You are here

Accidentally Vegan...

While searching for an easy vegan Apple Crumb Cake recipe, I found a website that listed lots of "accidentally vegan" convenience foods.  PETA has one, too, but their list was different.  I was interested in using a cake mix, but none were listed on PETA's list (although Duncan Hines was on the other list).  So, I emailed Pinnacle Foods (Duncan Hines) and got this reply:

Thank you for taking the time to email us.  In response to your email, all
of our Duncan Hines Cake Mixes and Frostings are derived from plant.
EXCEPT our Signature Dessert Orange Dreamsickle which the Jell-O is
derived from animal.  Contact us again if we can be of assistance in the

So, along the same lines as the vegan makeup thread, has anyone else contacted a company to inquire about vegan options?

Be careful with PETA's "accidentally vegan" list because not all of those products are still vegan.  Many ARE, however, and remember to check the ingredients before buying if you're a strict vegan.  I contacted general mills and the products that are listed as "accidentally vegan'' aren't 100% vegan.  Cheerios, wheaties, and any general mills products that have Vitamin D in them are ANIMAL-DERIVED. I know this because I contacted them myself about this. It upsets me that they can't swiitch to a plant-based vitamin D to make the product marketable for vegans.  Additionally, Post's Grape Nuts is not vegan. It's vitamin D comes from animals, too. (this still upsets me because i looove grape nuts!) So depending on how far you take your veganism, be careful with PETA's list.

A good fired up fridays event would be to call these comapanies and ask if they can switch to an alternative vitamin source. Again, we see the recurring scenario where that one ingredient prevents many of us from buying it.


I do this regularly - one favorites:

Taco Bell's 7 layer burrito,hold the cheese, hold the sour cream is vegan - according to their #800 (800-taco-bell)

KC Masterpiece original barbecue sauce - once again, I called and they confirmed that their "natural ingredients" were not meat derived.

On the other hand, a huge disappointment is hostess - they have to have beef fat in everything. I've contacted them, they have told me that not enough people care for them to change it. Granted - they might never be vegan, anyway, but vegetarian would be nice. The good think about this is that even teenage omnis I've told are grossed out by the idea of beef fat in cake - so I think a campaign to change them could work.


im glad u guys r posting this. thanks 4 the good info!!! :) :) :)


Taco Bell's flour tortillas contain mono- and diglycerides.  Anyone know if they are vegetable-derived?

FYI, they list all of their ingredients here:

I never eat there myself, but I applaud them for listing their ingredients.  I can't believe there are still food companies that don't list their ingredients online!


YOu can make a homemade version of Grapenuts which is rather similar.  Look on here, I think I posted it.


Be careful with PETA's "accidentally vegan" list because not all of those products are still vegan. 

Oh, I am...I don't take their word for anything!  That's why I contacted Pinnacle (Duncan Hines).  I've tried contacting PETA about "vegan" items on their list that aren't.  For instance, Hot Tamales are on the list.  I was watching Food Channel and they were showing how these are made and they are tumbled in beeswax (for the shiny finish and to keep them from sticking to each other).  I told PETA that and they said that since it's such a small thing, they will leave it on the list.  They said that at least it's better than most things that have more animal derived ingredients.  That doesn't fly for me.  It's wrong to misrepresent something as vegan unless it is in the strictest sense of the word (or at least make a disclaimer).  The other one was P.F. Chang's (which is on their vegan-friendly restaurant list).  I used to go there all the time and get their Coconut Curry Vegetables and Ma Po Tofu.  Once, I decided to ask if they could make General Tso's Chicken with tofu instead.  They said yes, but I began wondering if the sauce was vegan.  When I got there, I asked and the server said "none of our sauces are vegan...they all have an ingredient derived from bone marrow".  I was appalled!  I was ordering from the vegetarian menu and when I first went in, I asked if the sauces were vegan and were told that they were.  I went back later to complain and the manager tried to assure me that the sauces were vegan.  After some prodding, she said she'd check.  She emailed me later to confirm that they aren't.  I forwarded the email to PETA and nothing happened.  P.F. Chang's is still listed as vegan-friendly.

p.s.  The kicker:  a vegan joined our staff at work a few months ago and we talked about P.F. Chang's.  He went there and spoke to a manager guessed it...assured him that the sauces are vegan!  He eats there, despite what I told him because he believes the manager...I think it's an outrage.  That's why I seldom eat out.


Cheerios, wheaties, and any general mills products that have Vitamin D in them are ANIMAL-DERIVED.

Awww...this makes me sad. :(  I was just thinking the other day how good a bowl of Cheerios sounded.  I'm thinking I'll send a letter on this...


Cheerios, wheaties, and any general mills products that have Vitamin D in them are ANIMAL-DERIVED.

I just got an education on Vitamin D when I was recently diagnosed with a Vitamin D and calcium deficiency.  I went to Wild Oats and found a Calcium Citrate with D supplement that was labeled "vegetarian tablets".  The label also said "no dairy or egg" and even went as far as to say that the magnesium stearate was from a "vegetable source".  After buying this, I became curious about the difference between D2 and D3.  I found out that D2 is plant-derived and D3 is animal-derived.  I then went back to my calcium supplement and found that it was D3, so I emailed Wild Oats and was told that the D3 is derived from lanolin (sheep's wool).  So, even though this was labeled "vegetarian" and the labeling seemed to suggest that everything was plant-derived, it wasn't.  Boy, sometimes it takes a "super-sleuth" to find out if something is truly vegan!


last year i contacted pillsbury concerning their chocolate (not milk chocolate) frosting.  Smuckers (i guess they are a subsidiary) actually wrote me a letter and sent it via snail mail and said that particular chocolate frosting was vegan.  i did not eat it because i was still suspect, but they were quite nice 

I also loovveee cookies as mentioned many times before and i caontacted a cookie company based in sweden called (i think) 'annes.'  they sell cookies mainly at ikea but also at some chain grocery stores.  they said their cookies are vegan and i ate a whole pack of their thin coffee flavored cookies!

also i mentioned before about dominicks (mid west store) carrying the 'organics brand'.  they emailed me and said the items that i do eat are vegan.  crackers, cookies, sugars, chocolate, cereal, beans, etc.  i love them!

