Get your tofu draining and meat-alternatives ready because this Monday the 1st of November we’re celebrating World Vegan Day!
It was first celebrated in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK Vegan Society but the concept of not eating any foods that use animal products has been around much longer. The term vegan was coined by the Vegan Society’s founder, Donald Watson who was an animal rights activist. It is estimated that the plant-based idea has been around for at least 2000 years.
So, what exactly is veganism? At its core, this lifestyle involves excluding meat, eggs, diary and any other animal-deprived products from your diet and also not using or wearing products derived from animals. But veganism can be extended to a way of life which excludes all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for any purpose. It also includes the promotion of animal-free alternatives for animals and the environment.
Benefits of Veganism
There are many benefits to following a plant-based diet that can have a wider, positive impact on the world.
Vegan diets have been linked to improved blood sugar levels, improved kidney function, reduced risk of heart disease and prevention of certain cancers. This lifestyle is also suitable for every age and stage of life as by following a well-balanced vegan diet you can still get all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs. Many vegans eat a colourful range of fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, nuts, seeds, beans, tofu and other meat-substitutes, nourishing your body and giving it what it deserves.
Even if you have adopted a vegan lifestyle only for personal health, you are inadvertently helping the planet in the process. Meat and dairy production require an extremely large amount of water and land which has a major impact on climate change. The industry also produces enormous amounts of methane from cows, sheep and goats which is another big contributor to climate change. If you’re looking for a lifestyle that has the lowest environmental impact, then the vegan diet is for you.
There’s no shaming people for not following a vegan diet, but it doesn’t hurt that a plant-based diet doesn’t exploit animals for food, clothing or entertainment but instead respects animals, believing that they have a right to life and freedom. Having an emotional attachment to animals is very common for vegans which is why many are advocates for the welfare of animals.
It’s Time To Celebrate
This World Vegan day, no matter your diet or lifestyle choices, there are a number of activates you can do to celebrate. Here are 5 fun things to try to get you in the vegan spirit.
Try out a vegan diet
There’s no greater way to celebrate World Vegan Day that trying it out for yourself. Veganism can often be intimidating to people who have seen stereotypes that say this diet only involves plain vegetables and salads. But that’s not true! The best way to discover this is to try it out for yourself. You can now find a vegan restaurant around every corner offering delicious food that will have you coming back for more.
Tell your friends
If you don’t want to try a vegan diet out on your won, why not encourage your friends and family to join in. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the cause by spreading the word and creating awareness for the day.
Attend a World Vegan Day event or festival
Every year you’ll find countless events that celebrate World Vegan Day such as vegan markets, seminars or festivals. You can enjoy an excellent vegan meal and celebrate the fact that no animals were harmed in the process!
Take a pledge
If you are struggling to commit to a vegan diet or not sure if you can handle it, you can take a 30 day pledge and see if it’s right for you. It can take the pressure off a complete lifestyle change and allow you to test the waters and discover the joys of veganism.
Host a vegan party
Why not gather your friends and family for lunch or dinner featuring dishes made completely from plants! Alternatively, you can host your get together at a restaurant that offers a vegan menu. It’s a great way to introduce people to vegan food who might have been hesitant to try it.