Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poll: Are Oyster Mushrooms Vegan?

Some vegans say oyster mushrooms are not vegan because of their carnivorous nature. The argument being that consuming the mushroom means we are also consuming the animal it ingests. Sounds a bit ridiculous to me.

So what say you?

Photo from


Kit Chen said...

Wow, this is something I had never even thought about. Just off the top of my head, though, I think that while it's important to establish definitions, at some point asking "is x vegan" becomes less useful than asking "should I eat x?" This latter question both acknowledges that the real world can't be reduced to a series of black/white choices and takes into account each individual's personal reasons for adopting veganism.

Regarding the "pass-through" argument, I see where they're coming from but must ask: where do you stop? I mean, can any one be 100% certain that the soil in which our food grows doesn't contain remnants of dead insects or earthworms or whatnot? If these plants draw nutrients from this soil, don't some of these animal remains eventually end up on your plate?

I think you can figure out what I think about eating oyster mushrooms.

Eddie G said...

Yeah, I got into this argument with another vegan recently. It just seemed odd to me that the person didn't consider oyster mushrooms vegan, yet other mushroom varieties that are cultivated on manure were deemed acceptable.

So I agree--where does one draw the line?

For me, all mushrooms are fair game :)

Extremism drives me nuts!

Drew said...

I agree. Plus, I dont know if I could give up my oyster mushroom calamari. The Artful Vegan has an amaaaazing recipe. :)

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

Totally vegan in my opinion. I think it's a bit of a leap to say oyster mushrooms aren't vegan. A big part of my veganism is that I don't believe anything should suffer to fuel my body. And I'm fairly certain mushrooms don't suffer.

But I have to admit this is a very interesting question...and it makes me realize how ridiculous people can get.

Unknown said...

I'd say vegan... and beautiful, too!

BJ said...

Absolutely! Arguments against this remind me of the environmentalists saving a barn swallow but putting thousands of men out of jobs and families in serious financial jeopardy for what may or may not have ultimately been a serious issue. I'm all for common sense in situations where it's not so common.

Brandi said...

The truth is that we consume microscopic bugs regularly. They live in all sorts of food particularly fresh berries and the like. I am sure we could dig endlessly and find minuscule traces of bug bits in a large portion of what we eat, regardless of how good of a vegan/vegetarian someone tries to be. So, I vote RIDICULOUS. :)

Rosalyn said...

Vegan, to me. BUT...
What if the eel worm is still being ingested in it when you eat it? That idea grosses me out a bit. It is a plant, doing what a plant does... and unlike an exotic pet that is bred to be a pet and fed life mice, these mushrooms would exist and eat bugs anyway.
I do see why others wouldnt.... I am curious about whether I'd somehow get a half digested eel worm in one... I don't know much about these mushrooms though, obviously!

Twinkle Toes said...

Indeed, all mushrooms are vegan. They are not animals or animal by-products. They do not move to avoid danger or pain; they have no brains; and they do not realize their existence.

I can see why honey is not considered vegan because it's expelled by bees. But when it comes to insect parts entering a food product via soil, that doesn't make it carnivorous.

Like Brandi pointed out, there are insect or rodent remains in many foods we buy at the store, including peanut butter - although we know that peanuts themselves are vegetarian.

If we were to eliminate every food from our diets that contained trace amounts of such things, we'd have to concentrate on cooking alone and have little time for other things adults have to do.

Mila said...

I know I am late to the party. Bu I wanted to point out that this is a moot point--commercially, oyster mushrooms are grown on sawdust! Last time I checked, trees are plants.