We ate more plants all October long, and challenged you to join in. Lucky for us, you accepted the challenge, and the results are an incredible celebration of plant-based eating and living.

Peruse a sampling of the stunningly delicious Vegtoberfest submissions here, and below that you’ll find Featured Vegtoberfest Stories from our coalition of experts, influencers, and veggie-lovers! 


We asked our friends in the food world — from doctors to authors to plant-based advocates — to share their Vegtoberfest stories. Be prepared to be inspired by their reasons for eating more plants. Thank you to all our influencers!



“As the founder of Cuisinicity, I not only want to keep doing what I have been doing for my loved ones but I also want to pay it forward to our beautiful planet even more mindfully than I already have. In that spirit, I have expanded my repertoire to include even more plant-based recipes and created a new line of wholesome vegan cuisine with a French Cuisinicity twist. Because we can and should love the food that loves us back, and the beauty of it is…that is the very same food that will love our planet back!”

– Catherine Katz, founder, Cuisinicity



I stopped eating meat at the age of 8. I would have earlier, but it was then that someone told me what a vegetarian was. I was so relieved to know that, not only would I not die if I stopped eating meat, but there were actually other people out there like me. It was a defining moment in my life. I never had another piece of meat and have dedicated my life to promoting a plant based lifestyle. It was the biggest decision I had ever made and by far my favorite one!” 

– Leslie Durso, vegan chef and healthy living educator




“What’s good for you is good for the planet. A whole foods, plant-based diet can not only help prevent but even reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, early stage prostate cancer, and other chronic conditions—as well as turn on good genes that keep us healthy, turn off genes that promote the most common types of cancer, and even lengthen telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control cellular aging. More global warming is caused by livestock consumption than all forms of transportation combined. And it takes 10 times less resources to eat a plant-based diet than a meat-based diet, freeing up precious resources to feed the hungry. And the only side-effects are good ones. It’s not all or nothing — start with a meatless Monday. When you realize what a powerful difference these choices make, it imbues them meaningful and thus sustainable.” 

– Dr. Dean Ornish, founder, Preventive Medicine Research Institute​



“Best for the earth, best for me, best for the people on earth, and yummy!” 

– Frances Moore Lappe, author and founder of Small Planet Institute



“I was just a kid when the doctors sent my grandma home in a wheelchair to die. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations that the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing. Confined to a wheelchair with crushing chest pain, her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do. Her life was over at age sixty-five. But then she heard about about Nathan Pritikin, an early lifestyle medicine pioneer, and became one of his first success stories. She’s even featured in Pritikin’s biography! It talks about Frances Greger. It was a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet and then started on a graded exercise regimen. They wheeled her in, and she walked out. Within a few weeks she was walking 10 miles a day and went on to live another 31 years until age 96 to continue to enjoy her six grandchildren. Her miraculous recovery not only inspired one of those grandkids to pursue a career in medicine, but granted her enough healthy years to see him graduate from medical school, so it’s really all thanks to her.”

– Dr. Michael Greger, physician and founder of NutritionFacts.org



“I love good food, and to me, that means plenty of the pure, vibrant, diversity of vegetables and fruits on the menu. But food that’s ‘good’ is just not enough. I love good health, too. Healthy people have more fun! I want food to love ME back; and so, welcome back, fruits and veggies, because they fit this bill, too. And, that’s not enough. Because I love my four-legged friends, and I don’t want cruelty to animals anywhere on the menu- so, you guessed it: a plant-based diet comes again to the rescue. Oh, and one more thing: our planet is in peril, from climate change, to drying aquifers, to diminishing biodiversity. One of the most immediate, impactful things we can do about it? Eat more plants, fewer animals. Other than good food, good health, human decency and kindness, biodiversity, and saving the planet, I really can’t think of any reasons to eat more veggies and fruits — this and every month. If I come up with something, I’ll get back to you.”

– Dr. David L. Katz, MD, nutritionist, founder of Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center



“I’m a vegan because I believe that all living beings deserve a chance at a better life. I have always felt such a strong connection to animals and less than a year ago I decided to commit to helping them in the biggest I knew how: by becoming a vegan. It’s important for me that I speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, which is why I proudly voice my opinions on the treatment of animals and my vegan lifestyle. Not all of us have the ability to defend ourselves, so I am here to stand up for animal justice and to reduce cruelty towards innocent beings.”

– Harley Quinn Smith, actress, daughter of Kevin Smith



“I went vegetarian at 13 because I love cows and wanted to piss off my parents a little. That bit was easy — I never missed meat, never regretted my decision for one hot minute. Suddenly, though, I had to think about what I ate. This was in the dark days before internet, so I had to figure things out for myself. That’s how I learned to cook. Becoming vegetarian and ultimately vegan gave me both my passion and my profession — it made me a food writer, chef and vegan advocate. Being vegan is the single greatest multitasking tool we have. It means a more sustainable planet, more  nourishment for you, more color on your plate, more flavor in your mouth, more money in your wallet, more friends (two-legged and four-legged) to connect with. What’s not to love?” 

