November 1 is World Vegan Day! It’s a day to celebrate all the benefits of eating vegan—healthy benefits for you, for the animals, and for the planet. The day was established in 1994 by the UK Vegan Society. They’re also the ones that came up with the word “vegan” itself.
Here’s the backstory. Back in 1944, some members of the UK Vegetarian Society argued for more strict adherence to vegetarianism, including abstention from eggs, dairy products, and all other animal products. These members ended up breaking off from the main UK Vegetarian Society and forming the UK Vegan Society. Donald Watson, a founder of the new Vegan Society, explained that the word “vegan” is the first three and last two letters of “vegetarian.” Vegan is essentially the extreme ends of vegetarian. That’s also why vegans are sometimes called strict vegetarians!
In 1994, to celebrate the new group’s 50th Anniversary, the UK Vegan Society established November 1 as World Vegan Day. Apparently, the group was formed sometime in November 1944, but no one knew the exact date. November 1 was chosen because it coincides with Halloween and the Day of the Dead. That’s right, World Vegan Day occurs around Halloween so you remember all the animal lives you’re saving from death by eating plant-based!
But it goes even deeper than that. It turns out that many plant-based Halloween foods, including pumpkins, have roots in religious traditions of abstaining from meat at this time of year. True story. It’s all starting to make sense!
All this to say…that’s why we’re sharing our favorite plant-based pumpkin recipes for World Vegan Day. Pumpkins are the perfect seasonal food for celebrating this occasion. Sure, we carve them into jack o’ lanterns for Halloween and maybe turn them into pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, but there’s soooo much more to love about pumpkins. First, they’re loaded with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that studies have shown to help prevent age-related diseases like heart disease, cancer, and macular degeneration. Plus, they’re sweet flavor and smooth texture make them taste awesome in everything from pumpkin laksa (pictured below) to pumpkin pie to pumpkin spiced donuts! If you’re looking for delicious ways to commemorate World Vegan Day, or just some great plant-based Halloween recipes, check out our favorite Wicked pumpkin and winter squash recipes below. Need to save time? Pick up the Wicked Kitchen pumpkin products mentioned below!