What Do You Know About Being Vegan?


By: Dustyn Deerman

7 Min Quiz

Image: Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Veganism has been around long before a lot of us were born, but there's still plenty about it we're all discovering. Most of us have a general understanding that vegans will not eat meat, but is that all there is to it? Regardless of what your knowledge is of the vegan diet and lifestyle, there's no denying the incredible rise it's having around the world. 

According to Forbes, a Gallup poll was conducted in 2018, showing that about one in ten Americans claim they are vegan. When you think about how many people that actually is, it makes sense why there are more and more restaurants and other businesses catering to and supporting the vegan lifestyle. 

So, whether you're a life-long meat eater, are a committed vegan or you fall somewhere in between on this spectrum, having a solid understanding of what the vegan lifestyle is is beneficial. From veganism's roots and its ethical convictions to the best ingredients for a healthy and balanced diet, this quiz will test you on everything vegan! Even those who do not prescribe to the lifestyle can walk away from this quiz with new knowledge about foods they can incorporate into their own diets. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!

What is the best way to define veganism?

A majority of vegans opt for this diet and lifestyle because they believe they are promoting a more ethical, humane and ultimately caring world. Because of the idea that even egg and dairy production can negatively affect the animals involved, they also do not consume it in any way.


This type of diet wasn't always referred to as "vegan". What was another name for it that didn't stick around for too long?

It would be a little funny if "dairyban" stuck, right? Back in the 1940s, people who lived the vegan lifestyle were on the hunt for the right name. Other than "dairyban," the names "vitan" and "benevore" were also given a shot.


Which of these is a good choice for getting your omega-3s on a vegan diet?

Flaxseeds are a great and easy way to get your omega-3s; all you need to do is add two tablespoons of it to any meal or smoothie. You can also add to your diet walnuts, chia seeds and sea vegetables.


There is a vitamin some vegans are worried about not getting enough of. What is it?

According to the American Diabetic Association, there is no significant amount of vitamin B12 in any natural plant. So, to get enough of it in their diets, vegans should opt for things like B-12 fortified foods in soy and rice, breakfast cereals or just take a daily supplement.


Which of the following is NOT a meat substitute?

There are so many solid alternatives for meat, including tofu, seitan, lentils, beans, mushrooms, tempeh, jackfruit, soy, eggplant and quinoa. Some of the brands these days are utilizing these ingredients so convincingly that some people haven't realized they're biting into a meatless burger.


What's one of the most important things about eating a vegan diet?

Sure, the actual ingredients you are ingesting is definitely very important to living the vegan lifestyle, but doing it successfully comes with planning. In order to make sure the diet is balanced and healthy and not deficient in any vitamins, you have to make sure you're eating a variety of foods packed with all the nutrients you need.


Is veganism healthy for children?

When it comes to growing children, planning becomes especially essential to creating a healthy and balanced vegan diet. Parents have for years now successfully raised their children vegan; they will need that variety in their foods, so they get substantial amounts of protein, calcium, iron and vitamins as they grow.


Which of these servings is packed with the most protein?

Just one cup of cooked lentils will get you about 18 grams of protein. Add in 5 ounces of tofu (12 grams) and 1 cup of peas (9 grams), and you've got yourself a good start with your protein intake. The 2 tablespoons of peanut butter can be a good protein snack (8 grams)!


Which of these diets could you try if you wanted to also do vegan?

The ketogenic diet does focus on consuming high-fat, low-carb and moderate-protein foods. So, this diet does typically promote the consumption of meat, but with careful planning, vegans can still reap the benefits that come with the keto diet (like successful weight loss).


What's a product you should stay away from if you're vegan? (This one may be surprising!)

While the bee industry, for the most part, does a good job of taking care of their bees, there are still a number of things that can "go wrong" in getting honey, bee pollen and royal jelly. For example, there have been instances where bees will get crushed by the honeycomb as it's removed and returned to their apiary. So, because of deaths or injuries sometimes caused to bees, vegans will stay away from bee products.


What is a good source of iron (and can be quite versatile when cooking)?

White, red kidney and navy beans all offer a good amount of iron (They usually will range from 4-6.6 mg of iron per cooked cup); soybeans are in this range as well. However, if you're looking for the highest level of iron content in your food, look to chickpeas and black-eyed peas.


Which of these milks is NOT a suitable alternative to dairy?

Skim milk (or nonfat milk) still contains all of the nutrients, and yes, dairy, found in whole milk fat. The only difference here is that skim milk contains no more than 0.2% milkfat, while whole milk contains 3.5%.


Who are considered "ethical" vegans?

While vegans will not consume any meat, dairy or egg product, ethical vegans will also not wear or use any product that could have come from an animal or be considered an animal product (think feathers, fur or skin), or products that could have otherwise potentially affected an animal.


Which of these can be used as an alternative for egg whites?

If you have a can of chickpeas at home, you already have the ingredients needed to whip up an egg-white alternative. Aquafaba is the water that legume seeds like chickpeas are cooked in. The liquid has very close properties to egg whites, so it makes for a great substitute (even in meringues and marshmallows).


About how many animals are reared for food yearly, worldwide?

