World Vegan Day is celebrated annually on 1st November. It was first celebrated in the year 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UK Vegan Society and the term ‘Vegan’. World Vegan Day was created by Louise Wallis, a British animal rights activist and the chair of The Vegan Society, to raise awareness about animal rights.
History and significance of World Vegan Day:
The term Vegan was coined by Donald Watson, an English animal rights advocate who founded the Vegan Society, derived from the word Vegetarian. In the early 1940s, vegans were known to be vegetarians who did not consume dairy products. This later extended to different foods and by-products derived from animals. Today, vegans are known as people who do not consume foods like meat, fish, poultry and do not use animal products or even by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, cosmetics.
World Vegan Day coincides with Halloween. According to Louise Wallis, there was no information about the day the World Vegan Society was founded. “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,” he said.
Benefits of a Vegan diet:
It is said that a vegan diet is beneficial in keeping diseases like heart diseases, certain cancers, type two diabetes, arthritis and lung and kidney diseases at bay. Since a vegan diet is mainly plant-based, it is high in fiber and low in cholesterol. On World Vegan Day, vegan groups and practitioners organise workshops to highlight the importance of animal rights.