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Jolinda Hackett

Can vegans eat yeast?

By June 6, 2012

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No, I'm really asking! Normally, after more than two decades of meat-free eating, and three published books, I consider myself quite an expert on vegetarian and vegan issues. But this one stumped me. Someone wrote a comment on my blog post about vegan beers and wines to say that vegans shouldn't be eating yeast! Is this person crazy or am I missing something? If the yeast used to ferment beers and other alcohol isn't vegan-safe, then what about the yeast used in baking bread? Fermenting soy foods such as miso and tempeh? Probiotic supplments such as acidophilus? And who could live without Marmite or Vegemite? Here's what one reader named Todd had to say:
A vegan drinking alcohol is a hypocrite. Yeast must be used to propagate the fermentation process and convert the sugar into alcohol in ANY alcoholic drink. Yeast is in fact is a living micro-organism. The carbon dioxide and alcohol are a waste product after the yeast cells consume the sugar. Why does the life of a cow, fish or bee have more authenticity than that of the millions of yeast cells that are used to produce a bottle of wine?
Well, Todd, I don't pretend to be a moral authority for all vegans, but I can assure you you're in the minority, and one obvious reason vegans do indeed eat all kinds of yeast, is that there is no spinal chord (or muscular tissue, for that matter) and no central nervous system. Simply put, no central nervous system in yeast means there's no demonstrated scientific capacity to experience pain, nor to register anything as pain, and that's what makes yeast different from cows. That, and yeast is technically a fungus. Like mushrooms. Do vegans like Todd object to eating mushrooms too?

I'll end with a quote from philosopher Jeremey Bentham:

The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?
But I'll step down off my soapbox now to see what you all have to say. Thoughts? Comments ?

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June 6, 2012 at 11:37 am
(1) vegetarian says:

To quote a friend of mine: “Don’t be ridiculous!”

June 6, 2012 at 11:49 am
(2) Jan says:

Someone with that (rather ridiculous) attitude probably shouldn’t take antibiotics or other substances for a bacterial infection, or clean clothes or wash the body, since those actions also kill ‘living micro-organisms.’

June 6, 2012 at 11:51 am
(3) Madeline says:

That guy IS crazy. It is like how meat eaters say ‘Don’t plants have feelings too!?’ As if my eating plants has any correlation to the slautering of animals that has to happen for them to eat meat.

June 6, 2012 at 11:59 am
(4) Rhonda says:

What is this dude on? That’s some crazy!

June 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm
(5) cmon says:

Life is life, no matter the level of developement. Some of us realize that part of life subsisting on other life forms: plant, animal or fungi. It is a matter of where on the predator spectrum we chose to live. That person has the right to live where he or she wants, but, let’s be clear, vegetables are alive. Not as we are, but alive. So, be who you want to be, but let others decide where on the predator chain they wish to live.

June 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm
(6) Jared R. says:

Somebody who believes that yeast is not vegan possesses a poor understanding of biological classification. Vegans don’t eat members of the animal kingdom of byproducts produced from or by members of the animal kingdom. Yeast is part of the fungi kingdom, same as mushrooms. Game, set, match. Kingdoms of classification on About.com

June 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm
(7) Irene says:

This person is completely right. I support his/her cause and I will say even more: animal testing should stop, not for the lab animals’ misery and suffering (who cares for them anymore!), but for the sake of the poor little innocent cancerigenous cells or AIDS virus that those so-called scientists are trying to kill. And I’m sure that the person that wrote the remark in the first place is constantly in bed for colds and the flu because, as he cleverly notes, cold and flu viruses are no different than a cow or a fish, and they have all the right to live and be happy. And of course he is no hypocryte like us vegetarians/ vegans. I celebrate such true heroes like this person!

I will also end with a quote: “By the way, I was trying to be sarcastic” (Homer Simpson)

June 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm
(8) vegetarian says:

@cmon Fair enough. Eat yeast, don’t eat yeast, I don’t care. But this person was also saying that VEGANS don’t eat yeast because it has the same life value as a cow. Would you agree?

June 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm
(9) vegetarian says:

Cute Irene – I like where you went with that!

June 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm
(10) Jeremy says:

Not only is this comment ridiculous from a morality standpoint, but it also assumes that all vegans have the same motivations for their dietary choice. Not all vegans eschew animal products primarily out of concern for animal welfare. While that may be the most popular reason (I don’t know that it is, but it does seem to be the most publicized) it is not the only motivation. Some do it out of dietary and nutritional concerns. How is alcohol consumption hypocritical for them? Others do it out of environmental concern. While alcohol production can be bad for the environment, I guess, it certainly does’t have to be. And the yeast organism is decidedly not the problem. I have to wonder if this person is began, or merely strolling.

June 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm
(11) Just Curious says:

Morality? Veganism is all about Morality? Is this a religious movement?
Do vegans respect human life from conception? If we cant kill animals
do they believe in killing humans? Are they complete pascifists?

June 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm
(12) Jack Chambles says:

This guy is NUTS. A fruitcake! I’m glad he’s not The POTUS.

