In Western culture, the idea of a vegan diet often seems overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like the only way to truly commit is to make all of your meals from scratch, which isn’t all that feasible for college students today. If you’re like me, you might aspire to join the vegan diet, but feel like it’s unattainable. However, when I sat down to truly research the lifestyle, I realized that there are actually tons of resources and options out there. As it turns out, veganism is attainable after all.
Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, being a vegan doesn’t have to be hard. The vegan lifestyle is gaining more and more popularity, and with that comes new, helpful tools. Many companies have developed apps that make being a vegan in a meat-eating world much easier. So pick up your phone, get out your vegan Ben and Jerry’s, and let’s get down to business.
1. Humane Eating Project
One of the biggest nightmares of of veganism is eating out. Trying to find a restaurant with vegan options can be a project that takes longer than the meal itself. With this app, you can search any area and find restaurants that are vegan or vegetarian friendly. Now you can branch out from the single restaurant you know you can eat at and try new places.
2. HappyCow Free
This app is the mobile version of the Happy Cow website. Similar to the Humane Eating Project, you can search your area for places to eat as well as vegan and vegetarian organizations. If you buy the full version, you can also save your favorite locations and view them when you’re offline.
3. Is It Vegan?
With this app, you can scan the barcode on any product and find out if there are any animal products in it. Now you don’t have to worry that you’ll accidentally eat something outside of your diet that’s hiding behind a complicated scientific name.
Speaking of hidden ingredients, this app contains lists of all food ingredients that are animal based and those that are vegan. If you’re ever unsure whether an ingredient is animal-based or tested on animals, you can check this list. Selecting an ingredient will tell you where it comes from and what products it’s usually found in.
5. Farmers Markets
Support local businesses by buying locally grown and sourced products. This app has a map of all farmer’s markets in America and will tell you where it is, the hours of operation, and what types of products you can find there. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you should also try the similar app American Farmers Markets.
While this app isn’t 100% vegan, it’s nonetheless a great resource for those who are. Choose a season and get a list of food items that are available during that time. Each listing includes nutritional properties, a short description of how your body benefits from the item, and three recipes.
7. Bunny Free
If you follow the vegan lifestyle, you know it can be difficult to go shopping for anything. It’s hard to know which brands are cruelty-free, but this is where this BunnyFree comes in. Just search a brand and BunnyFree will let you know if the company tests animals or not. Now you don’t need to go home and stalk companies online every time you want to try a new product.
More than just an app, Vegan is a community for, well, vegans. You can follow users to see their posts about everything from recipes to memes. There are tons of chat groups you can join based on where you live, your likes, and even your relationship status. It’s a great way to get support from fellow vegans as well as tips and tricks to navigate the lifestyle.
9. Vegan List
Vegan List is a searchable database of vegan food, beer, wine, liquor, and even sweets. This app is still in the preliminary stages, but the company has stated that it plans to add a barcode scanning feature in the future.
10. Vegan IQ
A spin-off of the Health IQ app, this one is dedicated to vegan topics. You can take quizzes that test your knowledge and teach you at the same time. This app was developed by health experts, so you don’t have to worry about dangerous misinformation. Their belief is that the best way to improve people’s health is to “celebrate the people who are dedicated to their health, rather than harass the people who are not.”
11. Vegan Recipes
This app is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a database for tons of drool-worthy recipes. You can search by keywords or browse through the meal you are looking for.