World Vegetarian Day marked October and we devoted the whole month to raise vegetarian awareness. And today, on 1 November we can celebrate World Vegan Day! It was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis to commemorate 50th anniversary of term “vegan” and “veganism”.
Veganism is the practice, targeted on refraining from using animal products. This means avoiding not only meat but also eggs, dairy products and honey. Several types of veganism can be found: dietary veganism (as described above) and ethical veganism – people who follow it also extend the philosophy beyond diet into any other purpose (for example using leather, fur). Ethical aspect of the vegan philosophy can be found in the Vegan's Society definition of veganism - “Veganism represents a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, other animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, other animals and the environment”.
The term “vegan” appeared in 1944, when Donald Watson co-founded the Vegan Society in England. At first this just meant “non-dairy vegetarian”, later it became the doctrine that means that humans “... should live without exploiting animals”.
Vegan diet is considered to be high in fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, and phytochemicals, and low in fat, cholesterol, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12. A well-planned vegan diet can thus reduce risk of some diseases (like obesity, heart diseases and diabetes).
History of veganism goes back to ancient times but interest in this topic mostly increased after 2010. According to the Vegan Society, there has been an unprecedented positive interest in veganism in the past three years. According to some resources 375 million people on the planet consider themselves as vegans.
In order to celebrate World Vegan Day Vegan Society encourages people to take a 30 day vegan pledge.