The term “vegan” was first coined by English animal rights advocate and founder of The Vegan Society, Donald Watson, in 1944. However, evidence dating back to over 2000 years ago, indicates that people have been making deliberate choices to avoid animal products for centuries. As early as 500 BCE, Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras, promoted compassion for all species and followed a vegetarian diet.
Fast forward to today and it is undeniable that the awareness around veganism is growing steadily, or should we say, skyrocketing! Last year, Google saw an astonishing 90% increase in ‘vegan’ searches, indicating this trend is not slowing down anytime soon.
What is World Vegan Day?
What began as World Vegan Day, acknowledged on the 1st of November, evolved into World Vegan Week and now, to what we celebrate as World Vegan Month! It’s a month where, around the world, workplaces, restaurants, schools, shops and homes recognize the importance of a plant-based diet.
How and What Can I Win this World Vegan Month?
To celebrate our favourite month of the year, we are giving away some incredible prizes to three lucky winners, with the help from some of our friends, including Faithful To Nature, Wonderbag, Almond Breeze, B-Well, Oh! PoppySeed, Vfoods, EcoGemGem, We are the Wildflowers and Beauty Without Cruelty!
To win your prize worth over R4000, simply share your story of “I went vegan”. If it was a special friend or family member, a compelling film, or a sweet animal, mention them in your story and spread the love of compassion! The competition runs throughout November, aka: World Vegan Month. Enter here to win and share your story on our Facebook page.
What Can I Do To Support #WVM?
- Organise a vegan-themed lunch at work.
- Host a plant-based BBQ/braai over the weekend.
- Make a donation to a vegan charity or animal sanctuary.
- Organise a vegan tasting night with friends and show how good meat alternatives, non-dairy cheeses and “accidentally vegan” food taste!
- Take part in vegan outreach (e.g.: hand out nuggets, one-on-one education, demonstrations).
What Has Happened in the World of Veganism?
Are you ready to get involved this November? The year may be drawing to a close but it’s not too late to leave your mark! The bar has been raised though; so much has already happened in the world of veganism this year. From film, to fashion, to adverts and to awards, and from politics to sport, there are many milestones worth noting.
Three major films, centered on different aspects of veganism were released this year, including the groundbreaking health documentary, What The Health, Carnage, a new mockumentary that looks at veganism from a slightly different perspective, and OKJA, a Netflix Original film that sheds light on the ethics of eating animals in new ways.
This year, the major luxury brand, Gucci announced that it aims to be more sustainable, by pledging to go fur-free by 2018. Any remaining fur fashion items will be sold at a charity auction, with all proceeds going to the animal rights organization, The Humane Society International.
In the UK, an advert stating that “Humane milk is a myth” was cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority despite complaints from members of the dairy industry saying that it was inaccurate and misleading. Sparking debate around the world, the campaign went viral earlier this year. Moving from print to the screen, UK’s first vegan advert will be shown to millions in cinemas nationwide. With the help of crowdfunding, the advert aims to compel those who see it to acknowledge the reality behind UK factory pig farms.
In the world of sport, There are plenty of strong athletes who swear by a plant-based diet including Novak Djokovic, arguably one of the greatest tennis players of all time; world-renowned ultramarathon runner, Scott Jurek, who has been vegan since 1999 and broke the record for the Appalachian trail – completing the 3522kms in 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes; the famous Williams sisters, holding a combined 30 Grand Slam wins; MMA fighter and winner of The Ultimate Fighter 5, Nate Diaz; England striker, Jermaine Defoe; and Patrik Baboumian, a strongman competitor who holds several world records, including carrying a yoke loaded with just over 550 kilograms – the heaviest load ever carried. This year however was a big one for vegan athletics when the Gloucestershire football team, Forest Green Rovers, made sporting history this year by becoming the world’s first and only vegan football club. And let’s not forget Lewis Hamilton, who – after announcing going vegan in September – is now a Formula One world champion again following his victory in Mexico in October.
But it’s not all about film, fashion and fun where veganism gets attention. Moving away from tie-dye to a suit and tie, Argentina, Germany and Belgium have made some major meat-free breakthroughs in the political sphere. Argentina’s Casa Rosada, the nation’s presidential house, now only serves plant-based foods on Mondays, President Mauricio Macri, also participates. The German Environment Minister, Barbara Hendricks, has officially banned meat at all official functions in the name of environmental and sustainability issues. Not too far away, The Flemish Institute for Healthy Life in Belgium launched a revised food pyramid that focuses primarily on plant-based food sources, including tofu, to form part of a healthy diet, with pizza, cookies, soft drinks and bacon falling completely outside of the pyramid!
As we continue to celebrate these achievements, it’s also been an exciting year for Fry’s, having just won the Taste Innovation Award at the world’s biggest food show, Anuga FoodTec Trade Show 2017, and “BEST VEGAN MEAT” at Vegfest UK Awards 2017, Europe’s largest vegan festival. Both awards were given only a week apart!
Join the movement to end animal suffering, tackle climate change, and improve human health by switching to a plant-based diet.