1 November 2010, 13:31

World Vegan Day

World Vegan Day
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November 1st marks World Vegan Day, celebrated by vegans around the world. Vegans don’t eat animals or animal products. Today veganism followers in Russia are holding festive gatherings to accentuate the need to protect animal rights. Vegans are the most stringent of vegetarians, frowning on any animal food, including meat, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products and even honey.

November 1st marks World Vegan Day, celebrated by vegans around the world. Vegans don’t eat animals or animal products. Today veganism followers in Russia are holding festive gatherings to accentuate the need to protect animal rights.

Vegans are the most stringent of vegetarians, frowning on any animal food, including meat, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products and even honey. Vegans never wear fur or leather coats and fiercely oppose killing animals or using them in experiments or shows. Irina Novozhilova, the president of the Moscow-based Center for the Protection of Animal Rights, comments.

The vegan philosophy requires its followers to lead a normal, healthy life, without inflicting suffering on anyone around, the expert says. To do so is not as challenging as it seems, particularly amid such a variety of food stuffs, which comprise at least seven thousand and at most 28 thousand kinds of edible plants. The selection is huge, and you can substitute animal proteins with vegetable proteins. I’ve been a vegan for 21 years and I’m feeling fine.

The vegan movement was officially registered several decades ago but in fact, started much earlier. The first followers of “humane nutrition” appeared in Russia in the middle of the 19th century. Leo Tolstoy was the most famous of them, even though he practiced veganism out of considerations of morality rather than animal rights protection. It was under the influence of Tolstoy’s unobtrusive philosophy that the British public leader Donald Watson coined the term “vegan” and founded the world’s first Vegan Society in 1944. The word “vegan” was formed from the first three and two last letters of the word “vegetarian”. World Vegan Day was first introduced on November 1st 1994.

Lyudmila Darienko from Russia is 26. As a child she loved animals and that inspired her to take up non-violence philosophy. Today, she works at Russia’s only vegan fast food eatery “Loving Hut”.

The first vegan fast food restaurant opened in Taiwan a few years ago, she says. Now, there are more than 200 vegan restaurants worldwide. The first vegan fast food eatery in Moscow opened on October 1st and we hope to open our own restaurant in December. All dishes are cooked using high-quality vegetable products, without any genetically modified additives, flavors or animal ingredients. There are no alcoholic drinks on the menu and visitors are not allowed to smoke. Among our visitors are vegans from Moscow and from other cities of Russia.

An ever greater number of people worldwide choose to go humane. Vegans whose names ring more than a familiar bell with many include Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Portman, Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Bryan Adams, Prince, Benjamin Spock, Slovenia’s late Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek and even “bloodthirsty” Mike Tyson.  In a word, join the club!

   

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