This number is reported from Compassion in World Farming. To get a better understanding of that number, about 9 billion are actually slaughtered just in the United States per year (as reported by the Humane Society of the United States), with 25 million farm animals slaughtered daily (as reported by Mercy for Animals).


How do vegans claim this lifestyle can help our bodies process our foods?

Several studies now show that plant-based diets help improve or increase our body's metabolism. Vegan diets and lifestyle can help the body burn calories up to 16% faster than a meat-based diet.


Which of these meat alternative brands is not vegan?

Morningstar Farms can and does offer some products that are vegan-friendly, but a number of their faux meats do include eggs in them. However, the company has announced recently that they are planning on transitioning their production to fully vegan by 2021.


Why do vegans not eat eggs or dairy products?

One primary reason why vegans do not eat eggs or dairy is because of the effect the production of both of these types of products can have on the animals involved. Numerous reports through the years have mentioned bad living conditions for chickens and cows, and that both have sustained significant abuse. Along with this, reports now show that even egg and dairy production can have adverse effects on the world's CO2 levels and land use.


Which of these cheese brands is NOT vegan-approved?

While Boars Head carries quite the collection of cheeses (some that can be considered vegetarian), they do not offer any that would be vegan-approved.


What is a rather unexpected pro to being a vegan?

There have been studies on how meat (and the lack of it) in a diet can affect body odor and in general how a person smells. When it came to men who were eating plant-based foods rather than meats, they were found to be more attractive.


Which of these candies should you stay away from on a vegan diet?

Did you fall for this one? Sure, peanut M&M's do have that little hint of health (in moderation), but the chocolate that is used in making them is definitely not dairy-free.


If you're low on calcium, which of these is a good alternative?

That's right! All of the above are really good options for upping your calcium intake while on a vegan diet (or any time, really). Other foods that are good for this include kale, broccoli and calcium-fortified orange juice.


What do you do if you have a partner who is not vegan, but you are?

Really, couples have had different approaches and opinions to things like diets for, well, ever. If you have a partner who still enjoys their meat, this could be something that isn't necessarily eaten at home, but maybe on nights out they can still partake and enjoy. That way they support you, and you support them in their tastes.


Which of these servings has the most calcium?

Calcium is super important to our diets, with us ideally consuming about 1,000 mg per day. So, in order to reach that as a vegan, you need to be eating the right foods! Just 1/2 of a cup of tofu will get you 258 milligrams of calcium.


There are a number of deficiencies that can happen as a result of veganism, but what more serious health concern can arise?

For both vegans and vegetarians, anemia can be a very real issue some of them face. For some vegetarians, eggs are an easy remedy for getting some boosts of iron, but vegans will want to focus on their leafy greens, lentils, beans and other iron-fortified foods.


What have reports shown to be the livestock industry's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions?

20% may seem like a low number, but this is actually more than cars, planes and all other forms of transportation put together. Aside from the factories and extreme land use it takes to house and rear these animals, a single cow will release between 70 and 120 kg of Methane into the atmosphere per year.


By what percentage can a vegan diet help lower your risk of developing high blood pressure?

Studies are now reporting that vegans can help reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure by 75% and lower the risk of dying from heart disease by 42%. Other health benefits can include reducing blood sugar and cholesterol.


Which of these is used in making vegan cheese?

It will really depend on the recipe a brand is using, but vegan cheese can be made with a whole variety of ingredients. Soy proteins, solidified vegetable oil (e.g., coconut or palm) and nuts (e.g., cashews, almonds and pine nuts) are all a part of the process.


How many gallons of water do reports say vegans save on a daily basis?

When you consider just how much 1,100 gallons of water a day is, we could all take turns being vegan and could contribute to that water conservation, right?


How many servings of spinach would it take to equal the same amount of calcium in an 8oz glass of milk?

This may sound like a lot, but you could easily consume 16 servings of spinach through a day. Consider how much it takes to get a decent amount in any meal you cook with it. The way it cooks down, you could fit a ton of spinach in any dish; smoothies are a good option for spinach as well.


What type off eggs will work with a vegan diet?

It doesn't matter if the farm that the eggs came from is as cruelty-free or free-range as possible; they are still not vegan-approved! Opting for egg and egg white substitutes is the only way to truly eat vegan when it comes to egg products.


Do plants feel pain?

This question has definitely been debated, but plants do not have a central nervous system or a brain; they cannot feel pain. Sure, they're very reactionary to their environments, but they still do not experience touch and pain the way animals can.


What can be used in place of honey if you are on a vegan diet?

Bee products are also off-limits when it comes to eating vegan. But don't despair; there's plenty of options. Syrups and agave products are perfectly animal-cruelty free and still provide the perfect amount of sweetness.


When is World Vegan Day?

World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated every first of November. Events that happen worldwide include setting up stalls, hosting big potlucks and planting trees.


What would happen if everyone stopped eating animals?

Domesticated animals like cattle and chickens would just not do well in the wild, so if a world that became increasingly vegetarian and vegan existed, their numbers would decline. Wildlife populations would begin to thrive since a lot of land used as factory farms would likely then be unoccupied for nature to reclaim.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!