Happy World Vegan Day! November 1st marks the global celebration to recognize just how far veganism has come since the The Vegan Society was first founded in November 1944. World Vegan Day was founded by Louise Wallis in 1994 when she was Chair of The Vegan Society to commemorate 50 years of the vegan movement. Since then, veganism has grown immensely and November 1st is a day to acknowledge all the great work has been done as well as sharing veganism with others.
It has always been tough for me to celebrate World Vegan Day since it falls right after Halloween, but this year I wanted to bring attention to this day and do something to celebrate! And founder Wallis gave a great explanation in a recent interview as to why she chose this date for World Vegan Day: "Well, we knew that The Vegan Society was founded in November 1944, but we didn't know the exact date. So I suggested November 1, as this was easy to remember, and made sense culturally - with Halloween and Day of the Dead falling either side. It's a traditional time of year for feasting, celebrating, and for remembering forebearers, and those no longer with us - which, of course, includes animals."
There are lots of ways to celebrate World Vegan Day, whether you are vegan or just vegan-curious. Check out 10 ways to celebrate today (and every day) below:
- Listen to vegan podcasts - A simple way to learn more about veganism and stay up-to-date on vegan topics is by listening to some vegan podcasts. You can find a bunch online, but I like The Chickpeeps and Our Hen House!
- Share a vegan recipe, article, product, or food item - This is so simple, but so effective to show your friends and family how accessible the vegan lifestyle can be! Post a delicious vegan recipe, share a cool piece of vegan clothing or accessories, share a fun vegan website you like to frequent, or your favorite vegan snack on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You'd be surprised how effective it is to show people everyday vegan and cruelty-free items you use - it may inspire them to pick
- Watch vegan documentaries - Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, or whichever one strikes your fancy, whether it is health-based, environment-focused, or concentrated on animal welfare. Encourage veg-curious friends and family to watch as well.
- Host a vegan cheese party - Since everyone's favorite excuse to why they can't go vegan is "but I could never give up cheese," show them they don't have to by hosting a vegan cheese party! Whether you serve up some Miyoko's, Violife, Parmela's, Yvonne's, or your other favorite vegan cheese, you'll be sure to show your friends and family that vegan cheese is every bit as delicious and satisfying as dairy cheese, but without all the cruelty.
- Plan a visit to an animal sanctuary - A quick Google search should show you any animal sanctuaries or rescues in your area - do your research to ensure the sanctuary is legit, then plan your visit. If you are in Southern California, The Gentle Barn and Farm Sanctuary are wonderful places to visit - just check which days/hours they are open and if you need to make an appointment to visit. You can also donate your time by volunteering at a local animal shelter, rescue, or sanctuary.
- Take a friend or loved one out for a vegan meal - This is my favorite thing to do! Treat a friend, co-worker, or family member to a meal at a vegan restaurant to show them how delicious eating vegan can be. Hopefully this will lead to other discussions about veganism, and it might interest them in eating vegan more often.
- Bring vegan treats to work to share with coworkers - Like most of these suggestions, they can really be done anytime, but if you do it today you can say you are celebrating World Vegan Day OR, better yet, don't even tell your coworkers the treats are vegan until they are done gobbling them down. Bonus points if you use leftover vegan candy from Halloween in your treats!
- Try a new vegan product - If you live near a Whole Foods or natural health food store (like Mother's Market, Sprouts, or even Trader Joe's) or even a regular grocery store like Von's, Ralph's, Safeway, Albertson's, etc. you should be able to find a new vegan item, food or otherwise, to try. Target and Walmart also have killer vegan options nowadays. I feel like every time I walk into any grocery store I find a new vegan product I wanna buy.
- Donate to an animal sanctuary or rescue - If you aren't able to visit an animal sanctuary in person, you can always donate to an animal sanctuary or rescue. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can always adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary.
- Wear a vegan t-shirt - This is the easiest way to spark a conversation about veganism. Wear a t-shirt with a vegan message, or use a vegan tote to pack your lunch in, or wear a vegan pin or patch. Even if people don't start a conversation, it may get them thinking about veganism and lead to them exploring it further.
I'd love to hear what you are doing today to celebrate World Vegan Day, whether you are vegan or not! If you're not vegan, there is no reason why you can't start now, even if you just decide to eat vegan for one meal (every bit helps, and we all start somewhere!). If you need any tips or have questions, feel free to ask me and I'll do my best to help out!
Stay spooky and go vegan!