Let’s Celebrate World Vegan Day, 1 November
When I sat down to write this post, I had a moment when I thought, “is it really almost November? Where has this year gone?!” We all know the answer of course, but let’s keep ‘Rona out of this one.
In truth I’m excited, because 1 November is World Vegan Day, although many people around the world choose to mark November as World Vegan Month. It’s a time to acknowledge just how much the vegan movement has progressed, and to continue to raise awareness of the holistic benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Not only for our own health, but for that of our Earth and the animal inhabitants too.
The start of World Vegan Day
World Vegan Day was first commemorated in 1994 by UK celebrity Louise Wallis. At the time, Wallis was the chair of the Vegan Society, which was celebrating two very notable achievements: its 50th birthday, and the coinage of the terms ‘vegan’ and ‘veganism’.
As the number of active vegans worldwide increases, so too has our access to an array of different vegan edibles and products. It’s such a deeply conscious movement, and to watch the uptake of a plant-based lifestyle around the world is a triumph, and no longer reserved for ‘bare-foot hippies.’
If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favour and watch David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet. This is his new documentary, and in his words, his witness statement. It’s deeply moving and a real eye-opener for humanity’s urgent need to change what we’re doing, and how we’re doing it. In it, along with many other profound statements, he says, “The quickest and most effective way for us to make space for returning wilderness is to change our diet…we must change our diet. Whenever we choose a piece of meat, we too are unwittingly demanding a huge expanse of space…. the planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.”
Another brilliant, albeit hard-hitting, documentary is Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, which is hugely inspiring for the environmental movement. And lastly, if you’re looking for an informative and easy to read report, have a look at Eating Away at Climate Change with Negative Emissions. Compiled by Dr Helen Harwatt of Harvard University, it’s free to download. Find out more https://www.vegansociety.com/take-action/campaigns/grow-green here.
Make your pledge!
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already an active vegan, or maybe you’ve started making the steps towards it. If you’re still on your journey to fully embracing a plant-based lifestyle, then perhaps we can help make it a little easier this World Vegan Day.
Challenge 22 is a FREE online pledge, where users sign up to undertake 22 days of veganism. It doesn’t end there though. Once signed up, users are fully supported with easy to follow meal plans and recipes and are encouraged to share their experiences through a dedicated Facebook group. Challenge 22 is also overseen by a team of certified dieticians, who give constant nutritional advice. Since its launch in 1994, more than 400 000 people worldwide have signed up. Are you ready? Sign up to Challenge 22 here.
Making the switch to a plant-based lifestyle can seem daunting, and while there are people who convert overnight, for many it’s a phased approach. And that’s OK. Take time to prep and ensure your nutritional needs are met, as this is where it’s easy to fall short, and fall back on old eating habits.
Nutrients are key when going vegan
Vitamins play a key role in helping you meet your nutritional needs. As much as possible though, these should come from whole food sources, rather than vitamin supplements. Key nutrients for vegans include calcium, omegas and iron, and our Shop Zero store stocks high -quality staples which are rich in these key nutrients (and more!)
Calcium-rich food sources include chia seeds, hemp seeds, chickpeas, red lentils, black beans, and green mung beans. Our sesame tahini and hemp seed oil are also delicious sources of calcium. And of course, don’t forget that fresh (and easy-to-grow) produce such as kale and broccoli are also excellent sources of calcium, along with organic heirloom seeds, which we stock at Shop Zero.
Omega 3-rich food sources include brown flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, and are hugely beneficial for your brain and body. Plus, they have been shown to help with everything from period pain and breakouts, to anxiety and depression.
Tell us, how are you celebrating World Vegan Day?