Staying Vegan at 30,000 Feet

First, the cookies came out. They were loaded with eggs, milk, and not much positive. Then the drink cart rolled on through the aisle. I had brought a few sleeves of Starbucks Via and I thought asking for hot water, sugar, and soy milk would be okay. They didn’t have the soy milk, and so I had the coffee black but sweetened.


Towards the end of the flight, we were all given a snack pack which consisted of various grain products, two thirds of which contained cheddar cheese of some sort.

Mind you, both the cookie and the grain products were kosher certified. This would have been enough to thrill me six months ago. Even though it feels like an eternity since my wife and I both renounced all forms of meat and I headed down the road towards Veganism, it has only been three months — not much more.

Leafing through the catalog of food available for sale, there were plenty of meals to buy — all of which involved meat, eggs, cheese, and sometimes all three in one serving. If one were to be rating Alaska Airways for Vegan friendliness, I would rather think they would earn themselves a big, fat, greasy, meaty: “F.”

Earlier in the day, before the flight, I stopped on the way to my terminal when I saw a food kiosk that called itself The Grain Station. It was a good pun for what was to be a good food experience. At said Grain Station, I bought a small bowl of Muesli cereal, “Late July” organic peanut butter crackers, a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and a small container of soy milk. Had I known about the coffee conundrum that would ensue a few hours later, I would have saved the soy milk.

To sum up, I learned a few things. One is that in 2010 you cannot assume you wil find a Vegan food option on a major commercial airline. Despite this, the flight attendants will generally not give you a hard time when you express a lack of interest in the Oh Boy! Oberto brand sausage. I did not add the exclamation point. They really do love their flesh products at Oberto.

Finally, The Grain Station is a fantastic place for a Vegan kosher-keeping Jew to find food — or any Vegan, for that matter. Load up before the flight and you won’t feel pangs of hunger during the flight.

6 comments

  • It is difficult to “Fly Vegan.” I wonder if airlines still have Vegan meals and snacks available for request? What sort of food can you pack in your carry on bag? I know soy milk would be confiscated. Are nuts and other things allowed — or do you have to buy them in the terminal after you clear security?

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    • Interestingly enough, most solid foods are OK. You can buy soy milk at a store after the security checkpoint and use that — and that is what I am going to use from now on. Alternatively, if you have 3 ounce containers you can put soy milk in that — after all, they allow liquids up to 3 ounces that are in containers in a gallon zip lock bag.

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  • That seemed tough! I’ll remember that on my next flight! I’ve been vegan since june (? I can’t really remember! hehehe!) but I agree with you, It seems like months or years… I’m already used to it… but eating at restaurants and away is not so simple…

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    • It was tough! The trick to eating at restaurants is that you have to be really nice and then they are often times more than willing to change a recipe for you. You may not see anything on the recipe but sometimes a simple “Could you just make this…” will yield tremendous results. I once had cold sliced tofu with soy sauce on the side.

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