The fifth-annual Vegan MoFo kicked off October 1, and roughly 650 bloggers have pledged to write about vegan food nearly every day for the month of October. Last year included book giveaways, amazing recipes (like sticky toffee pudding), and hundreds of bloggers putting forth the best of what veganism can offer. Amey Mathews, an organizer of the event and creator of the blog, Vegan Eats & Treats, gave VegNews the exclusive scoop on how Vegan MoFo will impact the veg community this time around.
VegNews: What is Vegan MoFo?
Amey Mathews: Vegan MoFo is a blogging event wherein bloggers post every day for the whole month. It started about five years ago from Isa [Chandra Moskowitz] at The Post Punk Kitchen, and I think it was one of her many great ideas on building community and building visibility for veganism in a fun way. Obviously, using bloggers which have more visibility [than single websites] makes it seem like something fun and something for everyone collectively to have a sense of community and enthusiasm.
VN: How can people get involved?
AM: Even if they aren’t on the official list [which closed on September 28], they can always check our Facebook page. Also, we have a brand new, official website—veganmofo.com, where there will be an official list of all the participating blogs. Every day of the month, one of us will publish a roundup. We’ll look at a whole bunch of different blogs and what they posted that day, and then we’ll try to do a fun post so that even if you don’t have time to read all the hundreds of blogs, you can go on Vegan MoFo and click. It’s really fun because even last year, I discovered so many new blogs that I hadn’t found before. A lot of people started a blog just for MoFo and now they’re still blogging a year later. There is definitely some exclusive content, and people from all over the world participate.
VN: How will your blog change during Vegan MoFo?
AM: I’m doing a theme. I’m really nuts for themes in general in my life. Last year I did Around the World in 30 Days; this year, I’m doing a different spice every day. I have a huge, enormous spice collection and I’m planning on cooking something from one in my collection every single day. I’m stoked.
VN: How do you think Vegan MoFo impacts the veg movement?
AM: It’s playful and it’s positive. Even though all of us are really passionate for various ethical or environmental reasons associated with being vegan, Vegan MoFo is a really accessible event so even if people don’t want to get into a debate about animal welfare, they can go and just see all these great meals, and that vegan food looks delicious and vegan people are fun. It’s really light and has to do with food, which we all eat and enjoy. I think it’s a nice way in for people who otherwise might be a little bit more reluctant to be interested in veganism.
VN: How has Vegan MoFo changed throughout the years?
AM; I would say it has changed by exploding in size and by really going international. The first year, it was really just people who were on the PPK who knew about it. But now, it’s really grown, and bloggers, even if they aren’t regularly a part of the PPK forum community, know about it and look forward to it. [It builds] the sense of community you have, knowing that there’s someone out there doing the same thing with the same beliefs.
VN: Where do you see MoFo going in the future?
AM: I would really love for it to keep being international and really expanding. I sense that themes is a direction Vegan MoFo is going in for a lot of bloggers; people seem to be enjoying that and finding that it gives them a little more discipline, like I did. I just really hope that it will keep expanding and keep gaining momentum.
VN: How is blogging affecting the veg movement?
AM: I went to Vida Vegan Con and was surprised at how different we all were. There were a lot of college-aged kids and there were a lot of grandmas. I was looking around at all these different walks of life, people covered in tattoos and people in button-down cardigans, and there was this sense that you could sit down at anyone’s breakfast table and know that you would enjoy the conversation. There’s the intangible thing that we’re all bloggers, and then there’s this very tangible thing that we’re all vegan. It was really this amazing sense of community and friendship and not feeling vulnerable at all. There were hundreds of people, it was amazing, and it sold out months in advance; so clearly, vegan blogging is doing something for a lot of us. Having a sense of community online really supported my decision [to go veg], and always learning about new products and new recipes and new cooking techniques really makes it more fun and interesting to be a vegan. Spiritually, I’ve just received so much support from my pals online. They mean so much to me.
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