A brief history of the vegan movement: this is how it all began
Ever catch yourself wondering how the vegan movement began? Read on to find out!
Ancient roots of veganism
To the surprise of many, veganism isn’t a recent phenomenon – its roots actually go back to the ancient times!
As early as 500 BCE, Pythagoras – a Greek mathematician and philosopher – started following what could be now described as a vegetarian diet and promoting benevolence among all species.
Around a similar time, Buddha was also discussing vegetarian diets with his followers. It may have not been a plant-based diet – but it was a good start!
Veganism in the modern day
View this post on Instagram
The countdown to #WorldVeganMonth is on! We'll be kicking off with #WorldVeganDay on November 1st. Make sure to tag us in your vegan themed celebrations! 🎉 🎉 How will you be marking the occasion? #vegan #vegancommunity #govegan
A post shared by The Vegan Society (@theoriginalvegansociety) on
The rise of the modern-day vegan movement began in November 1944, when six non-dairy vegetarian pioneers met to discuss non-dairy lifestyles and diets. Among those pioneers was Donald Watson, the founder of the Vegan Society.
He and the other pioneers actively found a new movement despite the fact they all lived in a dominantly meat-eating society.
What made them do it?
A reason we can all relate to – compassion for animals.
Donald Watson was an animal rights advocate and a committed pacifist who believed that no animals should be exploited in the production of food and other items – and his fellow pioneers shared these ideals.
The term “vegan” was coined by Donald Watson in 1944 – to describe people who were vegetarian but did not eat dairy and eggs. A few of the rejected terms were ‘dairyban’, ‘benevore’, and ‘vitan’.
Want to learn more about veganism? Find out about the health benefits of a vegan diet!