Vegan Cuisine Month in February is a special celebration for everyone who’s adopted a cruelty-free lifestyle and a 100% plant-based diet. Events during this month bring together all vegans in a culinary fiesta, raise awareness of this lifestyle, and show people how easy it is to switch their eating habits. So if you’re looking to avoid all meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and other animal-based products, Vegan Cuisine Month is just the introduction to veganism you are looking for.
History of Vegan Cuisine Month
Eschewing all animal products is not a new concept but has been around for more than 2,000 years, according to historians. Multiple societies in Ancient India, Greece, and even Italy had dietary habits similar to today’s vegetarians. The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, would follow a vegetarian diet, and he also prescribed kind treatment of all animals. On the other side of the world, South Asian ascetic and religious leader Siddhārtha Gautama — or Buddha, as he was commonly called — would advocate for a vegetarian diet among his followers. In many places, adopting a meat-free diet was always linked to non-violence towards animals and was a practice most often preached by religious groups, leaders, and philosophers.
The popularity of vegetarianism faded in and out of obscurity with different periods and regimes, and only became a full-fledged movement in the 19th century. Back then, prominent Europeans would publicly object to the use of eggs and dairy, and the American Presbyterian minister — Sylvester Graham — suffered a short illness that led to a ‘Graham Diet’ — completely meatless, with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — which swept across the U.S. in the 1830s. These gradual dietary changes inspired the birth of various meat-free communities in various countries during this time.
Eventually, vegetarians realized there was a section of them who didn’t even want to eat dairy. So, they needed a special society — and an identifier — that distinguished them as ‘non-dairy vegetarians. By 1944, the vegan movement was up and running and spurred two new celebrations — World Vegan Day on November 1 and World Vegan Month in November.
By the time the world entered the 20th century, veganism was a commonly established lifestyle for many people around the globe. Recent studies conclude that around 1% to 2.8% of adults in the U.S. don’t eat any meat, poultry, or fish, and this number only continues to grow as vegan cuisine takes the nation — and the world— by storm.
Vegan Cuisine Month timeline
Percy Bysshe Shelley writes about vegetarianism and animal rights in “A Vindication of Natural Diet.”
Donald Watson — the co-founder of the Britain-based Vegan Society — coins the term 'vegan' using the first three and last two letters of ‘vegetarian’ to describe 'non-dairy vegetarians.'
“The Economist” predicts this will be 'The Year of the Vegan,' because popular chain restaurants now have more vegan choices on the menu and supermarkets have a larger vegan selection.
Author, journalist, and vegan Jane Velez-Mitchell launches a free-to-view vegan television network called UnchainedTV.
Vegan Cuisine Month FAQs
Is vegan different from vegetarian?
Vegetarians avoid meat, poultry, ﬁsh, and seafood in their diet, while vegans stay clear of all meat and animal products, including dairy and eggs.
Which country is considered the most vegan country in the world?
Around 5% to 8% of the population in Israel is vegan, and it’s also known as a very vegan-friendly country, with many restaurants offering mouth-watering vegan food options.
Can vegans have milk?
Vegan diets cannot eat any products derived from animals — including milk.
Vegan Cuisine Month Activities
Eat vegan food
Try out a new vegan dish every day of this month. This way, you get to sample various delicious plant-based meals and support local vegan businesses in the bargain too.
Create your own vegan recipes
Break out the culinary skills and experiment with various tried-and-tested vegan recipes. Once you've mastered these, why not go ahead and create your own special vegan recipe.
Encourage adoption of vegan habits in others
Host a vegan-friendly meal for friends and family, to entice more people into adopting this lifestyle. Challenge people around you to at least a day of veganism — to support the planet and their health.
5 Delicious Facts About Vegan Cuisine And Vegans
There are vegetarian butcher shops
The first, the Vegetarian Butcher (De Vegetarische Slager), opened in 2010 in the Netherlands.
Oktoberfest goes vegan
In 2013, the traditionally meat-loving beer festival from Germany offered visitors vegan dishes for the first time in its 200-year history.
These famous people are vegans
Zac Effron, Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Joaquin Phoenix, Bill Clinton, and more are all proudly vegan.
There are multiple types of vegans
Dietary vegans only avoid animal products in their diet but use them everywhere else, raw food vegans exclude all foods cooked above 118 °F, and 'junk-food' vegans will only eat processed vegan food like frozen dinners and vegan desserts.
You could be eating vegan dishes
Some common dishes — like those with lentils, tofu, e.t.c. — are already vegan, especially if they don't have any meat and dairy in them.
Why We Love Vegan Cuisine Month
Veganism is on the rise
More and more people around the globe are adopting this lifestyle. If we're choosing to go vegan, even for a month, we know we have a great support system — and increasingly delicious products — to rely on.
It cuts down on animal mistreatment
Vegans staunchly support the idea that the planet also belongs to animals. As such, killing and exploitation of these animals for human needs is anathema to vegans. The more people who are adopting vegan lifestyles and habits, the more animals we can save.
Veganism helps the environment
A 2006 U.N. report said almost 26% of the world's terrestrial surface went towards livestock grazing. Then, in 2017, the World Wildlife Fund attributed 60% of biodiversity loss to crop cultivation that was in turn used for farm animals. The rearing of animals for various meat and dairy uses puts a giant strain on our planet, which can be countered by more vegan habits.
Vegan Cuisine Month dates