LEARN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERNATIONAL VEGANISM DAY, CELEBRATED ON NOVEMBER 1ST, AND HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF VEGANISM AS A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE WITH BENEFITS FOR HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT.
Every year, on November 1st, communities worldwide celebrate International Veganism Day. This day holds special significance in the history of advocating for animal rights and promoting a sustainable way of life. The history of this remarkable day is linked to the founding of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom in November 1944. This society was created as an offshoot of the Vegetarian Society and had a profound impact on promoting the idea of living without resorting to animal-derived products.
What does "vegan" mean?
The term "vegan" was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, one of the co-founders of The Vegan Society in the UK. Along with Elsie Shrigley and other dedicated friends, Watson felt the need to emphasize the fundamental distinction between choosing not to consume meat and choosing not to consume any kind of animal-derived product. This difference underscores their commitment to eliminate any form of animal exploitation from their lives and to promote alternatives that protect not only the well-being of animals but also the environment.
The Vegan Society was registered as a charity organization in August 1964, and in December 1979, it transformed into a limited company. During this period, the definition of veganism and the charitable objectives of the society were revised and refined to better reflect the fundamental principles of this way of life. From 1988 to the present, veganism has been defined as a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to eliminate as much as possible any form of exploitation and cruelty towards animals in obtaining food, clothing, or for any other purpose. This philosophy promotes the development and use of alternatives to protect not only the rights of animals but also the well-being of humans and the environment.
Benefits of veganism:
One of the main aspects that make veganism attractive is the health benefits it brings. A well-balanced vegan diet is often associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. These benefits are primarily due to the choice to exclude animal-derived products from the diet and consume nutrient-rich plant-based foods.
When transitioning to a vegan diet, it is essential to replace nutrients obtained from animal products with appropriate plant sources. Proteins can be obtained from legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, and other plant sources. Phosphorus replacement can be achieved by consuming legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. For selenium, you can choose Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. Additionally, vitamins B2, B5, B12, biotin, and choline can be obtained from plant-based foods, although supplementation may sometimes be necessary to ensure adequate nutrient intake.
Another important consideration for those adopting veganism is ensuring an adequate protein intake. Proteins are essential for maintaining health and the proper functioning of the body, as they are composed of amino acids. Those following a vegan diet must ensure a variety of protein sources to meet the body's needs for all essential amino acids.
It is important to note that when following a vegan diet, it is crucial to carefully read food labels and ingredient lists, especially when opting for processed foods. Products you might consider to be vegan could contain, unbeknownst to you, ingredients such as gelatin, whey, casein, honey, or other non-vegan substances. It is also vital to read labels to ensure that your vegan diet is balanced and nutritious.
However, while veganism can bring significant health benefits and help maintain a healthy body weight, it is not a guarantee in itself. For example, for those looking to lose weight, it is important to pay special attention to the foods they consume and their quantities. It is important to choose healthy vegan foods, rich in nutrients, instead of processed foods that may contain significant amounts of fats and calories.
International Veganism Day represents an important moment in raising awareness about the importance of our food choices and the impact we have on the environment, our health, and animal rights. By choosing to adopt a vegan lifestyle, we take responsibility for promoting a fairer, healthier, and more sustainable world for all living beings on Earth. Through education, awareness, and commitment, we can contribute to building a better future for everyone.