Can Vegans Eat Avocado? [And Who Has A Problem With Them]

You’ve probably heard on social media that almonds, avocados, and various veggies and fruits aren’t considered vegan. The information got circulated from a video on a comical quiz show in Britain called QI.

In the video, the host asked if ‘strict vegans’ could eat melons, almonds, avocados, kiwis, and butternut squash. One contestant said that any of them could be eaten, and the host said he was wrong.

The reasoning behind the answer was because of bees. These things are hard to cultivate naturally, and those crops rely on bees for pollination.

Typically, the bees have to be taken in on trucks throughout the country. Since some people see it as an unnatural use of animals, many foods now aren’t considered vegan.

So, can vegans eat avocados? Yes, avocados are completely vegan and safe for vegans to eat. I’ll go into the specific reasons for this conclusion below.

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7 Reasons Why Avocados Are Vegan (And Good For You Too)

I’m here to tell you that yes, many crops rely on bees to be pollinated, and beekeepers sometimes have to help with that. Despite man-made pollination manipulation, vegans can consider avocados as being vegan. Here are the reasons for that claim:

Avocado Pollination Fits The Definition Of Veganism

The Vegan Society is, by far, one of the oldest organizations in the world and created the “word vegan.” It describes veganism as a way of living that excludes (as far as practical and possible) the cruelty to and exploitation of animals for clothing, food, and other purposes.

That long-winded explanation pretty much says that the individual vegan should do what they can not to exploit animals and work hard not to harm them. Many small farms don’t rely on commercial beekeepers to pollinate crops. It’s impossible and impractical to think that every individual in the world has access to produce that’s been naturally pollinated at a farmer’s market. 

Our food system relies heavily on large produce farms that must use bees and may have to get them from out of town. The point is they aren’t being cruel to animals. They’re actually helping the animals do what they need to do so that you can get the best fruits and vegetables.

Avocados Are Plants

Vegans don’t eat animal products, such as cheese, meat, eggs, milk, honey, and seafood. Since it’s almost impossible to know if a crop was grown because of commercial beekeeping or a natural cycle that seems odd (like figs), eating any plant is considered vegan.

Whether it’s an avocado or a butternut squash, I think that any plant consumed is an ethical choice in regards to veganism.

Most Crops Technically Aren’t Vegan

The television show that sparked all this controversy didn’t address the fact that avocados and almonds aren’t the only crops that require commercial beekeeping. Broccoli, tomatoes, apples, melons, beans, onions, carrots, and hundreds of other veggies, fruits, and grains must be pollinated by commercial-bred bees.

If you went solely on what the television show stated, you’d have little to eat as a vegan. Again, you have to realize that the term ‘veganism’ means that you’re doing your best not to harm or be cruel to animals based on what’s possible and practical in your situation.

The Love for Avocados

It’s no secret that people are crazy about avocados. They’re creamy and taste unlike any other fruit in existence.

Jokes have been made about millennials eating so much avocado toast that they can’t buy homes. While that’s not really true, it does show how beloved this fruit is to everyone. Of course, those who make the jokes may not understand why people are in love with avocados, but that’s okay.

I feel that this secret is safe with those who appreciate the fruit. Whether you enjoy it sliced, as guacamole, or on toast, you’re safe to eat it if you’re a vegan.

Avocados Are Healthy

One of the secondary reasons people go vegan is to lead a healthier lifestyle. You’re more mindful of what you’re putting in your body.

That translates to eating non-processed foods and staying away from potentially fatty meat. Remember, avocado is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It’s been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels which improves heart health.

Avocados have plenty of plant-based fatty acids mixed in with some fiber, which is good for the heart. In fact, you get the same creamy profile with the high-fat content of cream and butter without all the calories and bad stuff.

Some people have made desserts, such as ice cream, with avocados. The creaminess is second-to-none, and it tastes amazing, too.

Low Carbon Footprint

Most people don’t realize how complicated farming is. Even vegan crops require plenty of resources if they’re grown on a larger scale.

This includes water, fertilizer, and various fossil fuels. Some crops, like almonds, need water that doesn’t come from the soil or rain.

Despite the overall intensity of farming, though, it is less damaging to our planet when we grow plant-based foods rather than producing animal products. (source)

By far, the livestock sector can produce significantly more greenhouse gases than transporting the avocados and almonds to various locations. Avocadoes and most other vegan crops don’t make the list as emissions producers.

Avocados Help the Planet

Of course, the avocado trade is here to stay and booming. Mexico is the primary growing country for avocados more than any other place in the world.

Since America has decided that it loves this fruit, the imports have increased. In fact, one New York Times report claims that avocados have created about 20,000 jobs and added over $2 billion for the U.S. economy in the past few years. 

Almost anyone can see these obvious benefits. Even if you don’t keep up with the news, you can see how many avocados are in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

It’s clear to me that avocados are vegan because they don’t require the slaughtering or raising of animals in unsafe conditions to be used as food. Every year, about 50 billion land animals are raised in poor conditions just for the eggs, milk, or meat they produce. No avocado farm is ever going to deal with that.

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped you understand the controversy behind the avocado not being vegan. Now that you know all the reasons why avocados are vegan, this debate can be put to rest. Yes, avocados are without a doubt vegan.

Remember, avocado is a fruit, so it is safe to eat on a vegan diet. To help the planet even more, you can source your produce nearby or buy locally from farmers who don’t use commercial bees for pollination.

But even if you don’t take that extra step, it is possible to feel ethically secure. Enjoy your avocados!

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Stephanie Mantilla

Plant-Based Diet & Vegan Lifestyle Expert

Stephanie is the founder of Plant Prosperous, a plant-based vegan living, and parenting blog. She has been eating a plant-based diet for over 24 years along with a B.S. in Biology & Environmental Science. She also has over 14 years of experience working in the environmental and conservation sectors. Stephanie is currently raising her son on a plant-based diet and hopes to help others who are wanting to do the same. You can read more about her here.

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