Happy World Vegetarian Day!

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Image: millefloreimages, fotalia.com

Image: millefloreimages, fotalia.com

World Vegetarian Day is observed annually on October 1 to raise awareness of the ethical, environmental, health and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle.

Established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978, the celebrations aim “To promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism.”

World Vegetarian Day also initiates Vegetarian Awareness Month, which ends on November 1, World Vegan Day. Vegetarian Awareness Month has been known variously as Reverence for Life month, Month of Vegetarian Food, and more.

Several additional days of vegetarian significance are included in Vegetarian Awareness Month:

October 1 – World Vegetarian Day
October 2 – World Farm Animals Day (WFAD) or World Day for Farm(ed) Animals, birthday of Mohandas K. Gandhi
October 4 – The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi
October 4 – “Hug a Non-Meat Eater Day”
October 1–7 – International Vegetarian Week – in several nations across the planet (but especially in Europe), many public educational and celebratory events are organized to promote the vegetarian lifestyle.

First full week + additional ‘straggler’ days (in order to include as many weekends as possible for church, mosque, and temple involvement – World Week of Prayer for Animals (always includes The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi). This may have been initiated by the now-defunct INRA, International Network for Religion an Animals, founded in 1985 by the late Virginia Bouraquardez (aka Ginnie Bee).

October 16 – United Nations World Food Day (often a time of global reckoning with issues of human food security) – the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

November 1 – International Vegan Day aka World Vegan Day – a vegan holiday celebrated since 1994 on November 1 – the anniversary of the creation of The Vegan Society.

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