Happy World Vegan Day, Everyone! Today “commemorates the coining of the term, ‘vegan’ and the founding of The Vegan Society in November 1944.” With events held around the globe, it’s a day to celebrate a cruelty-free lifestyle. Going vegan can be beneficial for your health, animals’ well-being and the planet. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just curious on how to shift to a plant-based diet and cruelty-free living, for those of you who like lists (you know who you are), here are 7 things you can do to celebrate.
1. Read recipes and blogs for Vegan MoFo. Vegan MoFo (Month of Food) happens every year in October. Created on the Post Punk Kitchen, a badass vegan site started by the incomparable vegan duo Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, Vegan MoFo celebrates vegan food throughout the month of October. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, the goal of Vegan MoFo is to write anything and everything about vegan food…vegan recipes, a love affair with tomatoes, your fave vegan restaurant…each weekday, all month-long. With the best of intentions, I planned to participate. But alas, time slipped away from me (I seriously don’t know how it’s already November). But I’m determined to do it next year damnit! Check out the Vegan MoFo Blogroll for all of the entries from some seriously disciplined and dedicated vegan bloggers!
2. Buy a vegan cosmetics product. Cosmetics companies like Urban Decay and MAC offer vegan make-up, vegan body washes, shampoos and conditioners by Aveda (my fave!) and Lush (my friend Deirdre swears by their products!), and vegan lip balms by Crazy Rumors (THE tastiest, creamiest lip balms to ever grace your lips!). Check out Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe for more vegan products. Think about swapping out one or two cosmetics or hair-care products for a cruelty-free option.
3. Cook from a vegan cookbook. The vegan cookbook market has exploded! You can find books on everything from vegan brunch and comfort food to cookies and pies. Some of my faves include The Joy of Vegan Baking and The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau; The Veganomicon, Viva Vegan! (Latin vegan cuisine) and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero; BabyCakes and BabyCakes Covers the Classics (vegan and gluten-free cupcakes, donuts, scones, and cookies) by Erin McKenna; The Indian Vegan Kitchen by Madhu Gadia; Ripe From Around Here: A Vegan Guide to Local & Sustainable Living by Jae Steele; and Great Chefs Cook Vegan (recipes from master chefs like Cat Cora, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Thomas Keller and Todd English) edited by Linda Long.
4. Incorporate any of the 10 tips for going vegan or vegetarian.
5. Swap out one dairy ingredient for a vegan alternative. Eating vegan isn’t about deprivation but rather substitution. Pour milk over your cereal or in your coffee? Try soy, almond, rice or help milk over cereal and soy creamer in your beverage. I particularly love vanilla soy milk, tasty and chock full of protein. Butter your toast? Slather on Earth Balance vegan butter instead. Think you can’t bake without eggs? Apple cider vinegar combined with baking soda, olive or canola oil, mashed bananas, and apple sauce provide either binding or moistness in baked goods. Crave vegan ice cream? Freeze bananas and you have a tasty, creamy treat or try So Delicious’ coconut milk ice cream. There are also vegan versions of mayonnaise, cream cheese, yogurt and ice cream. Check out other ways to stock the vegan pantry.
6. Embrace vegan fashion. There’s a pervasive myth that warm, cute coats contain wool and fierce shoes and handbags must use leather. But that’s just not true. It might be a bit of a hunt but you can find amazing vegan fashion. There are fab sites and lines, such as Vaute Couture (handmade vegan & eco-friendly coats), Matt & Nat (vegan & eco-friendly handbags and belts), MooShoes (vegan shoes, boots, belts and handbags) and olsen Haus (high-end vegan shoes) dedicated to keeping vegans looking pretty. It took me a bit to save up but I invest in these amazing vegan pieces. In my own wardrobe, I sport a couple Matt & Nat handbags (love, love, LOVE them!), wear Novacas black flats and black faux suede boots I bought at MooShoes, as well as a vegan NorthFace winter coat and Hunter rain boots. You can also find budget friendly vegan finds at stores like H&M and Payless Shoes. Vegan and fashionable are no longer at odds.
How will you be celebrating World Vegan Day??