Like every year, the 1st of November the whole world celebrates the World Vegan Day, part of the Vegan Month. For this occasion, we celebrate the anniversary of the coining of the word “vegan” and the foundation of The Vegan Society, that was established in the UK in 1944 by Donald Watson (1910-2005), after Vegetarian Society (the most ancient vegetarian association in the world, established in 1847 in the UK) refused to exclude dairy products from the vegetarian diet.
With the word “vegan”, we now mean a real philosophy and lifestyle, that includes those who, in order to contribute to the safeguard of the environment and the health, completely refuse to consume meat, fish, milk, dairy products, eggs, honey and, in general, any animal sourced product. Those people follow a lifestyle that refuses the use of products that might come from sufferance and threatening of animals, for example wool, silk and cosmetic products.
The origin of vegetarianism come, anyway, from the VI century b.C., with the growth of the first religious movements. In Asia, the main philosophic and religious disciplines where the culture of a meat free diet tarted establishing were Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Jansenism, Buddhism and Taoism, while in the eastern countries the Greek culture was the first and main one to approach to the vegetarian philosophy. Pitagora itself, used to forbid its disciples to eat meat (until the XIX century people who didn’t eat meat were in fact called “pitagorics”). Also the Greek philosopher Plutarch, in its book About Eating Meat, reproaches people who murder calm and peaceful animals to prepare and serve food.
In India, the roots of vegetarianism come from the basic fundaments of Hinduism and Buddhism themselves. The base is the “ahmisa”, which is the theory of non-violence. Contrary to our ancient farmer societies, where eating meat was a privilege for rich people, in India the lower social classes are the ones to consume meat and vegetarianism is a vehicle to grow on the social scale.
Nowadays, vegetarians are, from 0,6% in 2014, more or less 1% of the population: a percentage that is growing day by day thanks the conscious choice that many people take for ethical or healthy reasons. Being vegan nevertheless might be, in many cases, hard, and for this reason many companies, like Probios, choose to set up their offer to answer to the needs of the vegan consumers, offering them a wide range of organic products, from savory to sweet one, such as the GOVegan range.
Moreover, in 2011 Karen Klein, Tomas Klein and Peter Haunert decided to establish the Veggie Hotels project, that since 2015 has also become a website (Vegan Welcome). The project is about the first international vegan and vegetarian hotel and bed&breakfast chain, that now counts about 500 locations all over the world and that is opening the doors to a more ethical type of tourism, inspired to principles like sustainability and reduced environmental impact, starting from the materials used for the furniture and decorations to the energetic sources used.