The Wittiest Vegan Names For Animal-alternatives


We know the word vegan came about in the 1800s, but what about the other terms that relate to veganism? Let’s take a look at what vegans call their versions of animal products and where they came up with the names. Note: These may not be the most popular names for these vegan items, but they’re definitely the most entertaining. Derived from both plastic and leather, the vegan-friendly term pleather was born in the 90s. It was geared toward those who preferred synthetic (fake) leather to the real thing due to animal rights or just the cheaper price tag. Nowadays, it’s more commonly known as “faux-leather” or “vegan leather,” and it’s more acceptable for even the most stylish as it’s made with quality materials to look like the real thing (not like plastic)—and of course it has a higher price tag to prove it.


Mix tofu and turkey together and you have tofurkey—a vegan-friendly fake meat (or tofu) that looks and tastes similar to the actual bird. The term was invented by Seth Tibbott, a teacher in Oregon, back in the ’90s and has since become a staple for vegans on Thanksgiving. Even the Gilmores tried it …

As for beef, the Vegans have that covered, too. The word crumble refers to a “crumbly substance,” “bits of bacon or bread,” or in this case, faux ground beef. While the term crumble derives from the British word, “crumb” or “particle,” we’re not entirely sure of the origins of the soy-based “meaty crumbles.” (And, it’s nowhere near as fun to say as tofurkey.)


Made of “milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites, and egg yolks,” eggnog is not a vegan’s go-to cocktail for the winter season. Thankfully, they have nutnog to get their fill of the creamy sip.

While we don’t know who came up with the vegan term, we do know the name was created with its ingredients in mind, including its main component: nut milk. (Side note: Silk just calls it “Seasonal Nog” … come on, where’s your holiday nut spirit?)


Fear not! Vegans eat macaroni and cheese too but for them it’s sometimes called macaroni and sheeseThe plant-based cheese alternative came about in 1988 (originally going by Scheese). The name alludes to the fact that the product is made with soy rather than dairy. Sheese, guys.


An egg made from flax meal and water is called a flegg (or flax egg) in vegan lingo. The originator of this expression is unknown, but what it’s used for is not. This type of “egg” is ideal for baking purposes since it molds well while still keeping moisture.

Impossible Burger

It looks like a real burger and tastes like one too. Only catch? It’s not real meat. Meet the Impossible Burger made with potatoes, yeast, coconut oil, and this thing called heme—an iron molecule from red meat or in this case, plants. Heme is also what makes this burger pink in color … you know, like the real thing. It’s so realistic it’s been known to freak a few vegans out.


Made with veggie and soy protein, the term Toona sounds a lot like its seafood counterpart —except for the fact that it doesn’t include actual tuna fish. The name is relatively new and can be attributed to the company who created it (Sophie’s Kitchen) in the late 2000s.

Nut Loaf

Instead of an actual meatloaf made of, well, meat, vegans call this traditional dish nut loaf. The loaf is made of nuts and brown rice—hence the name. While its exact origins are not entirely known, it could go back to 1908 when nut recipes were discussed in Florence George’s Vegetarian Cookery.


Pulled pork isn’t a favorite food option on a vegan’s menu—that’s where jackfruit comes in. This fruit with a “meaty texture” (similar to pulled meats), stems all the way back to the 1800s with both Portuguese and Malayalam roots.

The name is said to have been derived from the term, “jaca” (what the Portuguese called it), and “chakka pazham” (how southern India referred to it).


Vegans swap out egg whites for aquafaba (also known as chickpea water) to make meringues. The funny-sounding word (conceived by Goose Wohlt in 2015) stems from the Latin phrases, aqua (water) and faba (bean). And, if you’ve tried a vegan dessert, you know that it’s exotic name does it justice … you won’t be disappointed in a vegan treat.

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