My own view is that being a vegetarian or vegan is not an end in itself, but a means towards reducing both human and animal suffering and leaving a habitable planet to future generations.Peter Singer
Vegans are conscientious eaters who pay careful attention to their diets–and often to the clothes they wear and other products they buy as well. They remove all animal products from their lives for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because they hope to save the planet by saving the animals or just to feel healthier overall without meat and dairy in their diets, the vegan lifestyle has become an ever-increasing craze for people to learn about and join.
For those who are vegan or have friends and family members who are vegans, this is a great time to check out International Vegan Cuisine Month. This month is dedicated to all things vegan, and particularly learning what can be done to make those favorite foods vegan and cruelty-free!
Get ready to enjoy International Vegan Cuisine Month!
History of International Vegan Cuisine Month
International Vegan Cuisine Month was started by the American Vegan Society to help bring awareness to how easy it can be for people to switch from eating meat to eating only plants.
The American Vegan Society (AVS) was started in 1960 by President Freya Dinshah. Dinshah is the vegan expert who also wrote The Vegan Kitchen (1965), which was the first cookbook published in the United States to explain veganism and give vegan recipes to the US. Freya Dinshah and her husband have since been considered to be the founders of the vegan and vegetarian movements throughout the United States as well as inspiring the lifestyle in many other places around the world.
Some of the things that Freya did for the vegan cause were: negotiating with food service personnel for vegan options in conference catering (1974-1999) as well as creating the first vegan volume recipes for use in colleges, restaurants, hospitals, and other institutions.
Freya and her husband, through the AVS organization, create magazines for their members to read, host cooking classes for vegans to learn from, and offer other various programs that keep their members up to date about veganism in today’s age.
The American Vegan Society celebrates International Vegan Cuisine Month by inviting people to first simply try vegan food, ultimately attempting to create awareness of the variety of delicious options that people have with vegan recipes.
International Vegan Cuisine Month Timeline
An Animal-Free Cookbook Is Published
Even before veganism has a name, animal-free cookery is beginning to take root. Kitchen Philosophy for Vegetarians, written by William Horsell, is published in London with recipes that exclude not only meat but eggs and butter as well.
World’s first raw vegan restaurant opens
Opened in Los Angeles, California, this restaurant is thought to be the first of its kind on earth. John and Vera Richter opened the Raw Food Dining Room and served a menu with healthy drinks, fruit, flowers and veggie salads, unbaked breads and uncooked soups. Pies and cakes were “baked” only in the sun.
The Vegan Society is founded
A registered charity, the Vegan Society begins in the United Kingdom and is the first vegan organization in the world. It coincides with the beginning of a quarterly newsletter called The Vegan News.
Vegan Trademark begins use
This scheme allows for the vegan trademark to be recognizable and used on labels all over the world to indicate products that are free from animal ingredients and testing.
The Vegan Awareness Foundation is created
With a goal of eliminating suffering for animals, improving human health and promoting a sustainable planet, the organization also known as Vegan Action is founded. Another goal is to create growth in the marketplace for vegan products.
Veganism Grows Exponentially
Veganism all over the world is on the rise. Within three years, the number of vegans in the United States grows from only 4 million to more than 19 million, equaling more than a 600% increase.
How to Celebrate International Vegan Cuisine Month
Try Out Some Vegan Recipes
For those who want to be accommodating and start trying out different versions of vegan cuisine, look up vegan recipes online. Try them out on the family first and then, if it goes well, host a vegan themed dinner party!
Get started on a vegan menu with some of these ideas:
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
Made with dairy free milk, raw cashews and nutritional yeast, a perfectly creamy cheese sauce is great over macaroni.
- Vegan Bombay Burritos
Taking their cue from Indian street food, these burritos are filled with curry mashed potatoes, chickpeas, fresh spinach, roasted cauliflower and other delightful veggies.
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Replace the meat with root vegetables and mushrooms, add in the usual peas and carrots, then place the traditional mashed potatoes on top for a yummy, satisfying meal.
- Vegan Broccoli ‘Cheese’ Soup
Delicious and nutritious, this soup based in vegetable broth uses cashew cream and nutritional yeast for the creamy, ‘cheddar’ flavor and texture. Serve with fresh baked vegan bread topped with dairy free butter.
Connect with Other Vegans
Consider joining a local organization to find friends in a vegan community who love being vegans. Many cities in the US and all over the world have vegan non-profit organizations that educate people about the vegan lifestyle and support them in their pursuit. In addition, they offer advocacy and outreach for animal awareness.
Learn More About Veganism
Check out these interesting facts about veganism that might help make the decision to try some vegan meals during International Vegan Cuisine Month:
- Vegans are often slimmer
On average, people who live a vegan lifestyle weigh 20% less than meat eaters. Vegan foods help to burn off excess fat and keep it off.
- Veganism is good for the earth
It takes loads of crops to raise animals and a vegan diet has a much smaller carbon footprint. In fact, it takes 13 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of meat!
- Vegan diets may avoid toxins
Meat consumption may be linked to toxins, some of which might even be cancer-causing. Fish, in particular, can contain a variety of pollutants and chemicals, but other meats may as well.
- Vegans may feel happier
Studies have shown that people who eat a vegan diet may have less anxiety and/or stress than omnivores do, and they may also have a greater overall sense of wellbeing.
Eat at a Vegan Restaurant
Those who might be considering going out for lunch or dinner might want to choose a restaurant that is known for specifically serving only vegan food. If that’s hard to find, then it might be a good idea to ask for a vegan option menu at a favorite restaurant and see what they have to offer. Those who are proud to be a vegan can certainly take pictures of their food and share them on social media posts to create awareness about International Vegan Cuisine Month with friends, family and other connections.
International Vegan Cuisine Month FAQs
Is Veganism healthy?
Vegans have a somewhat healthy diet that often reveals a lower risk of heart disease. But they may have a slightly higher risk of stroke, potentially due to lower levels of Vitamin B12 which can be taken as a supplement if needed.
How do vegans get protein?
Many options for protein-filled, plant-based foods exist. And they can even be super tasty! Try soybeans (as edamame or made into tofu), lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, quinoa and spirulina for a protein boost.
How do I bake vegan without milk, eggs and butter?
Those who love to bake might be intimidated by baking without these key ingredients, but it’s not as hard as it might seem. Commercial options are available for egg replacements, plant-based milks (like almond and soy) are easy to find, and people can even make their own plant-based butter using a base of nut milk and oil.
How do vegans make food taste meaty?
Many people choose the vegan lifestyle because of health or earth-friendly reasons, not because they don’t like meat! Making food taste a bit more like meat can be done with certain spices and flavorings, like “poultry” seasonings, vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, red wine vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
What is vegan cheese made of?
Vegan cheese can be made from a number of different plant foods, such as soy, seeds, nuts, and even vegetables. They can be flavored uniquely to pair with certain types of foods, and the healthiest options are not highly processed.