(p.s. tomorrow is my 41st birthday!!!!!!)


this is funny, cause my campers eat those and i say "you know there is beef in that?" and they are like no way and i show them and .... they pass it on to someone else. interesting about the hot tamalies, the mike and ikes are vegan last i checked, didn't use bees wax to coat them. i wonder if they either had old footage or recently changed. i hope they are vegan...i like those stupid things

I've just emailed Just Born (makers of Mike & Ikes and Hot Tamales).  I'll let you know what they say...

Until then, I found this on a website:

Mike & Ike: Made by the makers of Peeps, the Just Born Candy Co. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, these have been produced since the '50s. Tastless candy centers are swirled with flavor and color before being polished and lined with beeswax. While there's a standard flavor set -- lemon, lime, cherry, orange -- some experiments have been done: Lemon watermelon, rootbeer, and licorice were tried and discontinued. Perhaps named after the performers in a Vaudeville act, 200,000 pounds of Mike & Ikes -- Mikes & Ikes? -- are made daily.



I've always been wary of the PETA list... and I think the letter-writing is a great idea.  However, I'm really wondering if you found the recipe that you were looking for in the first place.  Apple crumb cake sounds yummy... recipe?


I've always been wary of the PETA list... and I think the letter-writing is a great idea.  However, I'm really wondering if you found the recipe that you were looking for in the first place.  Apple crumb cake sounds yummy... recipe?

I ended up using this recipe:

2 cans (21 oz) apple pie filling
1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
3/4 cup soy butter, softened - only a little though (if too soft you'll end up with a mushy dough)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup soymilk

Preheat oven to 375F. In large saucepan, heat pie filling over medium heat until very hot. Stir occasionally.  In large bowl, combine cake mix and soy butter. Blend at low speed on mixer (45-60 seconds) until crumbly.

Place 1 1/2 cup of this mixture in a medium bowl. Stir the walnuts and cinnamon into 1 1/2 cup mixture and mix well. Set aside.  Spread remaining cake mix and soy butter mixture into lightly greased 9x13 pan.  Spoon hot pie filling evenly over that.

Dribble soymilk evenly over the cake and soy butter mixture trying to moisten all of it.  Sprinkle walnut mixture over top of the cake mixture.  Bake at 375F 30-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and cracks appear dry.  Cool 30 minutes.

I wanted it to be more "crumb cake" like, so I took the topping package out of a box of Aunt Jemima Coffee Cake I bought (as backup!).  I sprinkled that over the top before baking.

End product wasn't exactly crumb cake, but it was really good!  My co-workers couldn't believe it was vegan.  I think I'll play around with it next time to see what I can come up with (maybe I won't use so much apple pie filling...).


baypuppy, I will write them a letter too.  Mine will say something like the letter below.  I like to let people know that I would really like their company, if only... 
Feel free to use it for inspiration, cut and paste it, or ditch it and come up with your own  :)

Dear Just Born Candy Co.,

My entire life, Mike and Ike's have been one of my favorite candies.  I have been a faithful customer throughout the years.  Several months ago, I realized that I did not want to be a part of animal exploitation in any way, so I became vegan, giving up all animal products.  I was happy to read the ingredients on my box of Mike and Ike's, as it listed no animal products, and they could remain on my list of foods to enjoy.

Unfortunately, I have become aware, through a popular vegan forum, that there is a discrepancy between your packaging and your website.  Your website lists beeswax as an ingredient, which is an animal product I strictly avoid.  Your packaging does not mention this.  I feel as though I have been fooled, and I am very saddened to think that many other vegans have also been fooled into believing that Mike and Ikes are suitable for them.

Could you please explain this discrepancy to me?  Do Mike and Ike's contain beeswax or not?  If they do, I urge you to list this ingredient on your product packaging, so others will know the true ingredients.  Better yet, I strongly urge you to find a replacement for this ingredient, so everyone can enjoy this delicious candy.

Until I can be sure that Mike and Ike's are vegan, I cannot continue to purchase them, and neither can my vegan friends.  I look forward to enjoying them again, and announcing on my vegan forum that they are suitable for us to eat.  Thank you for your consideration.



Oops, I guess they come in bags now?!?  So I will change that in my letter!


Sounds good, thanks for posting the recipe.  And Baypuppy, good luck with the Mike and Ike's.


ARRR, they take away all that is good for baypuppy

By they way, I know you are sad about your Mike & Ike's, but this totally made me laugh!


DAMN! That's where I got the info that Lipton's Onion Soup Mix was vegan.  :-\

I hope it still is... off to the letter writing! It DOES seem like we have to be super-slueths! I think we have to keep the goal of "least harm" in mind all the time.


The last time I checked, Lipton Onion Soup mix was vegan (and the only flavor of soup mix that was), but it had MSG, so I didn't buy it.


(p.s. tomorrow is my 41st birthday!!!!!!)

Oh my goodness, how did I miss this?




Log in or register to post comments