Happy World Go Vegan Day, everyone!
Most holiday celebrations are pretty straightforward. They might vary from town to town or country to country, but they all generally tend to look the same: on Halloween, you put on a goofy costume and beg for candy. On Thanksgiving, you sponsor a turkey at a local farm animal sanctuary. On Valentine’s Day, you shoot murderous glances at all the happy couples walking around bearing roses and teddy bears. But today, November 1st, is World Vegan Day–and aside from going vegan, you might be struggling to think of ways to celebrate this fabulous holiday. Here are ten suggestions.
1) Wear a vegan message: This one seems pretty straightforward, but if everyone in the East Village can put on a wig and call it Halloween, we vegans can sport a button or a t-shirt today that declares our vegan pride. Even something as simple as a “No Fur” or “No Leather” button on our jackets can have an impact on everyone we pass. If you need some cute vegan couture, check out MooShoes on the Lower East Side.
2) Hand out vegan literature: Not all of us have the fortitude to stand on a street corner and pass out flyers to strangers (but if you do, more power to you!), but why not leave a stack in your office’s break room or at your local library? You can order free literature from groups like Mercy for Animals or Farm Sanctuary, or for the more DIY among us, you can print and download your own from groups like L.O.V.E..
3) Volunteer for a vegan organization: Got some free time tonight or this weekend? Local animal rescue and outreach groups are always looking for extra bodies to stuff envelopes, cuddle kittens, scoop up cow poop, and myriad other tasks that they just can’t conquer with their limited funds. Donate an hour to your favorite organization! The animals will thank you.
4) Take a non-vegan friend to dinner: What better way to celebrate a day of going vegan than to actually get someone to eat vegan food? New York has well over one hundred all-vegetarian restaurants, so offer to take your BFF out to an animal-free meal. Hopefully they won’t offer to return the favor on World Bacon Day.
5) Donate your non-vegan clothes: If you have some relics of days gone by and want to swap out those wool sweaters for something more animal-friendly, why not swing by your local thrift store or consignment shop and make that change? I like a place where you can walk in with one pile of shirts and walk right back out with a different pile, without spending too much money or worrying about the impact of buying brand new goods.
6) Host a vegan potluck: Okay, so it might be short notice to pull this one off for today, but what about this weekend? There’s nothing better than getting a bunch of friends together at your place and sharing some homemade vegan food (unless you’re like me, in which case you stop at Babycakes on your way and pick up cupcakes to pass off as your own). You could even do it Veggie Conquest style and announce a secret ingredient for everyone to use, or pick a theme, like desserts-only potluck. The trouble, of course, is fitting all those eager vegans into a New York-sized apartment, but most of us will do just about anything for a good vegan meal.
7) Treat yourself to a vegan treat: You’re vegan! That’s awesome! Go get yourself an ice cream cone at Lula’s before the weather gets too chilly, or indulge in some chocolates from Cocoa V. You deserve it!
8) Read a vegan book: Most of us have to spend long hours sitting on the subway or bus each day; instead of another game of Angry Birds, why not pick up a vegan book from Bluestockings Radical Bookstore and read? I just finished Cook Food by Lisa Jervis and am totally inspired to make some mustard-glazed tofu. You’re all invited over for dinner.
9) Have a vegan movie screening: There are so many cool vegan documentaries out there–why not invite some friends over to watch one at your place? Bring popcorn and movie candy, mix up some drinks, and then cry your eyes out over The Cove. Okay, maybe that’s not the most fun suggestion on this list, but still, you might learn something.
10) Blog about why you are vegan: These days, nearly everyone has a blog or a website; why not use today’s entry to celebrate your choice to live a cruelty-free life? The reasons for going vegan vary wildly, and you might just inspire someone to make a similar change.
Have other ways to announce your vegan pride to the world on World Vegan Day? Leave your suggestions in the comments! Happy celebrating!