Where to draw the line?? You crazies don’t know. You can’t figure it out.

My favorite animals are Fried Chicken and grilled Steak.
That’s all you need to know.

Hugs and kisses,

June 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm
(13) Robert Caldwell says:

He doesn’t know anything, so he obviously taught himself.

June 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm
(14) Flopsy says:

Well said Pinky!

June 6, 2012 at 12:36 pm
(15) Beawoman says:

I have often wondered about the yeast.But are we to eat flatbread forever?

June 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm
(16) gerijackie says:

Does he wear a mask over his nose and mouth to keep from “eating” whatever flies by as some Brahmans? Everyone must make their own decision after careful thought. It is a journey not a destination. No two journeys are alike.

June 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm
(17) P Wilkins says:

With this man’s thinking, it would be wrong to kill off diseases such as the Black Plague, because those viruses have a right to live. OH PLEASE -this is one of the most ridiculous statements made. I think he’s really just poking fun of vegans/vegetarians in general and trying to cause an uproar. Don’t give him any media time or worry about what one goofball thinks-his silly opinion isn’t important.

June 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm
(18) Karen says:

ummm..o.k. this is nuts. Using this bizarre reasoning (or is it just the narcissistic need to be different and stand on a higher soap box than others?) , we women are somehow immoral for using even natural remedies to rid ourselves of the dreaded yeast infection/ thrush/ candida etc.. At some point we do have to realize that there IS a survival of the fittest going on and it’s between the unseen world (viruses, bacteria, yeast etc. and us) why is the life of yeast more important than a human life to this man? Following his reasoning , it would be. What about raw foodists? What about sprouts? Should I confess for eating sprouts this morning? Good grief…sounds like this dude needs a few vegan beers to loosen up a bit:-).

June 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(19) Anupam says:

I am surprised that this debate is on. Vegan do not eat or use any product of animal origin. Yeast is a fungus, like mushrooms. It is also used in bread making. Use of yeast is within the basic principles of Veganism.

The idea of being a vegetarian is not to kill any animal for food. It is for this reason that a majority of vegetarians (also called lacto-vegetarians)take dairy products, as dairy does not require killing of any animal. Some also take unfertilized-eggs (lacto-ovo-vegetarians), as the unfertilized-eggs do not lead to any ‘killing of life’.

June 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm
(20) Diana says:

Seriously? What do these people eat? I see a big difference between consuming a conscious, caring creature and a microbe.
-Yeast doesn’t give live birth, and subsequently doesn’t have to suffer mental anguish when a child is ripped away from them.
-Yeast doesn’t consume mass amounts of grain to produce a few meals for people.
-Yeast can’t be beaten and tortured before being consumed.

If we were to take this guy seriously, even FIRE should be considered “alive”; it consumes, grows and moves.

I am going to enjoy a Guinness with my veggie burger today.

June 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm
(21) Sheila Swan Laufer says:

Let’s get over the small stuff here. There are animals to be saved from torture and brutal lives. Let’s spend our time on the important issues.
‘Nuff said.

June 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm
(22) Diana says:

I would also like to add that yeast does not need millions of acres of rainforest to be torn down so they may feed.

June 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(23) Bob says:

I believe you need to use some common sense here,. Vegetables and other plant life is what Vegans eat, right? But are they not living things too?

June 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(24) vegetarian says:

Well said, Diana. The morality of eating animals isn’t just about killing animals, but the environmental and human cost of misusing (ie. wasting) resources.

June 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(25) Theresa says:

When people ask me about my diet, I tell them I don’t eat anything that has a heart. And insects have a circulatory system, so that includes insects. I haven’t found anything that compromises this yet. Single-celled organisms, by definition, can’t have any body systems.

June 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm
(26) Nadia says:

Okay, from what I see the reason that I don’t eat meat is the wrong reason. It’s just never been that great for me should I dare say It’s almost kind of gross to me I just don’t like it. But I noticed a lot of people don’t eat it because it’s wrong? I do like animals but I just never thought of not eating meat because they are living creatures so I can’t relate with the yeast debate it’s just stupid.

June 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm
(27) Deb says:

Come on, everyone. I’d venture to say that this person is a non vegan making fun of us vegans. I mean, really. How can any of us take this seriously?

June 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm
(28) Bob Curry says:

I think the main question is: Do we input animal protein when we drink beer or intake other products enhanced by the use of yeast? If we do then he is correct but if not then he should go back to sleep.

June 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(29) Niffers says:

Off subject —>@Dianna I hate to burts your bubble on the guiness beer, but it is not vegan or vegetarian for that matter. They use fish bladders to filter it. I had my brother look it up for me as he is the beer connoisseur.


Okay back on track—> I have to agree with most of the comments here, most of anything we eat is infact (or was before harvest) alive, there are even studies that say that fruit after it has been pulled from the tree is considered ‘alive’ but are we to starve? If you don’t like it don’t eat it, but don’t look at my plate and judge me (especially all you meet eaters who like to ask about the living plants). At least I am doing the best I can to make a difference.

