Does a Vegan/Vegetarian Lifestyle Work for Survival?

Does a Vegan Vegetarian Lifestyle Work for Survival

Vegans and vegetarians depend on sustenance from a plant-based diet. A vegan lifestyle is a bit more strict than a vegetarian. Along with not consuming the animal itself, they do not use any products from animals like eggs, cheese, milk, etc. When SHTF, can this type of lifestyle still survive?

A vegan or vegetarian lifestyle will work for survival if the prepper has stocked up on certain supplies and has done the necessary work to have a square foot garden for necessary food.

This lifestyle requires a unique set of dietary requirements that do not include meat, but most people who choose to follow this have very simple needs as far as a daily diet.

Often a vegan can make a meal of rice and beans, both of which have a long shelf life. Pasta with homemade canned tomatoes is also easy and bears mentioning because of the shelf life and storage possibilities. Legumes and beans contain protein and much needed nutrients, and will keep for years in storage. Unlike a meat eater, a vegan or vegetarian is already used to eating many things that most diets will be switched to in times of disaster.

Lifestyles Defined

An ethical vegan does not eat animal products of any kind. They also do not use animal products if the animal has to sacrifice their life for the product. Ethical vegans will not buy leather, for example.
A dietary vegan will not eat or consume animal products in their diet but may wear a wool sweater or own a leather purse.


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A vegetarian will eat a plant-based diet, but also consumes animal products such as milk, cheese, and eggs.

Regardless of the differences, the mainstay of vegans and vegetarians is a plant-based diet. Some vegetarians also border into the pescatarian range by consuming fish. Of course, for survival the more varied a diet, the easier it is to find food when stores are running out of necessities. However, vegetarians and vegans are used to making do with less options as compared to people who are full-on carnivores.

Is Survival Different for Vegans and Vegetarians?

For the vegetarian or vegan, survival is similar to the rest of us preppers. They must rely on their stockpile of supplies and their plan of action. Bulk supplies in stores may not be vegan friendly. However, most vegans know what to go for. Items such as flour, potato flakes, and freeze dried fruits and vegetables would all fit into a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

As previously mentioned, the square foot gardening method is a three-season garden for most areas. To recap, the SFG is a raised bed garden system taking a 4×4 foot area or slightly larger to grow a crop. Mushrooms, spinach, green beans, tomatoes and more, can be grown and harvested to help a vegan or vegetarian maintain their diet. If they are prepared and diligent, they are of course, canning and storing from each growing season, much like the rest of us.

Growing your own food is something all survivalist should be thinking about doing, regardless of preferences. Being a prepper means being able to grow your own food
and survive when stores are out of fresh vegetables.

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Eating Vegan Food On the Move

Vegans can also make supplies of vegan jerky to take on the move. Vegan jerky is full of protein and can travel easily. Vegans and vegetarians can also go for fruit and nut bars which can be stored for a long time, perfect options for when SHTF.

Often when vegans and vegetarians go for long hikes and backpacking trips, they will take dehydrated fruits and veggies. These can also be used for a long survival journey. These prepper foods will keep for an extended amount of time, as well as provide necessary nutrients.

Main Concerns

The main concern for vegetarians and vegans is when the pantry supplies begin to run low. While this is a concern for any survivor, a vegan cannot go out and catch wildlife for food. They will have to find other ways to live off of the land.

Mushrooms, berries, and nuts are going to be the foraging finds to support this lifestyle. A garden will help, but learning the supplies you can get by living off of the nearby bushes, trees, and crops such as mushrooms will save this lifestyle in an emergency.

Vegans and Vegetarians get adequate nutrients from eating a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, soy products, and whole grains. They should monitor the balance of protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega–3 fatty acids. This is not a problem when life is normal.

However, when SHTF most people will struggle with getting enough nutrients each day. This is not only a vegan and vegetarian concern. Food will be less abundant and the focus will be satisfying hunger. It will come down to who is the best prepper and who is not. If a vegan or a vegetarian has prepared, it is likely their nutrition base will be as adequate as someone who has meat in their diet.

Food Safety

In case of a power outage, most vegan food is already safe and is non-perishable. With the exception of fruits and vegetables that are kept in the refrigerator for short periods, vegan foods are already for the most part ready to prepare from the shelves and garden. Therefore, when the power goes, there is not as much danger for vegan food to spoil. Beans, legumes, potatoes, and other mainstays for the vegan diet are not dependent on electricity to be kept fresh.

Relaxing the Limits

For some vegans and vegetarians, when society falls apart, the rules of the road may have to relax in order to survive. Animal products may become less taboo. For instance, if a vegan is offered to use a blanket and the choice is freezing or using wool, the choice is to use the blanket. By the same token, if a vegan has no light, but there is a candle made of beeswax, will you use the candle? These are questions to ask and answer hypothetically before SHTF. Some of the answers come down to the need to survive.

There are some preppers that say, “Absolutely no. A vegan or vegetarian will not survive unless they turn to some animal products to survive when SHTF.” These are the people who are planning to depend on hunting and fishing skills when supplies run out in the pantry. And while vegans do admit there may have to be some flexibility in survival situations, most believe they have prepared for this lifestyle, even when SHTF.

“I may have to eat eggs or whatever I can find to survive someday,” said one vegan prepper in Kansas City, “but we have the garden and pantry and are fully prepared to be able to live almost a year on what we have.”

This is key to anyone’s survival. Do whatever it takes to eat and to feed a family in order to make it. While vegans and vegetarians plan to maintain their diet, they also sometimes realize they may have to veer one direction or another to get food to survive.

Leading the Way

When food is scarcer, finding a supply of mushrooms to pick may be easier at some point than finding a deer to shoot. Vegans and vegetarians widely believe beef for dietary needs already is not sustainable. It only stands to reason during a survival situation, meat supplies will be even harder to obtain, making vegans and vegetarian eaters the leaders in understanding food supply.

Carnivores may actually be looking toward vegetarian and vegan friends for a new way to eat and survive when SHTF. The key is sustainable living. Growing food and stocking a pantry full of food that can last is the key to survival. Vegans and vegetarians may actually have something when it comes to their ideas, values, and methods of prepping.

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