– Ellen Kanner, Huffington Post Meatless Monday blogger, Soulful Vegan writer and recipe developer




“Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes have always been the centerpiece of my personal diet — and I’m always looking for creative ways to get my husband and daughters excited about eating them too! These foods are also the  cornerstone of Healthy Dining’s signature site, HealthyDiningFinder.com. Our team of registered dietitians are working with hundreds of restaurant companies to help them shift to meet the growing nutrition trends — and HealthyDiningFinder makes it easy for Americans to find dietitian-approved menu choices emphasizing healthful produce, whole grains, lean protein, and unsaturated fats. It’s been exciting as more restaurants showcase their culinary creativity and help introduce Americans to the flavorful variety of plant-based meals.” 

– Anita Jones-Mueller, HealthyDiningFinder.com founder




“The American food system is at a crossroads. We’ve reached a point where the amount of meat we are producing and consuming is taking a dramatic toll on both our health and the health of the environment. Committing to a plant forward diet is not only a personal goal of mine, it’s something I wish for all of America’s school children as well. Over 30 million children eat school lunch every day. Over the course of a year that adds up to 5 billion lunches served in school lunchrooms. I not only pledge to eat more vegetables this month, I am dedicated helping schools all over the country incorporate plant forward options into their menu cycles. They present a huge opportunity to not only reduce the amount of animal protein consumed in the United States but also to educate our future generations about the negative impact of meat production and consumption, as well as the benefits that plant-based protein alternatives provide.”

– Chef Ann Cooper, healthy school food advocate, lunch lady, Chef Ann Foundation



“Me in my favorite place: a Union Square Green Market vegetable stand! In celebration of #Vegtoberfest I stocked up on veggies and am making a bunch of plant-based recipes. Recipe roundup here. I always try to make at least half my plate vegetables at almost every meal. The fiber helps to fill me up, so I stay full for hours. Plus there is just nothing better than fresh, in-season veggies. My favorite way to cook veggies is to toss them in a bit of olive oil and roast them up in the oven, which brings out their natural sweetness. What is your favorite way to enjoy veggies?”

– Alissa Rumsey, RD, registered dietitian, AND spokesperson



“We enjoy eating plant foods because they promote our health and the health of the planet, and we have learned about amazing plant-based dishes from all around the world. We enjoyed eating eggplant, zucchini, boiled greens and more on Hydra Island in Greece last week.”

– Gail and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, MPH, chairman of the Nutrition Department at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health



“Skipping meat for one day isn’t as hard as you might think, especially when you realize it’s saving lives and energy! If we all participated for one day a week, we could really make an impact.”

– Violett Beane, actress



“As a dietitian and journalist, it’s my job to pore over the nutrition research and stay on top of the prevailing body of evidence on diet and health. It became increasingly clear to me that the one common thread in a diet for optimal health was a variety of whole plant foods. At the same time, I am passionate about the environmental impact of our diet. It is also increasingly clear to me that one of the most powerful ways we can reduce our carbon footprint over our lifetimes is to choose a more plant-based diet. So, my plant-based lifestyle is so powerful—I can bolster my health and fight chronic disease in order to live a vibrant life, plus I can reduce my impact on Mother Earth—all with my fork. It’s so empowering to know that this simple act of eating can yield such powerful results.”

– Sharon Palmer, RD, Plant-Powered Dietitian, Oldways Vegetarian Network advisor



“It’s #vegtoberfest I’m joining and showing off my most recent farmers market haul to let everyone know why I’ve taken the pledge to eat more fruits and vegetables. I’m chronically ill with two types of muscular dystrophy that cause dysautonomia, and a host of other syndromes; and a main symptom is chronic fatigue. We get our energy from food and if Iwant to keep moving, I need to be vigilant about what I eat, there’s overwhelming evidence that going plant based is the healthiest choice. I’m also very aware that meat consumption is terrible for our environment. I do eat all foods, but try very hard to be a locavore and believe in filling my plate with vegetables and whole grains and keeping meat and treats on the side. I don’t have the life I expected, but I fight everyday against the hand I was dealt, maintaining a positive attitude, while accepting that bad days happen. I absolutely love cooking, baking, and canning, and am glad I’m able to fulfill that passion while keeping myself as stable as possible. Will you join me and pledge to eat more fruits and vegetables too?”

– Stephanie Patterson



“I’m celebrating Vegtoberfest because I want to challenge myself to eat an all-plants diet for a month. I’m also excited to save money and reduce my carbon footprint. So many people are trying to eat less meat, and Vegtoberfest is a great excuse to challenge myself. I look forward to enjoying lots of delicious meals full of plant foods — and I bet I won’t miss the animal products at all.”

– Ashley Owen, Oldways PR & Media Manager