World Vegetarian Day is commemorated every year on October 1st. Around 10% of the world's population is vegetarian, and more people are making changes in their lifestyles to be more sustainable and healthy and eat less meat.
October 1st, World Vegetarian Day, is also the first day of Vegetarian Awareness Month, which ends with World Vegan Day on November 1st.
World Vegetarian Day was founded in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society, with the intent to raise awareness about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle among non-vegetarians.
A year later, in 1978, the International Vegetarian Union voiced its support for the observance and endorsed it. Vegetarianism has several health, economic, ethical, and environmental benefits, and this day aims to promote them around the globe and encourage more people to lower their meat consumption.
It is estimated that one in ten people is a vegetarian. People have different reasons to become vegetarians, some do it out of concern for the killing and treatment of animals that are raised to be consumed, and others do it for health reasons.
Even just reducing your meat consumption to once a week can have major benefits for your health. When you're choosing to eat healthier foods rather than meat your body gains all the more important nutrients such as magnesium, good fats, fiber, folic acid, and vitamins, that meat just doesn't provide.
At the same time, if people in the United States reduced their meat consumption to once a week, around 1.5 billion animals would be saved. Environmentally, it helps in conserving fossil fuels.
What to do on World Vegetarian Day
If you're not a vegetarian, this is the perfect day to look more into the lifestyle and try it out for the day. Challenge yourself to not eat meat for the day, and try vegetarian restaurants in your area that look interesting, so that you can see how delicious vegetarian meals can be. If you decide to try to become a vegetarian, there are many resources online with steps to make the transition easier.
If you are vegetarian, try to diversify your food so you're not always eating the same thing. There are so many vegetarian recipes around now, experiment with different ones.
You can also try to shop more sustainably and ditch the supermarket for smaller, family-owned grocery stores, and farmers' markets.