Is Shrimp Vegan Friendly? Vegan Alternatives to Shrimps

No. Shrimps are not vegan-friendly. These organisms have a sophisticated nervous system, and they feel pain. Hence, shrimps are off-limit for vegans and vegetarians. Eating shrimp is like eating meat or fish; a vegan or vegetarian cannot eat it. Shrimps and other crustaceans feel pain; eating them would reverse being a vegan.

This article explains why shrimp is not vegan friendly, some vegan alternatives to shrimps, and whether you can have a vegan shrimp.

Why is Shrimp not Vegan Friendly?

The simple answer; it is an animal. Shrimps belong to Malacostraca, the largest class of crustaceans. The other animals in this class are crabs, lobsters, krill, and woodlice. This explanation is enough to remove all doubts about shrimp being vegan-friendly.

The diet of shrimp also makes it a big no for vegans. Shrimps eat worms and other shrimps, along with green vegetables. Moreover, shrimps have way more cholesterol than other seafood. A single shrimp contains 166 mg of cholesterol, 80% more than red tuna. Even non-vegans must be a little cautious while eating shrimp.

non-vegans must be a little cautious while eating shrimp

Vegan Alternatives to Shrimps 

Shrimp is a nutritious food. It is rich in protein, iodine, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, sodium, and magnesium. A 3-ounce (85-gram) shrimp serving may contain up to 20.4 grams of protein and 33.2 mg of magnesium.

Vegans eat healthily, and these nutrients are provided by their routine diet. So, missing out on shrimp isn’t much of a concern for most vegans. You can get the required nutrients from peanut butter, beans, soy, nuts, fruits, and seeds.

from peanut butter, beans, soy, nuts, fruits, and seeds

Is there a Vegan Shrimp?

Yes. There are plenty of vegan shrimps available. These vegan shrimps are made from seaweed-based hydrocolloids and have Konjac and Fenugreek as major ingredients. Both these ingredients have various health advantages and give the fish aroma to vegan shrimps.

Can a Vegan Eat Seafood?

No. Vegans don’t eat fish. A vegan diet is free from any meat, dairy, honey, eggs, or products derived from animals. It includes shellfish as well. Overall, seafood or everything derived from seafood is prohibited for vegans.

Many people consume only fish and abstain from eating meat, dairy, or eggs. These people are called pescatarians. A pescatarian cannot be a vegan or vegetarian at the same time.

Can Vegans eat Artificial Shrimp Flavor or Powder?

It depends on the ingredients. Some artificial shrimp flavors may be made from vegan ingredients, just like vegan shrimp. You must check the ingredients before consuming anything that may have a hint of any non-vegan item.

Can Vegetarians eat Shrimp?

Shrimps have a sophisticated nervous system, but it is not central. These animals don’t experience pain as other mammals do. Hence, many vegetarians believe that shrimps are okay to eat as a vegetarian. It is all about your preferences and how you take your vegetarian lifestyle.

On the contrary, some vegetarians are strictly against eating shrimp. Such debates only exist in vegetarian camps. For vegans, anything alive or derived from a non-plant source is the red line.


  • Andy Nevers

    Andy Nevers, the founder of VeganPros and GBB is a strong advocate for the plant-based movement. After going vegan a few years ago, Andy has set out on a mission to help make the world a healthier place.

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