Each year on October 1st, we get to celebrate World Vegetarian Day! The North American Vegetarian Society created this day back in 1977, and we’ve been promoting the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing benefits of vegetarianism ever since. Vegetarianism has grown in popularity over the years, and for good reason. The health, environmental, and ethical benefits are proven.
At least 6% of people in the United States consider themselves to be vegetarian, which has slightly increased recently due to the greater availability of plant-based foods. We know that a vegetarian diet can help slow the pace of climate change, reduce pollution in our waterways, and save animals, but do you know how a vegetarian diet can positively affect your health? A well-planned vegetarian diet can help you live a longer and more satisfying life.
- Weight loss: Eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and herbs and spices can lead to a healthier body weight.
- Heart disease: By eating a vegetarian diet, you can reduce the risk of heart disease by about 50%. In some cases, you can even manage or reverse disease by eating mostly vegetarian or vegan foods. Click here to learn how a plant-based diet can help you fight heart disease.
- Diabetes: Plant-based foods tend to be high in fiber, low in saturated fats, and packed with antioxidants, which can prevent diabetes and possibly lower your blood sugar levels. Learn more about preventing diabetes.
- Vitamins and minerals: Did you know you can get most of your essential vitamins by eating more plants? Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and dried fruits for your iron source, nuts, miso and legumes for your zinc source, and leafy dark green vegetables and tahini for your calcium intake. Learn more about which foods to eat here!
Environmental and ethical impacts of vegetarianism
Choosing to become vegetarian not only helps the environment but also saves the lives of many animals. World Vegetarian Day is a great day to remember all of the important impacts of simply choosing vegetarianism:
- 30% of Earth’s land is used for livestock, and decreased demand for meat can help slow deforestation, which allows animals to remain in their habitats.
- With more people becoming vegetarian, we can help slow climate change and lessen greenhouse gas emissions.
- A decreasing demand for meat can minimize the exploitation and unfair treatment of animals in meat farms and slaughterhouses.
- Read up on our blog on animal compassion!
Creative ways to celebrate
We’re so excited to celebrate World Vegetarian Day, as it’s another day to promote health and wellness, which is what we’re passionate about! Not sure how to celebrate? We’ve got you covered.
- If you’re headed to work, cook a vegetarian meal to share with your team. Try our Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels-they’re perfect for sharing!
- Watch a vegetarian documentary with a group of friends as a reminder of all the ways a plant-based diet can help make the world better.
- Host a vegetarian potluck and have each person bring a dish. Be the hit of the party with our Vegan Artichoke Dip.
What can you do?
By choosing to eat vegetarian full-time or even part-time, you’re contributing to positive change on the Earth. If you’re looking for other ways to celebrate World Vegetarian Day, try some of these ideas:
- Donate to your local animal sanctuary. We’re proud supporters of the Aloha Animal Sanctuary, Leilani Farm Sanctuary and the Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
- Educate yourself! There are so many resources available to learn more about a vegetarian lifestyle. Check out our Lifestyle Hub for plenty of information.
- If you’re not yet a vegetarian, eat meat-free on World Vegetarian Day, or challenge yourself to eat vegetarian for the entirety of October for Vegetarian Awareness Month.
We hope you enjoy World Vegetarian Day and eat all the plants you can get a hold of, If you plan on cooking up your own vegetarian creation, we’d love to see. Tag us on Instagram @downtoearthhi, and we’ll be sure to repost your dish so we can share it with all our friends.