National Vegetarian Week is a flagship campaign by the Vegetarian Society held annually in May that is dedicated to encouraging people to try and go “veggie” for a week
According to the International Panel for Climate Change, going vegetarian is one of the best things to help our planet. As companies such as Linda McCartney and Cauldron bring out new products to celebrate the release, many are trying out veggie meals and snacks for the first time.
The rise in demand for vegetarian options at restaurants, pubs, and supermarkets, as well as the rise in vegan options, has made National Vegetarian Week a popular event to promote vegetarianism and the benefits for your health and the climate that it can provide.
But what is a vegetarian?
A vegetarian – colloquially known as a “veggie” – is a person that doesn’t eat any meat products, including meat, fish, poultry, or any fats from animals. Veganism is one step further – refraining from eating eggs, dairy, or honey – but both aim to decrease the number of products they’re consuming which have been involved in the process of slaughter. There are a variety of different reasons for switching to vegetarianism – such as animal cruelty, climate change, finances, or for dietary reasons – and, often, the switch involves a combination of reasons.
Why is world vegetarian day celebrated?
World Vegetarian Day is another day to have in your calendar if you’re thinking of switching over to vegetarianism or involved in the lifestyle. On the 1st October, to kick off Vegetarian Awareness Month, the day is used to emphasise the benefits of going veggie, from a personal standpoint, and a more global one, too.
Top tips for becoming a vegetarian:
So, if you’re looking to try veggie week or you’re thinking of going vegetarian full time – how do you start?
- Go at your own pace. If you’re not used to eating plant-based food, it’s best to start off slowly. Many people try Meat-free Mondays to ease themselves in. Going gently is the best way to see what works for you – some people will stay Pescatarian, for example, whilst others will transition to completely meat-free.
- Meal Plan. Meal-planning is the best way to make sure that you don’t need to grab lunch somewhere which doesn’t end up having any veggie options, or that you’re having the same dish over and over again, which can make you think cutting out meat is boring and difficult.
- Try something new. If you have never tried a meat substitute before, it can be difficult to know what to do with it. Experimenting with substitutes and ingredients and trying new fruits and vegetables is one way to find which ones are suitable for you and your household. Plant-based food is also a great way of trying new spices and getting out of your comfort zone.
Veggie dishes to try:
Often, many veggie recipes are also vegan, and there are plenty of different ways to substitute other possible allergen content such as gluten. Platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok have thousands of food bloggers dedicated to showing you great recipes which can fit into whatever compartment you need them to – whether you need meals that are good value for money, vegetarian, vegan, or low FODMAP.
Searching hashtags such as #vegetarian #vegan #meatlessmondays are a guaranteed way of finding veggie food dishes that work for you.
Whilst most of the advocacy around the week revolves around educating schools and children on all the benefits of being veggie and introducing more meat-free foods into their diets, it is encouraging adults and children alike to go vegetarian for the whole week.
If you’re looking to take part in National Vegetarian Week, why not buy from a local grocer, or host a vegetarian dinner party? There are countless ways to begin your journey to vegetarianism, and with so many new vegetarian products to enjoy – it can even be fun.