World Vegetarian Day, October 1, is the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month. The events were started by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) to help raise awareness about how vegetarianism benefits “humans, other animals and our shared earth.”
What will you be doing to celebrate the day? Here are 7 suggestions for making it meaningful.
1) Pledge to go meat-free for the month of October. NAVS suggests not only skipping beef and pork, but fish and fowl as well. Need help finding veggie recipes? Care2 has you covered!
2) Host a veggie-centric dinner or potluck. Invite friends, family and neighbors, especially those who are skeptical about becoming vegetarians. Show them how delicious vegetables, grains, nuts and fruits can be.
Thai coconut tofu is perfect for a potluck (click for the recipe).
3) Invite local officials to a vegetarian lunch. Public policy should encourage people to consume more fruits, whole grains and vegetables. A vegetarian diet is better for the environment because producing meat is such a polluting and inhumane process. It’s better for our health as well, since so much meat is produced using hormones that have been linked to early puberty in kids. Most meat is also produced using added antibiotics that reduce our own resistance to antibiotics when we need them. As far as I know, there are no antibiotics in apples or broccoli (and if they’re organic, no pesticide residues, either!).
4) Organize a myth-busting cooking demo. Many people think being a vegetarian is boring, unappetizing, or maybe even insufficient when it comes to getting necessary vitamins and minerals. Why not organize a meeting or symposium to bust the myths around being a vegetarian? Include cooking demonstrations, recipes, and testimonials from people who eat vegetarian and love it.
Light up the grill one more time before it gets too cold. Seitan Kebabs with Sangria Tomato Salad (click for the recipe) | From The Lusty Vegan © 2014 by Ayinde Howell and Zoe Eisenberg
5) Work with your local library and book stores to feature books about vegetarianism. Both book stores and libraries have vegetarian cookbooks, as well as a treasure trove of other information about the value of eating less meat. Display them prominently on World Vegetarian Day and keep them up as long as possible.
6) Encourage local restaurants to offer special vegetarian menus. Most restaurants these days offer at least one vegetarian entree. Let restaurants know about World Vegetarian Day and suggest ways they can increase the number of vegetarian options they offer. Urge them to put a message about vegetarianism in their menus or on their websites.
Black bean burgers are an easy crowd-pleaser (click for the recipe).
7) Meet other vegetarians! Enjoy the camaraderie of people who share your values. Use social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, to connect with like-minded souls who understand the importance of eating less meat and to spread your own message to your friends and followers about why eating veggie is so rewarding and important.
How do you plan to celebrate World Vegetarian Day? Please share!
Image credit: Brandon Shea via Flickr