June 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm
(30) Valley Gurl says:

It’s come to my awareness that yes,plants DO experience pain,trauma,etc.There’s also interesting studies & proof in writings such as “the Secret Life of Plants”.Sometimes,it can be difficult to eat anything based on the pain/suffering criteria! Each individual must find their way in deciding what ok to eat.(Not easy after seeing a dandilion’s beautiful aura w/pulsating energy!)

June 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm
(31) David says:

To follow Todd’s comment, he should not eat plants at all, not just yeast, which is after all a plant. I am sure that green plants have much greater sensibility than yeast since they respond to music and to attention.

June 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm
(32) moonlit says:

This is an argument that a non-vegan uses to justify the fact that they eat animals. I believe they are basically stating “well since I can’t stop from eating anything and everything that is alive then there is nothing wrong with me eating a hamburger or a fish”
It is a non-argument and frankly isn’t worth our time to explain what the difference is between a cow, fish, chicken and a stalk of broccoli or yeast in this case because they are already aware of the difference!

June 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm
(33) Janet aka sprgrl says:

Everyone has to make their own decision on what they are willing to eat. I have always believed “that you can judge me when you walk in my shoes” and yet we seem to be inundated with views on any plant based diet. I hope that they will understand when I tell them “My way of eating is not up for discussion.” If they are ‘disturbed’ by my choice to not eat meat, then don’t invite me or look my way; and I won’t tell you about the animals that were sacrificed so you could chomp down on a slab of animal. Part of what is wrong right now is people think everyone should be the same. It is our diversity that makes us interesting. On a personal note, I can’t understand how some vegetarian/vegan/raw foods people support a pro-choice/abortion on demand stand. This paradoxical stand does not seem reasonable. I respect all life but draw the line at single-cell life forms.

June 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm
(34) Sanne says:

This guy is just yanking your chain….he’s just a smart-ass who wants to try and get one over you, that’s all. People like that, I just ignore. There is only one type of people that really I have no time for….stupid ones, and I’m afraid people like this guy are not only stupid, they are time-wasters.
Does a cow check to see whats in the grass before she eats it? NO…she eats all kinds of things in a mouthful of grass…little insects not fast enough to get out of the way; small fungi spores on the leaves of the grass etc etc…..so if that guy needs to waste other peoples’ time, then pick on someone who has nothing else to do. I’m sure you’re a very busy person.

June 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm
(35) Echo says:

My dear, you have to draw the line somewhere. Everything a vegan eats has life (if it’s living).

Don’t be silly.

If you are still living, you eat organisms that have given their existence for your consumption.

You got some attention. Good for you.

June 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm
(36) Vegetarian says:

“I can’t understand how some vegetarian/vegan/raw foods people support a pro-choice/abortion on demand stand.”
Conversely, I can’t for the life of me understand how “pro-life” people can also be pro-war and omnivorous! Pro-life and not a vegetarian? Huh??? I don’t get it at all. Ah, cultural norms and their seeming lack of logic!

June 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm
(37) Janet aka sprgrl says:

To vegetarian:

I am a vegetarian also, and anti-war but there are some who for whatever reason pick-and-choose their ’causes’. I simply see it as an unreasonable position to favor pro-murder of a baby but defend the life of an animal.

June 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm
(38) Patricia Keenan says:

Yes plant life is living also and we do kill it when we cook or eat it. So I can understand the reasoning behind the yeast issue. However as your arguement about the spinal cord and pain, etc. I don’t know that a plant doesn’t experience pain. They may have a different system than animals and perhaps they somehow do, but I am vegan and until it is shown to me that I can eat a rock, because I am a living creature also and I must survive too,I will continue eating plants and yeast.Thanks. PK

June 7, 2012 at 1:40 am
(39) Anil says:

Dear Jolinda,
The aspect of “pain” is a very misunderstood thing. If you study the aspect of conscoiusness connected with change of you will understand that when ice melts it goes through pain ,however not in the sense that you and me feel pain ( which technically needs certain biological structure) . Well you may argue that, pain for me is the way I understand pain. Any other dimenssion of pain is meaningless for me !! However do you really feel that we as humans have a right to define things as we perceive them through phenominal existence. All the phenominal world around us is actually alive and organically connected. Living and nonliving does not have any meaning in the true sense. It is all a construct of the human mind resulting in the way we perceive and define things. Things in themselves are not the way we perceive them.

June 7, 2012 at 3:51 am
(40) Jennifer says:

I find it ironic to see all the vegans and vegetarians who are so casually ‘slaughtering’ Todd with their comments… surely sanctity of life should also include respect for that life? You don’t have to agree with Todd – I don’t – but that doesn’t mean we have the right to use our words as weapons to condemn him.

June 7, 2012 at 4:38 am
(41) Mai Harinder Kaur says:

For 50 years, my best friend was a Jain who believed totally in the doctrine of ahimsa, loosely translated as harmlessness. She refused to kill, no matter the cost. She refused antibiotics as violent. She once nearly died of pneumonia because of her beliefs. I do not share her beliefs. I am a Sikh and anyone attacking me violently is likely to end up dead. I do not believe in initiating violence, but I do believe in responding in a way that will protect myself and other innocent people. I beg Jolinda’s indulgence here. I know I am a bit off topic, but I really feel the need to ask others here to please respect the beliefs of others. You don’t need to agree or even understand, but please be respectful.

