World Vegetarian Day: What Is This Celebration?

Veggie Assortment

World Vegetarian Day is observed annually on October 1. The date was originally established in the 1970s and has since marked a celebration day for the vegetarian community and others interested in vegetarianism.

World Vegetarian Day Raises Awareness

More so currently than in the past, vegetarianism has earned attention as a healthy way to eat and live. It has become much more than just a special diet. In fact, many people consider vegetarianism to be an entire lifestyle that can affect not only the types of food you eat but how you cook, shop, and operate in your daily activities.

World Vegetarian Day was created to raise awareness of the vegetarian cause. The cause has a three-fold focus: health, animal life compassion, and sustainability. The day was originally denoted by the North American Vegetarian Society, established in 1974, but has since been embraced by a variety of vegetarian societies, such as the International Vegetarian Union, all over the world. The vegetarian day is part of a larger month of vegetarian awareness, ending on November 1 with a vegan awareness day.

The Purpose

The purpose of the World Vegetarian Day is to encourage non-vegetarians to give the practice a try. The website allows non-vegetarians to pledge to follow a plant-based diet for one or more days during Vegetarian Awareness Month. Vegetarians are encouraged to get their non-vegetarian friends and family members to sign up for a chance to win prizes from the North American Vegetarian Society.

The Ideas Behind the Cause

There are a few different types of vegetarians. Ovo vegetarians eat eggs but not milk. Lacto vegetarians eat milk products but not eggs. Others consume both and are called lacto-ovo vegetarians. Likewise, some vegetarians choose to consume neither eggs nor milk yet still do not consider themselves entirely vegan. Thus, vegetarianism is a somewhat complicated issue for many people. Not every vegetarian has the same reason for abstaining from meat. Some choose the lifestyle for its health benefits. Others choose to go vegetarian out of compassion for animals or concern for the environment. Still others simply prefer the taste of plant-based foods.

The North American Vegetarian Society and other vegetarian organizations recognize the nuances of the lifestyle and ultimately decided to designate a day and month dedicated to raising awareness of its issues.

How to Get Involved

To learn more about the North American Vegetarian Society, visit its website. To encourage friends and family members to pledge or to pledge yourself, visit the World Vegetarian Day website. You can print pledge cards on the Internet or order them online.

Other Non-Meat Days

There are several other days denoted to raise awareness of a meatless diet and to encourage individuals to embrace vegetarianism.

  • World Vegan Day is celebrated on November 1.
  • Hug a Non-Meat Eater Day is celebrated on October 4.
  • The Great American Meatout is celebrated in America on March 20.
  • World Hug a Vegetarian Day is celebrated on September 24.
  • Meatless Monday is an American vegetarian initiative that encourages individuals to follow a meatless diet every Monday.

Becoming a Vegetarian

If you are interested in becoming a vegetarian, participating in a day or month dedicated to the practice is a great way to start. Dedicated societies and local groups can offer you advice, provide tips for cooking and shopping, and help you transition your family to a healthy, meatless lifestyle.

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World Vegetarian Day: What Is This Celebration?