Saturday, 31 October 2009

World Vegan Day is 1 November

Tomorrow is World Vegan Day, an opportunity for vegans and their friends to celebrate and promote veganism. World Vegan Day is every year on November 1st (since 1994).

Vegan farming can help to overcome world hunger by helping Global Food Security; help protect our fertile lands and fresh water reserves, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The Vegan Society are taking the message to food producers, decision makers and international development groups.

The Vegan Society recommends a highly varied diet including both cooked and raw foods as the proven basis for vegan health, particularly for infants. See Plant Based Nutrition and Health by Stephen Walsh. This and other books can be obtained from the Vegan Society, as can Liz Cook's useful and attractive nutrition wall chart.

Like any other form of diet, some vegan diets are more nutritionally complete than others. White bread, hydrogenated margarine and chips qualify as a vegan meal, but too many such meals will remove the usual benefit of a vegan diet in reducing risk of heart disease. Bananas are a healthful food in moderation, but anyone trying to live on bananas alone is headed for deficiency in about ten important nutrients.

The starting principle for health is to eat a wide variety of plant foods, including plenty of strongly coloured vegetables and fruits. Each food has different strengths, so the fewer foods you eat the less likely it is that all your needs will be met. Vegetables and fruits provide plenty of many vital vitamins and minerals along with a host of other beneficial plant chemicals. In general, the stronger the colour the better. Dark green leaves such as kale and spring greens leave white cabbage, iceberg lettuce and cucumber in the shade.

Over-processed foods that have lost much of their nutrient content or have been transformed into unnatural and harmful forms should be used sparingly, if at all. Hydrogenating vegetable oils is one of the worst forms of processing as it produces unnatural trans-fats which have an even worse effect than ordinary saturated fat in raising cholesterol and increasing heart disease risk. Hydrogenated fat is found in most fast foods, hard margarines, doughnuts and biscuits, and in some vegan sausages and burgers.

Post your events, and see how people are celebrating on our Events Page.

Contact the Vegan Society:
E-mail: info [at] vegansociety [dot] com or
Tel: 0121 523 1735/6 or 0845 458 8244.

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