As for myself, I am a lacto-vegetarian working toward being a vegan. I am also a teetotaler, but I do eat yeast bread. My friend would not. It a personal thing, up to the individual, IMNSHO

June 7, 2012 at 6:45 am
(42) vegetarian says:

@Jennifer You’re kidding, right?

June 7, 2012 at 6:49 am
(43) vegetarian says:

@Anil Philosophy cannot excuse murder. All the greats tried – Nietzche, Dostoyevsky, Camus – and failed.

June 7, 2012 at 8:16 am
(44) mark says:

This reminds me of a guy back in my grad school days who hooked-up an electrode to a stalk of broccoli and evoked a response when it was severed from its roots. You can not live a plant based nutritional life without consumming living things. Veast are organisms at the intersection of the plant and animal dicottomy. Where and why do you draw the line? Modern Vegans vs. Vegitarians seem to have different criteria for line drawing, though maybe not. A dairy consumming Vegitarian may strongly object to animal slaughter for meat consumption but be accepting of humane dairy enterprise, while a vegan may reject all animal sources purely on a bio-nutritional basis, and have no moral concern for animal husbandry, and at least in terms of diet be vegan. Distinctions are multi-leveled and can be irrational at times. They differ a bit for each of us – let it be.

June 7, 2012 at 9:57 am
(45) anil says:

@vegetarian: You can’t survive a day without consuming some kind of life form though you may not realise the same. When you breathe thousands of microbes find a restful grave in your lungs. I am myself a strict vegetarian but I also believe that vegerarianism does not mean that you are not causing pain to lifeforms. It’s what comes out of you (your deeds) that is more important than what goes in (food).

June 7, 2012 at 10:16 am
(46) Vegetarian says:

@anil: Of course you are correct about microbes. See my point about a central nervous system as a pretty good gauge for whether or not I care. Choosing what to eat IS a deed, and one of the most powerful choices we make every day, three times a day, if we’re amongst the lucky ones.

To those that say where do you draw the line? It’s a fair question. But wherever it may be appropriate to begin the debate about drawing the line, it’s quite clear that animals used for food in American culture (cows, chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, horses), along with those used for food in other cultures (frogs, dogs, cats, snakes, whales, sharks) belong way, way above where the debate may begin (yeasts, fungus, oysters perhaps).

June 7, 2012 at 10:19 am
(47) Vegetarian says:

Mark – I’m so, so glad that our domestic animal abuse laws disagree with you that there is no difference between a dog and a stalk of broccoli. See my point about “line drawing”. I think most vegetarians and vegans would agree – wherever they begin debating, broccoli is below the line, while mammals and birds used for food are well above.

It’s quite simple, actually, when you see it like that. Please don’t make me draw a picture.

June 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm
(48) Buffalo Grass says:

Enjoyed the comments except for the one’s that resorted to calling names. Name calling is a defense mechanism for people who are too lazy to think or don’t know how to express themselves.

June 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm
(49) Donaldo says:

He asked a question, and was given an excellent answer. I’m not sure if he was being sincere or trolling, but calling him crazy and other names is not necessary. We are vegans because we respect life, respecting life is being polite to others.

June 8, 2012 at 9:00 am
(50) vegetarian says:

@Buffalo Grass Name calling? Where? If something is inappropriate it will be deleted. I don’t see anything inappropriate and name-calling amongst these comments. Lively discussion? Yes. Lazy name-calling? No.

June 8, 2012 at 10:03 am
(51) Jennifer says:

@vegetarian – yes I was serious. I believe that vegetarianism and veganism are about far more than food, as do many others who have posted here. To me it is founded on a certain level of care and respect for others, otherwise it is dangerously close to hypocrisy – that is the point I was trying to make. I certainly understand that people vary in how they view this, underscored by your last comment to Buffalo Grass. Clearly, in your opinion, you have not found anything ‘inappropriate’ in the discussions. And just as clearly, others of us have. It does not make you right and us wrong. Or vice versa. Surely we can express opinions without sarcasm and ridicule, which lower rather than elevate the discussion. Who has the right to decide if those opinions are’valid’ or not?

June 8, 2012 at 11:18 am
(52) vegetarian says:

@Jennifer Vegetarians are hardly hypocrites when they express difference of opinion with others. The worst “name-calling” I see in this thread is “ridiculous”, “crazy”, “goofball” and, from a “chicken and steak” eater, “fruitcake”. This common internet banter is hardly inappropriate and comparable to a “slaughter”. Have you seen animals being slaughtered? I’m sure Todd would prefer to be called a fruitcake than to be hung upside-down and have his throat slit.

I say again (in the kindest possible way) that this: “I find it ironic to see all the vegans and vegetarians who are so casually ’slaughtering’ Todd with their comments… surely sanctity of life should also include respect for that life? ” is absurd.

