October 1 is celebrated as World Vegetarian Day. The occasion is an annual celebration aimed at promotion of the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism, according to the official website of World Vegetarian Day.
WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY: HISTORY
The World Vegetarian Day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS) in 1977 and was further endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. October 1 is set as the official date to commemorate World Vegetarian Day according to NAVS, however, if necessary, individuals can schedule their event on a nearby date as well.
WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY: SIGNIFICANCE
NAVS was founded in 1974 and is a non-profit tax-exempt educational organization based in the United States. With the help of events like World Vegetarian Day, NAVS tries to focus on its two-pronged aims.
Their first aim is to provide a support network for the members, affiliated groups and vegetarians in general; while the second is to inform the public about how vegetarianism benefits them, other animals and the planet as whole.
Breeding animals on a large scale requires vast amounts of food and water, and it also harms the environment by emitting methane and other greenhouse gases and producing heaps of physical waste.
According to a United Nations report in 2006, the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18 per cent of the global total, which is more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.
The World Vegetarian Day Facebook page has also launched Vegetarian Awareness Month in October.
The Facebook post mentions that it is a great time to encourage friends and family to give a vegan diet a try. Some of the ideas shared by the Facebook post include: “inviting friends over for a vegan dinner; have a vegan potluck at work; take friends out to a vegan restaurant; discuss the many benefits of a vegan diet for health, saving animals and the planet.”