South
To say that food is taken very seriously in the South is an understatement. Growing up in South Carolina, most of my meals consisted of fatty and cholesterol-laden meat, eggs, and dairy. Heck, even the vegetables were typically cooked with some sort of meat or animal stock. I didn’t think twice about who I was eating or what I was putting in my body—and I considered the food that I ate part of my “Southern belle” identity. But that changed the first time I saw a chicken transport truck driving down the highway.
Long story short, I realized that supporting animal abuse because of tradition doesn’t make it acceptable. Now, I’m super into veganizing all my fave Southern dishes and showing people how easy it is to be a vegan in the South.
Check out these surefire signs that you’re a vegan who was raised below the Mason-Dixon Line:
1. You assume that everything is covered with butter and made with meat.
Ordering a side of collard greens? Maybe some baked beans? We know to specify that we want them made without butter—and hold the ham, bacon, and lard, please.
2. Biscuits are eaten for breakfast and dinner (or supper!).
Lots of canned biscuits are “accidentally vegan.” (Check your local grocery store brand, and be sure to avoid ones containing milk.) Or whip up your own homemade biscuits from scratch.
3. You proudly rock your cruelty-free vegan cowboy boots like a boss.
It feels darn good to answer the question “Well, aren’t your boots made with leather?” with a smile on your face.
4. You’re always pleased to tell your friends that PBR is vegan.
And you keep your drink cold with animal rights–themed koozies.
5. You aren’t sure exactly what you’re feeling for dinner, but you know it needs to be smothered in creamy dairy-free gravy.
6. You put vegan ranch dressing on EVERYTHING.
And I mean everything. Pizza, tofu wings, veggie burgers, baked potatoes, chips, French fries …. You name it, we’ve probably covered it with vegan ranch.
7. Boiled peanuts = life
Who says that peanuts are solely for roasting? Boiled peanuts are a popular Southern snack that is vegan by default! Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
8. You know the difference between vegan jambalaya and vegan gumbo.
9. You’ve been asked, “But you can still drink sweet tea, right?”
Once people find out that you’re vegan, they tend to ask about every single thing you eat. Thankfully, “I would go vegan, but I can’t live without my sweet tea” is a statement we will never have to combat.
10. You’ve eaten the fried version of just about every vegetable imaginable.
The next time you fry up some veggies, try this easy-to-make batter: Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 Tbsp. corn starch, a dollop of mustard, and a pinch each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
11. Ground corn made with water or nondairy milk and topped with vegan butter gets your taste buds going.
We ♥ grits!
12. Your pantry is stocked with vegan canned goods in case of a disaster.
Disasters range from snow flurries to full-fledged hurricanes. You can never be too cautious.
13. You know what vegan chicken bog is—and you’re stoked on it.
For those of you who don’t know, vegan chicken bog is sticky rice that’s soaked in vegetable broth and mixed with vegan chicken, vegan sausage, and lots of seasonings. Topped with hot sauce and black pepper, it’s just one of the many Southern dishes that can easily be made vegan!
14. You go on road trips to the bigger Southern cities just to dine at their vegan restaurants.
Shout out to Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; Washington, D.C.; and other cities for being so vegan-friendly! Hit up HappyCow to find vegan restaurants near you.
15. You’re ALWAYS prepared to be interrogated.
Sometimes, it seems like it’s nearly impossible for Southerners to understand how you can live without eating animal-derived foods. Questions like “Where do you get your protein?” and “What can you even eat?” as well as “Why would you ever go vegan?” are the most common. (But don’t get frustrated—this as a great opportunity to let people know how awesome eating vegan is!)
16. You’ve been asked if you’re a member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals.
Very original joke. Bless your heart.
17. You shoot selfies, not animals.
Hunting sucks. Nuff said.
18. When people ask, “Do you wanna go fishin’?” you tell them, “You’re barking up the wrong tree.”
When fish are yanked from the water, they begin to suffocate. Their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture because of the sudden change in pressure. No, thanks, y’all.
19. Since you likely live in the Bible Belt, you constantly have to explain that there is nothing in the Bible that justifies our modern-day practices of factory farming.
Many people are vegan because they are horrified by how God’s animals are abused and feel that treating His creatures this way is an insult to Him.
20. You put A.1. steak sauce on your mashed potatoes.
Despite the name, A.1. steak sauce is totally vegan! Who needs dead animals to enjoy some savory sauce?
21. You know that the best way to someone’s heart is through their stomach.
Southern hospitality is real. You love showing up to cookouts with your best recipe for vegan mac ’n’ cheese. Sharing great vegan food is your fave way to help people understand that acting compassionately doesn’t mean giving up delicious meals.
Not vegan yet? Heavens to Betsy! What’re you waiting for? Order our free “Guide to Going Vegan” today!