Are Chick-Fil-A Fries Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

July 31, 2023

Identifying whether or not Chick-Fil-A fries are vegan can be a challenging endeavor. 

The crux of this difficulty lies in how manufacturers often obscure the nature and sources of their ingredients. 

But fear not! This article aims to uncover the truth and support you in your noble vegan lifestyle.

Are Chick-Fil-A Fries Vegan?

Unfortunately, Chick-Fil-A fries are not vegan. They are cooked in a blend of canola and palm oil, which is vegan-friendly, but the problem lies in the seasoning. Chick-Fil-A’s waffle potato fries are coated with a milk-derived product known as “natural flavor,” which makes them non-vegan.

Are Chick-Fil-A Fries Cruelty-Free?

Given that the fries contain a milk-derived product, it’s clear that Chick-Fil-A fries are not entirely cruelty-free. The dairy industry involves practices that harm animals, thereby violating the principles of a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Furthermore, palm oil is a questionable ingredient because of environmental and human exploitation involved in the harvesting and processing of it. Some palm oil is ethically produced, but it’s hard to tell if Chick-Fil-A’s is one of them.

What Are Chick-Fil-A Fries Made Of?

Let’s break down what goes into Chick-Fil-A waffle fries:

  • Potatoes
  • Canola oil
  • Palm oil
  • Sea salt
  • “Natural flavor” (milk derivative)


Potatoes are a plant-based product and a staple ingredient in many dishes, including French fries. They are vegan and cruelty-free.

Canola oil

Derived from the seeds of the canola plant, canola oil is a plant-based product and is vegan and cruelty-free.

Palm oil

Palm oil is sourced from the fruit of oil palm trees. Though technically plant-based and vegan, its production often involves deforestation, the harming of wildlife, and exploitation of migrant workers, sparking debate in the vegan community.

Sea salt

Sea salt is a mineral obtained from evaporating seawater. It’s vegan and cruelty-free.

Natural flavor (milk derivative)

The catch-all term “natural flavor” often makes it hard to determine the source. In the case of Chick-Fil-A’s fries, this “natural flavor” is derived from milk, making it non-vegan and not cruelty-free.

Vegan Alternatives to Chick-Fil-A Fries

While Chick-Fil-A fries may be off the table, there are plenty of vegan-friendly options out there. Consider seeking out fast food chains that offer vegan fries, prepared without any animal-derived products. For example, most plain fries from other fast food chains are typically vegan, just be sure to ask about the cooking oil and seasoning.

If you’re a fan of Chick-Fil-A, its fruit cup, kale crunch side, and sweet tea are vegan. For a more hearty option, consider a spicy southwest salad with chili lime vinaigrette dressing or zesty apple cider vinaigrette as a vegan dressing.

As for sauces, try the Polynesian sauce or the spicy sriracha sauce. These are vegan sauces that can add a nice kick to your meal.


Navigating a vegan lifestyle can sometimes feel like tiptoeing through a minefield, especially when faced with seemingly simple choices like ordering fries from a fast food chain like Chick-Fil-A. 

Despite the fact that Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries are not vegan due to the use of a milk-derived “natural flavor,” there are many other delicious and ethically sound alternatives from various brands out there for you to enjoy. Armed with knowledge and a commitment to doing what’s right for animals and our planet, you’re more than ready to make informed and conscious food choices.