World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated by vegans around the world every 1 November. The benefits of veganism for humans, non-human animals, and the natural environment are celebrated through activities such as setting up stalls, hosting potlucks, and planting memorial trees. The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms “vegan” and “veganism”. Speaking in 2011, Louise Wallis said: “We knew the Society had been founded in November 1944 but didn’t know the exact date, so I decided to go for 1 November, partly because I liked the idea of this date coinciding with Samhain/Halloween and the Day of the Dead – traditional times for feasting and celebration, both apt and auspicious.
Along with celebrating the start of the Vegan Society, Vegan Day is an opportunity to promote the benefits of a vegan diet and veganism in general. The term Vegan was coined by Donald Watson and derived from the word Vegetarian. At that time, the differentiation was that Vegans did not consume dairy products. Later this extended to eggs, and by 1951, veganism had become a movement of people who did not partake in the exploitation of animals.
Each year there are a number of festivals and exhibitions held around the world by vegan societies. In addition, there are many local events, talks and cooking demonstrations organised by individuals.Agency