Author: Arti Loftus, Editor, Publisher and Managing Director of Social Media
Why World Vegan Day Matters
World Vegan Day was introduced on November 1st, 1994 as a way of commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UK Vegan Society. The Vegan Society was established a full half century earlier.
Around 1806 the objection to eating dairy and eggs for ethical reasons was first promoted to Europeans by Dr. William Lambe and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Some say the term “vegan” was coined by Donald Watson, derived from the word vegetarian. At that time, the differentiation was that vegans did not consume dairy products.
Veganism began thousands of years before the Vegan Society appeared, an is deeply rooted in three prominent religions practiced in India – Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. All these religions believe in the concept of Ahimsa, which means kindness and non-violence towards all living things.
Israel has the highest percentage of vegans globally, with around 5.2% of the population considering themselves vegan and 13% percent as vegetarian. Their vibrant culture of veganism and abundance of plant-based options makes it one of the best countries to visit for vegan and vegetarians. Vgarden, which is headquartered in Israel, has been providing ingredients to major brands around the world, including one of the most popular pizza restaurant brands.
In September 2018, more than 70 rabbis from around the world signed a declaration urging Jews to choose veganism, saying it was a contradiction to claim that products made “through a process that involves inordinate cruelty and barbarity toward animal life can truly be considered kosher in our world”.
Ital is the food celebrated by those in the Rastafari movement developed in Jamaica during the 1930s, based on natural living. Rastafarians are earth-preservers and believe the food they eat should come from the land.
The cuisine of Eritrea and Ethiopia is in part due to the fasting tradition in the Orthodox Christian religion. Orthodox Christians abstain from all animal products for around 200 days each year, but plant-based foods are still permitted.
“Being kind to animals is one reason to celebrate World Vegan Day. Fewer animal products mean fewer greenhouse gasses, which means better earth for everyone,” said the Vegan Society. “And it’s also better for the human body. It’s a win-win-win!”
In a world that has so many challenges, perhaps the best thing about choosing a vegan diet is that this is something any person – at any age – can do to improve their health and the well-being of the planet.
There is so much more for us to share here about this important and exciting movement!
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