Ask a Vegansaur, vol. 05  »

Three separate errands have been accomplished, a batch of seitan is simmering on the stove, and yours truly is making good on one of many 2012 resolutions: Be Less Slackerly (and five is my lucky number, so here’s hoping it sticks). I don’t want you to heading into weird Mayan apocalypse (LOL?) in December without having your questions answered, so here we go.

Erin asked: How do you feel about receiving items secondhand that contain animal products, hand-me-downs, etc.? For example, your parents give you their old couch for your apartment and it is leather, or if you buy a pair of shoes from Goodwill that are leather? Does the fact that it is second hand negate it’s non-veganism, I guess?
Hi, Erin; I don’t think it negates its non-veganism: It’s still made of animals, right? However, to me it equals out environmentally. Rather than have a company manufacture a new man-made belt for me, I’d rather just find a belt that’s already been used, or continue using a leather belt I bought before I was veg. Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer agree with me, according to How It All Vegan. If you’re asking me whether you should buy a new vegan belt or a secondhand belt of unspecified materials, I think you should do what you’re comfortable with. I have friends who are squeamish about wearing leather, fur, or any other animal material.

Allison asked: As a vegan, I have enjoyed eating soy yogurt with granola (yum!) to obtain that beneficial bacteria that aids in digestion. However, I just recently saw a disturbing note on the back of a Stonyfield O’Soy carton: “Contains milk (Our live cultures are milk-based).” Not buying that anymore! Back at the store, I decided to check out a cup of So Delicious coconut milk yogurt, which only reads “Contains live cultures” on the back. So what does this all mean? Does all live cultured yogurt contain milk or is Stonyfield the exception among non-dairy yogurt purveyors?
Allison! I like soy yogurt, too! Have you tried the coconut ones? I did a little research, and Stonyfield appears to be an exception. Let’s do a quick roundup: Silk, which makes a lot of bomb-ass flavors, says its lactic acid and live cultures come from a vegetable source. Nogurt says its strains of microflora are free of dairy, wheat, gluten, and soy. WholeSoy says its strains are grown on a vegetable medium. And finally, So Delicious—a slightly trickier proposition, but all the company can say is that it uses no dairy. And you can always make your own. Does that help? More next time, folks. I’ll be Officially Less Flaky from here on out, deal? Don’t be afraid to hold me to it.

Want to Ask a Vegansaur a question? Email me, and try not to be a jerk!

[Photo credit: Ravenelle via Flickr]

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