Bloggers worldwide celebrate Vegan MoFo

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November is the official Vegan Month of Food

Elana Dublanko
The Martlett (University of Victoria)

Everyone knows one. The friend who touts knowledge about the nutritional content of brewer’s yeast; the co-worker who makes dairy-free cupcakes for the office. Vegans are everywhere, and they want to tell you about it.

The month of November celebrates all things vegan with the fourth annual Vegan Month of Food. Also wittily known as Vegan MoFo, the event takes place online, where bloggers from all over the world pledge to write about vegan food at least five times a week. The website boasts over 550 bloggers from numerous countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Belgium, France, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Poland, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Israel, the French West Indies and South Africa.

Although the bloggers may come from different locations, they all have one thing in common: A passion for cooking without animal byproducts, products, or derivatives such as meat, dairy, or eggs.

The worldwide blogging event was created by Kittee Berns and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a popular vegan cookbook author. After writing Vegan with a Vengeance in 2005, Moskowitz came up with the idea to host an online event where vegan bloggers could share their most delicious vegan recipes. Moskowitz modelled the online event after The National Novel Writing Month, and the first Vegan MoFo in 2006 turned out to be a great success.

Ever since, the event has gained increasing popularity, particularly due to Moskowitz’s success with her four additional vegan cookbooks.
“One of the things I like about MoFo is that almost everyone sets their own goals for the month,” said Moskowitz. “I hope to use the time to write some recipes for a gluten-free vegan ’zine. Collectively, it is fun to swamp the Internet with amazing vegan food and to build a huge online vegan community.”

The collective Vegan MoFo group is also hoping to promote what they see as being the true definition of veganism since the term is often misunderstood or mistaken as a synonym of vegetarianism.

“[We] believe there is only one definition of veganism, which Wikipedia does a good job of wording, ‘Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Vegans endeavour not to use or consume animal products of any kind.’ Vegetarians, on the other hand, include animal products in their diet and wardrobe.”

Veganism has a special place in Victoria, B.C., with the city having numerous restaurants with vegan options. Although, the University of Victoria’s on-campus dining can be challenging for vegan students, Vegan MoFo recommends that students should “organize a student group and keep [veganism] active. Regular charity bake sales are an amazing way to get everyone involved, and to show how delicious vegan treats can be.”

Students who want simple, appetizing, healthy vegan meals can use a crock pot to make chill, stews, or dhal, an Indian lentil soup.
Rice cookers are also a great cooking tool. You can use them for other grains besides rice, and they often come with timers and can keep your food warm for hours. Other quick, inexpensive ideas include baked tofu, beans, brown rice, whole grain pasta and frozen or fresh veggies.

The creators of Vegan MoFo believe that the benefits of veganism go beyond just what one eats. Although it may take a little bit more effort, in their experience, being a vegan is worth it.

“The benefits can vary from person to person; obviously some vegans eat a very healthy diet and others do not,” said the Vegan MoFo group. “It is easy to follow the standard American Diet in a vegan way, which is not healthy.”

However, if properly followed, veganism changes one’s whole lifestyle.

“[We] think veganism becomes a lifestyle choice, but in [our] opinion, veganism is not based solely on someone’s diet. [We] seek to exclude animals from our clothing and other goods as much as possible.”

The recipes posted on the blog range from simple to complex, and some of them call for some interesting ingredients. Nevertheless, the bloggers always rave about how delicious they are. So maybe call up that vegan friend or co-worker of yours and try a vegan recipe or two. You might be so delighted that you could be signing up to blog about veganism for next year’s Vegan MoFo.

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