Ahimsa lights the way


Deliciously Informative and Inviting








For this celebration, we invite people to try vegan food—creating awareness of the proliferation of options. Restaurants, diners, delis, cafés, universities, colleges, schools, religious groups, workplaces, service clubs, and social groups are encouraged to get involved.

Learn vegan cuisine.

Learn the history of vegan cuisine and new recipes to prepare delicious vegan cuisine.

Celebrate vegan cusine!

Hashtag your vegan food photos #VeganCuisineMonth. Ask for vegan cuisine at restaurants. Attend events.

Create the future

Get involved! Do something easy such as encourage your local pizza parlor to have vegan pizza. Or plan a big celebration!  Resources below.


Here’s Help for You!

Events provide opportunities for chefs to learn about and showcase the bounty of healthy compassionate fare that should be offered on every menu. Here are basic steps for a big celebration, additional ideas abound below!

  1. Contact restaurant, culinary school, or other venue* and find out options (size of group that can be accommodated, dates available, price, reservation deadline).American Vegan BBQ wheatmeat seitan
  2. Provide information: AVS’ Catering Guide (includes vegan substitutions).
  3. Work with the chefs to develop an acceptable and enticing vegan menu.
  4. Add optional event features: live music, dancing, speaker, or documentary film.
  5. Publicize the event and invite local media to attend.
  6. Reservations may be taken by the restaurant or the host.
  7. Enjoy the event!
  8. Encourage venue to utilize vegan options regularly.
  9. Send the story and photos to American Vegan and other media outlets.
  10. Repeat the successful event.

*For cafeterias (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.), adjust the above guidelines: you might not need to get prices and make reservations. You may want to emphasize creativity such as having chefs do a vegan cooking competition. Maybe invite a cookbook author to speak and feature recipes from the book.


  1. AVS’ Catering Guide (includes vegan substitutions).
  2. AVS Bookstore offers an array of vegan cookbooks.
  3. Utilize AVS Speakers Bureau
  4. Find places to eat and/or post reviews on HappyCow
  5. Attend a Cooking Class See list. Invite friends to go too!
  6. How to Get Vegan Pizza in Your Town (6 easy steps).
  7. How to Do a Food Sampling Event – for a restaurant.
  8. How to Do a Food Sampling Event – with commercial food samples. 
  9. Six Tips for Negotiations with Restaurants. 
  10. Easy Recipe Suggestions for a Diner or Restaurant.
  11. Host a Cooking Class, for easy ideas: Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook
  12. Be different! Get inspired by World’s Heaviest Vegan Banana Split.


American Vegan Society (AVS) President Freya Dinshah is the least likely person to seek any sort of recognition. However, she wrote The Vegan Kitchen (1965), the first cookbook in the U.S. to use the word vegan in the title and explain the ethics of veganism. 

AVS was founded in February 1960 by Freya’s late husband, H. Jay Dinshah, who is widely considered to be the father of the vegan movement in America. Freya is often referred to as the mother; Jay and Freya were the first inductees in the Vegetarian Hall of Fame in 1993. 

Freya negotiated with food service personnel for conference catering (1974-1999) and created the first vegan volume recipes for use in colleges, restaurants, hospitals, and other institutions. Vegetarian Cooking for 100 is a card-file system originated for the 1975 World Vegetarian Congress. She conceived the book Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook (2012) to empower the next generation. Freya has taught cooking classes since 1969. She currently is the nutrition educator at a neighborhood afterschool program. 

Freya prefers not to be honored; she tips her hat to many heroes (the #VeganCuisineMonth honorees) and says,

“The range and stature of vegan cuisine has advanced tremendously through the years by the efforts of many people who must be honored. Let’s celebrate their accomplishments.”


Vegan Cuisine Month is a time to praise those who have brought vegan food into esteem, a time to share its bounty, and a time to help fulfill its promise. For each of the February days we honor these heroes: (Many of the books are available from AVS.).

1. Irene Grace Dinshah: Freya Dinshah’s mother-in-law provided Freya early experiences in vegan cooking 
2. Pietro Rotondi, DC: wrote Vegetarian Cookery (1942); he hosted Los Angeles dinners and drew a cast of characters.
3. Disease-prevention cooking classes: Dr. J. A. Scharffenberg (1960s+) and Seventh-day Adventists hosted disease-prevention cooking classes since the 1960s.
4. Rosalie HurdTen Talents Cookbook (1968)
5. Joy Gross: beautiful demos of natural foods
6. Eva Batt: What’s Cooking (U.K.1973), mentor
7. Louise Hagler et al.: wrote The Farm Vegetarian Cookbook (1975) and Tofu Cookery (1983). Also celebrate the work of  The Farm Community in Tennessee.
8. North American Vegetarian Society: cooking classes at vegan-catered annual Summerfests on college campuses since 1975
9. Gentle WorldCookbook for People Who Love Animals (1981) achieved mass distribution
10. Vegetarian Resource Group: dining guides, food ingredient guide, quantity catering, books
11. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: disease-prevention cooking classes 
12. Farm Animal Rights Movement: campaigns
13. Ron Pickarski: Friendly Foods, organized vegan Culinary Olympics team, gold medalist; executive chef for AVS conventions 1991 to 1999 
14. Ken BergeronProfessional Vegetarian Cooking, first gold medal at Culinary Olympics by a vegan dish 
15. Bryanna Clark GroganWorld Vegan Feast
16. Jo StepaniakUnCheese Cookbook, Vegan Sourcebook, vegan scholar and “encyclopedia”
17. Vegan Registered Dieticians: George Eisman wrote A Guide to Vegan Nutrition (2015)Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis wrote Becoming Vegan (2013); they established adequacy and benefits of vegan nutrition.
18. Jennifer RaymondPeaceful Palate, corporate, dining services, and heart patient advisor.
19. Christina Pirello: Back to the Cutting Board, Cooking the Whole Foods Way, TV chef on PBS show Christina Cooks,
20. West Coast Restaurateurs: Eric TuckerMillenniumAnn GentryReal Food DailyTanya PetrovnaNative Foods chain founder
21. East Coast Restaurateurs, vegan fine-dining innovators: Joy Pierson and Bart PotenzaCandleRich Landau and Kate JacobyVedge (2011 Philadelphia).
22. Food developers: Tal Ronnen is chef, consultant to Gardein, cofounded Kite Hill (2010); Miyoko Schinner founded Miyoko’s Creamery (2014).
23. Gwen Foster: former director of Fit Philadelphia
24. Raw food chefs: Cherie SoriaMatthew Kenney
25. Bryant TerryAfro Vegan, Vegetable Kingdom
26. Fran CostiganVegan Chocolate, dessert queen
27. Linda LongGreat Chefs Cook Vegan, food connoisseur and photographer
28. Dining Guides, since 1999: VegDining.com and HappyCow.net
29. Seth Tibbott: is the founder of Tofurky, an international vegan food company in operation since 1980.




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AVS is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 226058533. All donations made to the American Vegan Society are tax deductible in accordance with applicable law..

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