When I first stopped eating meat in the tenth grade, I had a tendency to rely heavily on fake “meaty” products like soy burgers/hot dogs/chicken nuggets, etc. Pretty much the same happened four years ago when I finally made the transition to veganism. Even raw foodists create meals based on cooked meats.

There is nothing wrong to veganizing favorite foods from our omnivorous days, but sometimes I think it’s completely unnecessary and silly. Like vegan haggis. Really? Do we really need a vegan version of animal lungs and stomach? I doubt it.  And then there’s the caviar and the product that inspired today’s rant, mock pork rinds.

While I enjoy a veggie burger as much as the next vegan, I was much more pleased with my vegan lifestyle after I greatly reduced the amount of fake meat products I consumed. A couple years ago I started running low on money, which meant less prepared foods and more meals based around what ingredients I could afford (mostly veggies – I worked at a farm market). Not only was it healthier, but I had more fun learning how to cook turnips and cabbage-based meals then I had when I was just heating up a boca patty and throwing it on a bun. It made me more creative and confident in the kitchen, helped me save money, and most importantly tasted better! Once you wean yourself off faux animal products, you start to notice things about veggies you might not of before – the meatiness of a Portobello mushroom or eggplant, or the delicate tastes of a simple green salad minus the bac-os and cheeze.

One of the most common complaints we hear from new veg*ns is that it’s so expensive. Well, if you buy $4-6 frozen meals and fake meat products, then yeah, it’s gonna cost you a fortune! Try making vegetables or grains the focus of your meals instead of the bbq tempeh (nothing against bbq tempeh – it’s fab!) and watch your costs sink.

That’s enough of my rant. For readers – what is the craziest faux-meat vegan product you’ve ever encountered?