As members of a whole food, plant-based community, we all understand just how much perseverance and dedication it can sometimes take to follow a plant-based diet.
It requires educating ourselves, planning, organizing, and being creative.
One thing is for sure.
Whether you are vegetarian, vegan or plant-based eater, we all find ourselves at different places in our journey. While the ultimate goal is to eat as healthfully as possible, our paths are never exactly the same.
So today I would love to virtually embrace the vegetarians amongst us in honor of Hug a Vegetarian Day this September 24th.
What Exactly IS Vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism is a diet that excludes any type of meat (e.g. beef, poultry, and seafood). There is not necessarily an emphasis on whole and/or minimally processed plant foods, and animal by-products (like eggs and dairy) may be accepted.
Despite the fact that I now follow a whole food, plant-based lifestyle (no eggs or cheese please!), I was a vegetarian myself for a long time.
Consuming a vegetarian diet brings many health benefits, and vegetarianism is a great step in the journey to becoming 100 percent plant-based.
And since we have written about vegetarianism before, you may want to refresh your memory or learn 10 surprising facts about vegetarians.
Did You Know…?
Being vegetarian is good for your physical health.
But it also helps the planet.
For example, by eating just one plant-based meal per day instead of meat, you could save 2.5 pounds of carbon output, 133 gallons of water, and 24 square feet of land.
And one plant-based person can spare the lives of up to 100 animals in a single year.
To find out how your diet can affect the planet check out our article Eat Like You Care – How Your Diet Affects More Than Just You.
So, How Can You Celebrate Hug a Vegetarian Day?
Here are some ideas:
- Food, of course, should be the centerpiece of Hug a Vegetarian Day. From salads to delicious casseroles, baked goods, and soups, you almost have too many choices!
- Share your favorite vegetarian or vegan dish with a non-veggie neighbor. You might win them over, or at least add a few more plants to their weekly menu.
- Hug a Vegetarian Day is also a good time to start planning your spring garden for next year. You could make arrangements to set up your own plot, start a neighborhood garden, or take a class at a local library about good plants to grow in your state or region.
So hug a vegetarian on September 24th, and while you are at it, try our recipe for Plant-Based Radicchio Salad. It is simple to make and also celebrates how delicious fruits and vegetables are when you make them the star of your diet.
You will never look at radicchio the same way again!