Annually celebrated on March 7th, Plant Power Day is grand to raise awareness of the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet, to not only your health but also the planet. Eating sustainably and embracing a plant-based diet could help restore the balance between humans and nature. For many years, human activity has been depleting the planet of its animal resources, from the inhumane living conditions and slaughter of farm animals, to overfishing, to global deforestation for cattle ranching.
Vegetarianism has been around since 1300 BC when the first accounts of a plant-based diet was recorded by the northern and western ancient Indus Valley civilization, a practice mainly adapted by Indian emperors and philosophers. Later to be taken on by prominent individuals in ancient Greece and Rome. The choice of lifestyle was practiced for health reasons, but also the transmigration of souls within the animals, as well as welfare and justice. Eventually, vegetarianism was adopted in the 19th century by Britain and the US, having professionals and other respected individuals advocate for this movement. Multiple books explaining vegetarianism were published in the 1830s, and the United Kingdom Vegetarian Society was established in 1840.
Later, in 1994, the ‘Vegan News’ was created when members of the UKVS refused requests of non-dairy vegetarian newsletters to be published under their name. This created and propelled the ‘veganism’ movement – since then many people have adopted the lifestyle and identify as ‘vegan,’ vegetarian,’ or other variations of ‘semi-vegetarian.’ In 2018, Plant Power Day was born when vegan food supplier Alpro and vegan-recipe media sensation BOSH! established the national holiday to encourage society to eat a more plant-based diet and understand the outstanding benefits.
Sustaining a plant-based diet can be intimidating, but with the correct research and guidance it can be way easier than many may think. Switching over does not have to happen all at once, that may cause doubt and frustration. Implementing small food groups at a time will have better outcomes, such as switching out dairy milk to a nut or oat alternative, adding more beans or legumes to daily meals, or even taking out certain meats like bacon or sausage from your breakfast. There are also hundreds of social media accounts, recipes websites and books, and other resources that can provide vegan or vegetarian recipes and information. These resources make creating a colorful meal super easy and exciting.
We can all celebrate Plant Power Day through a few options –
- Cook a plant-based meal OR go out to a vegan specific restaurant. Celebrating colorful, healthy, and delicious alternatives will open your mind to introducing these foods into your daily life.
- Advocate for sustainable living and eating, this is not only essential for the livelihood of animals and humans, but also the future of our planet. Encourage friends and family to try this diet, or lifestyle with you! Hold others accountable.
- Support animal-rights organizations, such as PETA, Surfrider, ASPCA, or the World Wildlife Fund. These organizations support the protection of international and domestic animals, from farm, to household, to marine life, to wild. The livelihood and respect of animals is just as important as peoples, getting involved is one of the first steps in making a contributing difference.