World Vegan Day 2017
1st November each year, marks the start of Vegan month.
World Vegan Day is celebrated all over the world, in many different ways, from a simple birthday party to a full vegan festival with exhibitions of vegan food and products, talks on nutrition and cooking demonstrations.
Veganism is practised both as a diet (to abstain from all food items using animal products) as well as a philosophy (which rejects the commodity status of animals). One who practises either of the two is said to be a vegan. Though the concept has been around for quite a while, the structured observance of the World Vegan Day started much later, but has since picked up traction across the world. Some countries and societies even celebrate World Vegan Month, all November.
Observance of the day and month involve seminars and workshops that result in not only the congregation of vegans, but also those interested in the philosophy. Many restaurants and eateries create special menus for the occasion, while public figures contribute by spreading more awareness on the practice and benefits of veganism – on the environment, for animal protection as well as individual health.
Veganism, for all it embodies and represents, is not a common or popular lifestyle choice in Nigeria.
At the most elementary level, a lot of Nigerians are not aware of the differences between being a vegetarian and being a vegan, speak less of the philosophies behind veganism which extend beyond an individual’s decision to lead a healthier life for themselves to having the interests of animals and the environment at heart, amongst other personal and ethical reasons.
In a country such as Nigeria, however, top on the list of reasons to understand more about veganism would be our record of poor diet practices. Despite having a wealth of healthy food options to choose from, the sixth cause of death in Nigeria is protein-energy malnutrition.
Being a vegan might sound unappealing to a lot of Nigerians because first and foremost giving up meat of any kind seems uncontemplatable, yet more people around the world are finding that opting for this choice is more important for most than maintaining their carnivore status.
There are so many unique reasons someone might choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle. When thinking about transitioning to veganism it’s important to ponder your morals and the reasons why this lifestyle speaks to you. A big lifestyle change is easier to sustain if you wholeheartedly believe in your decision. Think about the standards you hold yourself accountable to, and what guides you as you decide what is right and what is wrong.
A vegan diet can be one of the healthiest ways to live. Plant-based diets should contain plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Because vegan diets often rely heavily on these healthy staples, they tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. Healthy vegan diets are abundant with vitamins B1, C, and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.