Luckily for us, its now become trendy to cut animal products out of your diet, so if you live in a city, youre usually catered for.
Unfortunately though, air travel is a different story, so heres a guide to not going hungry on your next flight.
1. Order your special meal when you book your ticket
This may sounds obvious, but youd be surprised how many people get to the airport and try to do it at check-in, or wait to ask on the plane. At that point you might get a spare veggie meal, but the chance of getting a spare vegan one is slim to none.
So as soon as your ticket is confirmed, get on €˜Manage your booking and choose your vegan meal.
Make sure youve booked it for each leg of your flight, for example if youre flying from London to Sydney via Dubai, youll need to choose the vegan option for your flight from London AND your flight from Dubai. Now sit back and feel smug that youre so organised.
2. Double check what exactly it is youve ordered
Each airline has a different name for vegan food €“ some airlines confusingly call it €˜vegetarian, so always check the detailed description, so you dont get a nasty surprise.
3. Fussy eater? Become a super sleuth
Luckily, the human urge to take pictures of our meals doesnt stop at 30,000 feet.
So Google €˜vegan food *insert airline here* and youll no doubt get an insight into what youll be served up there in the sky.
Hint €“ Asian airlines tend to do vegan better than their western counterparts, but even if youre flying a non-Asian airline, see if they have Asian vegan on offer. The Asian vegetarian meal on BA, for instance, is usually something like a veggie curry for dinner with a mixed fruit breakfast, which almost always tops the non-Asian alternative.
Dont like what you see? Then€¦
4. Consider bringing your own meal/s
If youre flying long haul, and are nutritionally fussy/own a lot of Tupperware, then this ones for you. Anything that can be eaten cold works well, like roasted vegetable and cous cous salad. If youre bringing dressing, keep it separate and under 100ml €“ remember that anything with too much sauce might not get past security.
The bonus is that youll be able to eat whenever you like, and wont have to adhere to the flight meal times. #rebel
5. Definitely bring your own dessert/snacks
Some airlines have surprised me with delicious cakey offerings, but in most cases? Fruit. Limp, lifeless fruit.
On my most disappointing meal, it was just a banana in a bag, while the rest of the passengers gorged on cheesecake. So, bring your favourite bar of dark chocolate, or pick up a vegan cake at a bakery.
And dont forget snacks €“ most airlines dont ensure snacks cover all dietary requirements. Try a big bag of dried fruit and nuts, carrot and hummus (as long as the hummus is under 100ml) or€¦just bring a huge bag of Kettle Chips. EASY.
6. Manage your expectations
Flying from Sydney to Dubai with Emirates, I was given soy milk for my coffee and I squealed with happiness, as I settled back to watch a movie, thinking, €˜This vegan plane malarkey is EASY AS. Sadly, my excitement was short lived as soy milk was very much absent on any flight Ive been on since (including Emirates ones).
7. Prepare to be creative
Obviously its not always possible to bring your own meal onboard, and mistakes happen, so if youre left staring at a lonely bread roll as the only edible foodstuff on your tray, then get ready to be inventive. Ask an air hostess nicely if they have any spare meals you can pick the veg out of/any vegan-friendly snacks and see what you can create. Banana sandwich, anyone?
Most importantly, dont take it out on the air stewards. They didnt make your meal. And they really dont care about your veganism.
8. Be grateful
Were lucky enough that airlines offer to cater for our every dietary need, whether its halal, diabetic or kosher, and as minorities, we cant expect them to put as much money in developing our menus so go easy on them. Youre in a flying tube in the sky €“ thats cool enough as it is!
9. Research food outlets at the airport
The best thing about airports is the time to eat, drink and chill before your flight. (JOKES, Im always the one checking in late and running screaming to the gate, but humour me on this.)
Look ahead at the dining options at your terminal, so you can make a beeline as soon as you pass security, and dont have to waste your magazine buying/duty-free perfume spraying time looking at menus.