October 1st is World Vegetarian Day. This day kicks off a month-long celebration of the vegetarian diet and all the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits that come with it.
World Vegetarian Day was established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. Its purpose is to highlight and celebrate the diet choice, the people who choose to adhere to it, the benefits it brings, and the compassion it demonstrates.
There are many reasons to commit to an animal-free diet, or at least give it a try. For one, deciding not to eat animal products reduces animal farming, saving countless animals. According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an estimated 9 billion animals are raised and killed for food every year. By decreasing the number of animals raised for food, we reduce the deforestation that occurs to make room for animal grazing. Changing our diet can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which helps save the environment and slows climate change. Click here to learn more about the effects of a vegan diet on the environment.
In addition to moral and environmental reasons, you may also enjoy the health benefits – according to a 2019 Gallup telephone poll with U.S. adults, health is one of the most important reasons people exclude animal products from their diet. According to the National Cancer Institute, consuming red meat in large quantities may increase your risk for cancer. An Oxford University study found that eating meat could also increase the risk of becoming affected by nine other non-cancerous illnesses, including diabetes and pneumonia.
And if you’ve chosen this diet for yourself, or you’re considering it… maybe it’s time to get your dog on the bandwagon too? Your four-legged friend could also enjoy better health thanks to an animal-free diet. In fact, research by Dr. Andrew Knight has shown that dogs kept on a plant-based diet may be healthier than those fed a traditional or raw meat diet. A study performed by scientists at the University of Guelph and published in the journal Research in Veterinary Science found that a vegan diet could extend your pup’s expected lifespan by up to 18 months. You can read more here about how a plant-based diet can affect your dog’s health.
If you are already vegan or vegetarian, this celebration will hopefully encourage you to keep it up and to make the switch for your furry friend as well. If you’re still on the fence but curious about the lifestyle choice, it could be the push you need to finally go for it! Either way, we hope you and your pup enjoy and celebrate World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarianism Awareness Month together by munching on some delicious, animal-free grub! When you’re ready to introduce your dog to plant-based food, PawCo is here, awaiting your order of the world’s first plant-based meat meals for dogs.