World celebrations a chance to educate

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October kicks off two months of animal-friendly celebrations

Oct. 1 kicks off two months of animal-friendly celebrations, making it an opportune time to spread the word in local communities about veg living and animal rights.

Here are a few dates to observe:

World Vegetarian Day, Oct. 1, is the annual start to World Vegetarian Awareness Month. It was founded by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. Visit worldvegetarianday.org.

World Day for Farmed Animals, Oct. 2, was launched by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) in 1983 to expose the suffering of animals used for food. The day honors the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Visit dayforanimals.org.

World Animal Day, Oct. 4, originated in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, who wanted to highlight the plight of endangered species. Oct. 4 was the chosen day because it is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Visit worldanimalday.org.uk.

World Vegan Day, Nov. 1, is the annual start to World Vegan Month. It was established in 1994 by British animal activist and vegan Louise Wallis, then president of the Vegan Society, to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Kingdom organization. Visit vegansociety.com.

There are a number of ways to locally honor these global occasions:

  • Host an event, such as a vegan potluck or film screening.
  • Leaflet or set up an information table at a high-traffic public place. Booklets and other literature are available from many major animal protection and pro-veg organizations.
  • Write a letter to the editor or place an ad in a local publication.
  • Encourage restaurants and stores to highlight veg-friendly items.
  • Give an educational presentation to a local group.
  • Share the occasion online and in-person with friends and family.
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