Of course, inappropriate comments should be deleted. But I see none. Please, direct me to which specific comment you object to?

June 8, 2012 at 11:56 am
(53) Gary says:

Is it even possible to eat something that was never alive in some way or other? Plants or yeast seem innocent enough.

June 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm
(54) Sherry says:

Let’s all eat dirt!!

June 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm
(55) Gailm45 says:

I think that guy is just being argumentative.. Il bet it’s just to see other people reactions. He is probably getting a big kick out of this, seeing how many responded.
There is no way one can survive this life without coming into contact with another living thing and that contact sometimes means sacrifice for the organisms and all other types microscopic species.
I am a vegan and although I HATE the suffering of animals for our food and clothing requirement. The reason I am a vegan is for health concerns
I mean think about it. There are organisms on the food we eat!! So to not eat something because it has an organism on it and it might be cruel to the poor organism becuse it might be destroyed in the eating process. Well, things could get real complicated if we tried to do that..

June 9, 2012 at 5:05 am
(56) Cedar Wilde says:

If you eat fresh fruit such as plums and grapes, you will be eating yeasts. We all eat bacteria on foods, usually harmless bacteria. We couldn’t eliminate all life forms from our food, it is impossible. Just enjoy your vegetarianism and ignore people who are trying to be clever.!

June 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(57) Greenie says:

I believe that if it’s inactive yeast, then yes. Many vegan restaurants use Nutritional Yeast as seasonings for their “cheese” and other dishes.

June 14, 2012 at 6:34 am
(58) Jennifer says:

Clearly we have very different world views. Perhaps it’s best to leave it at that, rather than giving you yet another opportunity to set yourself up as judge and jury.

June 14, 2012 at 8:16 am
(59) vegetarian says:

@Jennifer: Or, you could actually tell me to specific numbered comments you object to so I could review them.

By the way, “Judge and jury”? Seriously? Who’s judging now?

June 14, 2012 at 10:53 am
(60) Jennifer says:

@ vegetarian. Touché. Let’s just agree to disagree.

June 14, 2012 at 11:55 am
(61) vegetarian says:

@Jennifer: What’s the fun in that? :)

Still not going to tell me which comment and which words you find offensive? I’ve asked three times…I guess I give up, since it seems you do too.

Ah well. You know what they say about arguing on the internet…well, actually, that is a bit offensive, so I won’t repeat it. :)

June 14, 2012 at 11:57 am
(62) vegetarian says:

@Greenie – Good point re: active vs. inactive yeast. It makes sense, logically and theoretically, that the difference could matter. But that would still mean no leavened bread or fermented foods.

On another lighter note, even though I do eat active yeast, I totally would NOT eat inactive sea monkeys…

June 20, 2012 at 1:53 am
(63) Hawaii born says:

I believe everyone a right to their opinion, but there comes a time when a line must be drawn. And I agree with you, if it cannot register pain then THAT makes it different then the animals we choose not to consume, if not, what would we be able to consume? Isn’t fruits, vegetables and all forms of grains consider a ” living ” force?… as we say in Hawaii.. just my mana’o (thought)… live well…

July 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm
(64) yo says:

#11 Just Curious– as #10 (Jeremy) says, each person chooses his/her own diet, but I’ll add: to the amount each person is able. Here in the States, many of us have that wonderful choice. Like many other choices. Right to life has nothing to do with it. I chose vegetarianism because (1) meat and dairy didn’t agree with me and (2) I finally correlated eating meat with eating creatures I found too wonderful and amazing to consume. It’s disrespectful, not a tribute to life. Nor is life decidedly at conception–legal and scientific AND religious arguments can be formed otherwise. I’d argue if we don’t start stemming human life, and stemming animal consumption, we won’t have much of a planet in a few generations–possibly much sooner. That would be my argument for protecting & preserving life.

It’s like #5 says–choose your predatory spectrum. We must eat organics to live on this planet. But I don’t equate that choice with right to life; neither did the writer of this article. Nor do I equate that with suffering–it’s likely even spiders and flies suffer, but I don’t have qualms about any of the mosquitoes I destroyed in my lifetime. I’m sure they don’t care about the suffering they gave me!

September 16, 2012 at 11:08 am
(65) Kathy says:

I have never seen as many misspelled words in one discussion as I have in this one.

November 9, 2012 at 2:51 am
(66) Save the veggies says:

How do we know that vegetables can’t feel pain? They don’t have a mouth to scream or tears to cry? At least cows have hooves to defend themselves!

November 14, 2012 at 8:22 am
(67) vegetarian says:

Dear Save the Veggies,
I’m guessing you’re asking just to be a “smarty-pants”, but just in case you seriously believe that you can compare picking an apple to smacking a cat, please return to 4th grade and learn about the differences between the animal kingdom & the plant kingdom.

Everyone who has ever met you & every animal you have ever eaten.

PS If you can’t be bothered or can’t read that much text, just scan your eyes to this short response here:


February 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm
(68) Willie Rhodes Fess says:

Okay..so it cannot experience pain…that is your criteria? So why can vegans not eat unfertile eggs or drink milk?? That makes no sense what so ever.

