November 01st is World Vegan Day. This is the day when we encourage non-vegans to transition to a vegan lifestyle and to celebrate vegans who live by their moral beliefs as a form of solidarity with animals, the planet and themselves since veganism offers various health benefits.
The date was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, who was chair of the UK Vegan Society at the time, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms “vegan” and “veganism” by Donald Watson.
“We knew the Society had been founded in November 1944 but didn’t know the exact date, so I decided to go for 1 November, partly because I liked the idea of this date coinciding with Samhain/Halloween and the Day of the Dead – traditional times for feasting and celebration, both apt and auspicious,” said Wallis in 2011.
Watson founded the Vegan Society in 1944 in Leicester with his wife Dorothy and four of their friends. The word vegan was coined from the beginning and end of vegetarian “because veganism starts with vegetarianism and carries it through to its logical conclusion”, says the Wikipedia entry on Watson.
Watson expanded the philosophy to object to any harm to living creatures. He was committed pacifist throughout his life and registered as a conscientious objector in World War II.
Thanks to social media and the endorsement of celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Joaquin Phoenix and Luisa Mell in Brazil, veganism is now a household concept. The number of restaurants offering vegan food keeps growing, there is an accelerating demand for cruelty-free products and people are aware of the suffering of animals in entertainment, laboratories, forced labor, puppy mills and other any form of animal exploitation. The destruction of habitats where free animals have their homes is also another vegan issue that is part of the broad spectrum of vegan concerns.
Veganism is not a diet – food is part of it, but being vegan is really a philosophical stance, an expansion of the circle of compassion and an new bio-ethical approach to the world. It is the natural progression of the Enlightenment and the environmentally-correct diet for a crowded world that has to adapt to new climate conditions.
Go vegan today. Just do it and be part of the revolution. No technology required, just your commitment.