Many vegans are vegans because they want to promote an environmentally friendly future. And at least once a year, they have an official occasion to do so. November 1st is World Vegan Day, and this year's celebration will be the 26th in the history of the event. Mana has reason to celebrate, too, as our products are purely plant-based and focus on sustainability for the well-being of our planet.
Veganism has become more and more accepted as a lifestyle that can be practiced not only easily, but as a matter of common good, as it does not rely on animal-based agriculture—which is often wasteful—for the production of food or clothing. Even in rural areas, a growing number of vegan products are being offered in supermarkets.
It can no longer be denied that veganism is on the advance across the globe. In the US, for example, the number of vegans has increased by 300% in the last 15 years. An even sharper increase was observed in the UK, where the number of vegans increased 700% from 2016 to 2018. According to several estimates, the number of people worldwide who have a purely vegan diet is hovering around 76 million and counting.
The origins of World Vegan Day
World Vegan Day originated in England in 1994, when vegan animal rights activist Louise Wallis decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Vegan Society. This society was founded in 1944 by Donald Watson, who was dissatisfied with the lack of social visibility of vegans.
It was precisely him who designed the well-known flower symbol used to identify vegan products today. According to legend, it was Watson's wife Dorothy who coined the term “vegan” by combining the beginning and the end of the word “vegetarian.”
But why vegan?
There are numerous reasons why people adopt a vegan diet. The main reasons are ethical, i.e. animal welfare, followed by health and environmental sustainability. On its homepage, the Vegan Society states that if the world went vegan, we could save 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and save $1.5 trillion in costs related to healthcare and climate damage.
Furthermore, researchers say again and again that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth, as animal farming provides just 18% of the calories we consume but takes up 83% of our farmland.
How World Vegan Day has grown
Since the 1st edition in 1994, awareness of World Vegan Day has spread, and it is now celebrated by vegans and non-vegans alike on nearly every continent. In Invercargill, New Zealand, for example, event organizers distribute tofu to butchers, and vegan muffins to passersby in the city center. In Boston, Massachusetts, USA, free vegan food is distributed to thousands of locals as part of a weekend-long festival.
Unfortunately, this year will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that won't stop us from celebrating World Vegan Day at home on November 1st. And what's better than doing it with vegan products like ManaPowder? If you don’t have any at home, there’s no better time to stock up!