February 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm
(69) Nunyo Beezwax says:

@Willie Rhodes Fess: The reason vegans choose not to eat eggs and milk is because the animals that give the eggs and milk are often tortured and kept in horrible conditions for their whole lives.

March 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm
(70) Also vegan says:

We do not condone the use of any products that come from an animal, an animal does not give its eggs or milk willingly to us therefore, in my opinion, to use them would be the promotion of theft!

It does not matter whether taking from an human or animal, theft is still theft! And un-necessary! Especially when we can get all the sustainance we need from eating vegetables!

Also, meat eating for the sake of meat eating! Carnism!

April 5, 2013 at 12:14 pm
(71) Kiki says:

Sometimes I think I’d be a breatharian if I knew it was possible. I have trouble harvesting vegetables, as I do believe plants experience our intentions and actions towards them. It’s hard for me to draw a line between animals and plants. I had a NDE in 1983 and was shown that all matter is composed of the same light/love energy. My advice at the ripe old age of 55 is to go easy on yourselves and be kind to one another. Trust your inner compass. You will know what is right for you.

May 8, 2013 at 10:17 pm
(72) HonestOmnivor says:

I found this blog topic thru a google search. By my name you can guess my diet, I could also go by the “guilty omnivore”. I eat meat a few times a week and I eat dairy eggs and use honey almost every day.

But here is my question, and I really DO want to hear peoples opinions on this! I live in Ohio, just out side of Kent on about ten acres of land. I rent a room to a college kid who pays me for shared space and food. I have two cats and two dogs who we love, feed, snuggle etc… And they pay us for there care thru love and side benefits like mousing and barking at coyotes and the UPS guy. But we also have a flock of laying hens, most of who lay an egg every day or so with or without a rooster around. If we don’t collect the eggs they literally pile up, some are eaten by hens, some eventually rot and burst, and the hens will abandon the coop and start laying eggs where ever they are. To me, the fresh egg is a gift then hen provide that offsets their cost of care. I could spend less and buy eggs from the farmers market, but I LOVE my girls and I’d want them anyway? Aside from health issues, I’m asking about vegans who are morally against eating eggs… What’s the down side with eating these tasty little gifts?


May 10, 2013 at 3:13 pm
(73) vegetarian says:

Hi there, you’d probably have more luck if you tried posting a query in the forum.

May 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm
(74) Luciana says:

OK, granted I’m vegan for environmental reasons so I may not have the desired frame of mind to answer this, but come on. Seriously, you want to avoid sacrificing any lives in order to eat? Not only does that defy the course of nature, but that’s impossible! You would have to omit all that vegans normally do, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans (including soy), flour and all grains, etc. So what would be left for consumption? Maybe some dirt, rocks, and water. Oh, or you could genetically modify yourself by implanting some chlorophyll into your body so you could perform photosynthesis! Come on people, be realistic. Vegans try to prevent any sort of cruelty or pain, not make the existence of any organisms above the producer level of the food chain impossible.

May 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm
(75) Bill says:

Uh, what was the question?

July 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm
(76) mitmax says:

as i read the comments i find so many labeling that “this guy is nuts” and a mess of other judgement. why? he’s entitled to his view. it is with compassion that we embrace our differences. try it. my comment for this fellow is that fruit and veggies have bacteria and yeast on their skins. for example there are spontaneously fermented beers and ciders that do NOT involve the addition of yeast but rather the wild source of that in the air and on the skins. how ever we as individuals choose to eat it is important to have a freedom about it. restriction can cause an energetic imbalance with complicated physical and emotional consequence. love and respect what you eat and the footsteps
of your life. this vegan eats vegan, lives vegan, honors and advocates for those that can not speak for themselves, honors and advocates for the earth.

July 9, 2013 at 1:18 am
(77) costanza says:


July 9, 2013 at 3:23 am
(78) Maureen says:

The Doctor told me not to eat sugar or white flour, so use Stevia now which is very good for you, and make a vegetable stew every 3 or 4 days
I have lost a lot of weight and my sugar levels are right down now. I walk when it isn’t raining. I also make 100% wholemeal bread in my bread machine and put dates and walnuts in to make it extra nice. I am
72 years old and can walk very well in spite of my Osteo Arthritus. in hands, hips and knees. I don’t eat meat at all.

July 9, 2013 at 10:38 am
(79) Patty says:

These are questions that people have asked themselves and others, no doubt, since time began. Certain Hindu sects watch every step they take so they won’t kill an insect. Some folks believe that we can hear the screams of chopped vegetables. Do we inflict pain? We certainly do inflict pain when we laugh at others for their views.

July 12, 2013 at 2:48 am
(80) Really confused says:

Following your logic . So eggs have spinal cords and experience pain? Most eggs aren’t even fertilized so no growing animal in there. How but milk ? consumption of milk or honey? no spinal cord no pain. some might contest that the way they get the eggs and milk would be painful for animals. I am against animal cruelty, but this is weird I believe that am part of nature and in nature creature kills and consume others.

