October Veg Fun — Or, Why Fall Isn’t All Bad

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As I’ve made it a point of mentioning around the Internet and in real-life conversations, I’m not the biggest fan of fall. Yes, it’s beautiful, and the Northeast has some of the finest fall foliage you’ll see anywhere, but when you come right down to it, fall is rather miserable. It’s chilly, it rains a lot, and it gets dark way too early. We’ve already had a morning in the 40s here, which had me out walking the dog in an outfit better suited to December than September.

But even I must admit that fall isn’t all bad. For all the moaning and complaining I do about the weather, there are a lot of fun things that only come around once summer is over. October in particular is a fun month to be vegan (or vegetarian). Every year, October 1st kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month and is in itself designated World Vegetarian Day. What better excuse to start encouraging people to try more veg dishes?  I’ve already requested a few posters from the North American Vegetarian Society website to post around my area and raise awareness about the benefits of going plant-based.  You can request some, too, and spread the word around your town!

And for those of us in the Albany, NY area, there are two great veg-friendly events back to back at the beginning of the month. The NY Capital Region Vegetarian Expo conveniently coincides with World Vegetarian Day this year; it also happens to be the 5th year for this groovy event. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to go if only for the tables upon tables of great vegetarian and vegan vendors. Businesses there this year include local favorite X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery (that alone makes it worth going!) and new faces like the Rad Soap Company. The Expo also features an impressive list of speakers presenting on everything from food prep to animal rights.  Full info and a partial list of vendors is available on the Expo website (linked above).

October 2nd brings the third-annual Local Harvest Festival to Albany’s Washington Park. I went last year and it was a huge amount of fun! Not all the vendors are vegetarian, but many have veg and vegan options. (Like All Good Bakers!) Plus a lot of farms sell stuff there, and who can argue with fresh local produce? The Harvest Festival is basically a big, annual farmer’s market with more awesome per square foot than you can shake a stick at. I blame it entirely for my current obsession with Once Again’s sunflower butter.  In addition to vendors, there’s live music and a big local presence.  And being in Washington Park, it’s not too hard to find if you’re in the Albany area.  Give it a look if you’re around; better yet, bring a friend!

Last and certainly not least, there are the two big October events geared straight at vegans.  The first is Vegan MoFo. Yes, Vegan MoFo is back in October this year, so I can actually participate!  It also has its own website this year, which will hopefully have a downloadable RSS feed of all the participating blogs available soon.  Plus there are great blog banners and post badges to dress up your blog if you’re ready and raring to post like a crazy vegan during October.  If you’ve never participated, or are wondering what the heck I’m going on about, Vegan MoFo is a month-long event in which vegan bloggers endeavor to post at least 20 times during the month, or one post for each weekday, to spread the love of plant-based food and the vegan lifestyle.  There’s still time to sign up!  Get your blog in before September 28th to join the plethora of people posting.

If you’re feeling particularly enterprising, there’s World Go Vegan Week.  The website hasn’t been updated for 2011 yet, but it’s usually observed in the last full week of October.  It’s exactly what it sounds like: a week to raise awareness and promote the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.  There are a bunch of suggestions on the website of ways to do this, and I’m sure the vegan community could come up with even more.  Heck, with Forks Over Knives out on DVD now, there’s no excuse not to have a vegan movie night (complete with snacks, of course!).  Last year I managed to give a talk at the local library, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do something similar this year with everything else going on.  We’ll see!

For the comments: Let me know what’s going on in your area!  What great vegetarian/vegan fall events are you planning on attending?  Are you hosting any of your own?

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About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a member of Toastmasters International and currently serves as part of the Capital View Toastmasters club. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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