You don’t have to be a vegan to celebrate World Vegan Day. While veganism is a lifestyle choice that is not for everyone, today is the perfect opportunity to find out a little more about it. Vegan Action, a non-profit group that supports veganism and promotes vegan issues, defines veganism as follows:
A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals.
why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle.
World Vegan Day has been celebrated yearly on November 1 since 1994. If you are already a vegan, then you get to celebrate every day! For others, here are 3 easy ways you can celebrate as well:
1. Skip the meat, eggs and dairy products for a day.
- It doesn’t have to be today, just plan one day of plant-based meals. We’ve got some good recipes to get you started:
2. Show support for animals and animal rights by visiting your local animal shelter.
- While you’re there, you can learn about different ways you can help out, whether it is through becoming a volunteer, picking up a list of donation items they need, or just spending some quality time socializing with the animals.
- Just be sure to follow all shelter rules regarding handling animals, and no matter how adorable they are, don’t commit to adopting an animal if you can’t also commit to taking care of him or her for life.
3. Learn a little more about what it means to be vegan.
- Help to debunk the long-established stereotypes regarding vegans. You can visit the resources below to understand more about what exactly vegans do and do not eat, wear, etc., and learn about vegan nutrition and other health aspects.
- Contrary to popular belief (which, thank goodness, is starting to change!), vegans can eat cookies, chips and other snacks, and enjoy a wide variety of meat substitutes such as seitan, tofu, and tempeh which can be prepared in many amazing ways.
Reading this after November 1? No worries! The entire month of November is designated World Vegan Month, so you have plenty of time to try out some of the ideas above.