July 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm
(81) Anan89 says:

I’m amazed at how irrelevant and off-topic most of the above comments are. It’s as if the majority of those who commented failed to read the article. Here is the bottom line, end of story: Vegans avoid eating anything from or generated by the ANIMALIA kindom, that is, the kingdom in which living organisms have a central nervous system. Yeast is of course not from the animalia kingdom. All else aside, remember the words of Bentham if you choose to remember nothing else: The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? If it can suffer, then vegans don’t eat it.

July 27, 2013 at 8:57 am
(82) Yo says:

Yeah, Madeline…that one gets me. It even burst forth from the mouth of my son (vegetarian, like all my kids) when discussing the plight of veal calves and why I felt veganism was the only answer.

And he’d just criticized my heavily-carnivorous sister for pulling the same card only months before!

Take heart–it’s a sure sign of desperation. It’s what comes out when the (zero) legitimate excuses for eating meat/dairy are used up.

It’s the point where their soul agrees with the vegan way, but their big mouths take charge.

Though he HAS got me reconsidering root veggies… :(

October 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm
(83) Michael says:

You can’t say that he’s wrong without sufficient understanding.

October 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm
(84) Greg says:

So if the marker is pain and suffering, then you’d be ok with ethically raised cows that were put to sleep by a narcotic overdose (thus experiencing no pain or suffering)?
Don’t pretend to have the logical or moral high ground in these situations. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere. You’ve drawn the line at yeast, and all the other non-ethically sourced products that you use on a day-to-day basis.

November 2, 2013 at 7:19 am
(85) Vegetarian Joe says:

So because they don’t feel pain it’s okay. Well I hate to burst your bubble but animals in abattoirs like cows have a shock to the head before being killed. How do I know they don’t feel pain? Because the reason they do it is to increase the quality of meat, because any psychological stress to the animal results in deteriorated meat quality. What if I doped up my goat with poppy seeds and then killed it. Would you eat that as it felt no pain? Your reasoning behind being vegetarian is flawed if you only want to prevent the suffering of animals.

November 2, 2013 at 7:23 am
(86) Vegetarian Joe says:

p.s. I’m sure they will genetically engineer you a cow which is lacking the part of its brain which registers pain. Then all vegetarians can enjoy a steak with no guilt.

November 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm
(87) Brad Sleighter says:

See: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/07/kent_county_jail_inmate_compla.html

I am commenting on the issue of vegan and yeast, as follows:

For Jains, lacto-vegetarianism is mandatory. Some Jain scholars and activists support veganism, as the production of dairy products is perceived to involve violence against cows.

Mushrooms, Fungus and Yeasts are forbidden because they are parasites, grow in non-hygienic environments and may harbour other life forms.

Honey is forbidden, as its collection would amount to violence against the bee

Strict Jains do not consume food which has been stored overnight, as it possesses a higher concentration of micro-organisms (for example, bacteria, yeast etc.) as compared to food prepared and consumed the same day. Hence, they do not consume yogurt or dhokla & idli batter unless they’ve been freshly set on the same day.

Jains do not consume fermented foods (beer, wine and other alcohols) to avoid killing of a large number of microorganisms associated with the fermenting process.

So, to answer your question concerning a vegan diet and yeast, the answer is not a simple one. The answer is both yes and no. It all depends on the degree one takes their philosophy to. Of course the philosophy of “ahimsa” incorporated in the faith of the Jain is the extreme but there are those who practice a vegan lifestyle who do no use leather, ride horses, eat honey, eat yogurt or fermented milk products or even pull the ticks off their pets (not to kill the tick), and I am sure much more that I am unaware of. This concept surely extends, in its extreme to not taking antibiotics because it would cause death to micro organisms.

Something to consider!


November 9, 2013 at 12:17 pm
(88) Jim says:

How about biting one’s nails?

December 10, 2013 at 8:11 am
(89) Trevillyn says:

I hope that this guy can float in the air, because when we walk we obviously step on billions of micro, and larger, organisms.

I think that he’s not serious and is actually taking the P (as we Brits say) out of Vegans.

Btw. Almost all Vegan cheeses contain palm oil, which is responsible for the destruction of the Rain Forests, and is still continuing despite GreenPeace’s best efforts with the Round table on Sustainable Palm Oil; RSPO.
Oil Palm planting is the main culprit responsible for Global warming, and the death of billions of animals, World wide. Unfortunately Palm oil is used in almost every form of processed food that we buy, euphemistically called ‘Vegetable oil’.

We are the most evil species on this planet.

December 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm
(90) Drico says:

I’m just coming across your article and wanted to add what I know on the subject, yeast and being Vegan. Nothing to worry about eating yeast, generally speaking. However, if you are eating clean for overall health reasons, and you fall within a certain ethnic group where your blood type is “O”, then you do want to avoid yeast and anything fermented.

Yeast and fermentation are the means of added spores/mold into your body. For example, if you’ve had cancer, which is a fungus, then too you don’t want to add fuel to your body that would create a food source for fungus to grow. Fungus is also the antigens that are attached to your blood type. Stop consuming spores and fungus (yeast and mold), and you clean your blood to it’s original state of your ethnic background.

