Celebrate World Vegetarian Day

Whether you've practiced being a vegetarian for as long as you can remember or your goal is to transition to the lifestyle in the near future, you can celebrate World Vegetarian Day this year with a variety activities catering to those who adhere to a plant-based diet and abstain from eating red meat, poultry and seafood.

The history of World Vegetarian Day

World Vegetarian Day is celebrated on October 1 of each year and also serves as the kickoff of Vegetarian Awareness Month. The holiday was established in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society in an effort to raise awareness of the many benefits the vegetarian lifestyle offers to animals, the environment and human health. By promoting vegetarians, the holiday's founder hoped to enlighten others about the inhumane methods of slaughtering cows, pigs and chickens, and to encourage meat-eaters around the globe to considering converting to vegetarianism for both health and ethical reasons.

Ways to celebrate World Vegetarian Day

Spread the word. If you already consider yourself to be a vegetarian, one of the best ways to celebrate World Vegetarian Day is to educate those around you about the benefits of your chosen lifestyle. According to the North American Vegetarian Society, sticking to a meat-free diet can cut your exposure to food-borne pathogens; reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer; decrease the amount of greenhouses gases that accelerate the rate of global warming; and eliminate the pain and suffering of animals slaughtered in factory farms around the world. Take the opportunity on World Vegetarian Day to share the pros of a vegetarian diet with family and friends by printing this poster and passing it around to those you love.

Plant a vegetable garden. Once you've spread the world about World Vegetarian Day to your circle of friends and family members, it's time to get serious about celebrating your meatless lifestyle by planting some vegetables in your own back yard to eat throughout the year. From carrots and Brussels sprouts to spinach and peas, a wide array of vegetables is perfect for planting in October in celebration of World Vegetarian Day. Gather a group of your favorite vegetarian friends to help you get down and dirty digging in your garden or encourage your meat-eating friends to participate and show their support for your decision to avoid meat in your diet.

Create a vegetarian cookbook. To ensure you have plenty of tasty vegetarian meals planned to eat every day of the week, spend World Vegetarian Day compiling your favorite veggie-themed recipes and hunting for new ones. Purchase a package of recipe cards and hand-write your favorite meals before storing them in a decorative box on your counter top ,or type them on your computer and print them on colorful paper. Then have them laminated and bound to create a personalized book you can refer to whenever you crave a meat-free meal. For hundreds of vegetarian recipes to get you started, visit AllRecipes.com.

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