In short….

January 1, 2014 at 1:10 am
(91) Victor Romulus says:

This is a non issue; Todd just was asking if it is, carrying a concept to the Nth degree. I think I may know Todd. Is that you who gave me the Zen book?
I eat plant based food because I like it and it’s good for me. Pretty much the same reason I shop for organic fruits and vegetables. I think most people chose their poisons: I don’t smoke but I do include beer in my diet.

January 13, 2014 at 11:10 pm
(92) UnintentionalVegan says:

As you may guess by my name, I’m a vegan, if only partially by choice, as I have been much of my life. Even at a very young age when my parents began to try to feed me meat, I had no interest in it. Even cut up and cooked in to food in a way they considered hidden, I would know, and refuse to eat it. My brain just never made the connection between meat and something which you eat, I didn’t see it as a good sorce.
I’ve struggled with dairy sensitivity for a most of my life, so for most of my childhood I ate neither, and my mother made everything herself, always trying to substitute eggs with something like apple sauce. With the exception of one McDicks chicken burger during a period of homelessness in my teens, I’ve literally never ate any meat. At 18, after 6 years of eating dairy my body began to respond poorly again, and so once again I cut it out. I decided I might as well go fully vegan, I was close enough. Other then a couple “slip ups” of indulging in old favorites like mozzarella sticks and poutine with veggy gravy (which my body always paid the price for), I’ve been doing well with it.

From what I’ve read here though, despite my diet being one that would be defined as vegan, apparently I’m not. Yes, I am fiercely pro choice, and no, I don’t care what other people eat or don’t. While I find factory farming deplorable, my diet is neither based off of concern for either animals, or the environment. I think using livestock through holistic planned grazing is our best bet for reversing desertification. According to many people on this page, these beliefs, despite my not consuming or wearing anything that comes from an animal, means that I’m not actually “a real” vegan. If someone can please elaborate on how my stances on different things discerns what the title of my dietary standards are- I’m not being sarcastic when I say I’d appreciate it.

January 13, 2014 at 11:12 pm
(93) UnintentionalVegan says:

On note of the question asked by the article, if you really think yeast and an animal are the same thing, perhaps you should google “Biological Classifications”, might shed some light on things for you. ;)

January 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm
(94) Chrissy says:

I actually found this website because I was trying to find out if yeast could feel pain. I was trying to make homemade alcohol at home and found a website that detailed how the yeast makes the alcohol and after reading every thing I admit that I was feel very guilty about “hurting” the yeast. But then I remembered that almost everything that people eat, even vegans, was at one time alive.

January 21, 2014 at 3:01 pm
(95) Chrissy says:

I don’t think he was being a jerk or messing with anyone else. I think it was a real question. I read about yeast and how it was used to make alcohol and it sure sounds bad to me. I’m not a vegan and I love to eat meat but after hearing how the process works, and how the yeast makes alcohol. I was feeling bad for the yeast. My husband and nephew laughed at me. I didn’t like that as it made me feel stupid for caring. I don’t think anyone on this website has the right to make anyone else feel stupid about something like that. I’m sure some of the comments on this website make him feel that way. You claim you don’t want to cause any “animal” pain. Well I hate to tell you this but when you mock someone for asking a question you do hurt them.

January 26, 2014 at 9:03 am
(96) Todd says:

Strangely my name is Todd too, I am not vegan however. It’s rude to ridicule Vegan Todd for his opinion.

It is important to admit grey areas in diets.
Going by you definition “there is no spinal chord (or muscular tissue, for that matter) and no central nervous system.” Can Bivalvia feel pain?

There are plenty of other grey areas.


March 5, 2014 at 1:46 pm
(97) Melody says:

I just started a mostly vegan lifestyle 3 weeks ago and have only eaten meat once during this time (only because I forgot my lunch and there was no other menu choice in the cafeteria where I work and no where to go to close enough in 30 min.). i make no promise to ever be 100% vegan since I do like my lasagna once a year and maybe shrimp once or twice a year, but for the most part I plan to stay away from meat. Most dairy I can give up without any problem, except cheese. I tried one of the most highly recommened brands, gagged and threw it away. So I guess you could say, I’m 90% vegan.

The thing that I don’t get about the yeast issue is that if you take in to consideration yeast, then you also have to take in to consideration fruits, vegetables, beans and grains. What is left to eat?

March 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm
(98) Nofu says:

Yea, that’s unfortunately the sort of an argument you can expect from someone completely removed from the act of killing a living, breathing being.

“So my steak was once moving and your yiest is sort of moving, so how dare you think you are any different”

The felacy of that argument would become very evident to that person should you take them for a tour of local slaughterhouse, and then compare that experiment with watching some microorganisms die looking through a microscope.

What’s so upsetting about that kind of arguments is not only that it shows the amount of ignorance we as humans poses, but also the amount of stupidity, which makes for a very dangerous combination.

Animals are dying by their millions every day, and people argue about whether vegans, who already hugely minimize their negative impact on the environment, should eat some bacteria or not.

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