It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.Albert Einstein
A lot of people in the world tend to believe that there is no reason that mankind should go on eating animals. And, along with that belief, there exist plenty of valid arguments to support this stance. Hug a Vegetarian Day begins by helping people to learn what living a vegetarian lifestyle is all about.
Both the environment and the personal health of the human body can reap great benefits from excluding meat and animal products from most people’s diets and living on all plant-derived food. Additionally, there tends to be a great deal of cruelty in today’s meat industry and this amount of suffering could easily be alleviated if more people would commit to avoid eating meat.
Hug A Vegetarian Day honors those who have taken this step to live a cruelty-free, earth-friendly life by removing meat from their regular diet.
It’s the perfect day to Hug a Vegetarian!
History of Hug A Vegetarian Day
The history of Hug a Vegetarian Day is tied to the history of PETA, the organization that founded the day. For people who are not aware, PETA means “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” and dates back to 1949 when it was begun by Ingrid Newkirk.
After some negative experiences working in an animal shelter, Ingrid Newkirk became abhorred at the treatment of the animals there and started speaking out about it. Her next step was to start the organization, PETA, in the United States. First it was located in Rockville, Maryland in 1980, until it moved just 16 years later to Norfolk, Virginia. From there it has grown and become a very well-known symbol for the fight against cruelty to animals.
Hug A Vegetarian Day was established by PETA to show recognition and appreciation for those that have made the often difficult transition to a meat-free and animal-product free lifestyle.
Being a vegetarian isn’t always easy. In many cases, the food options tend to be limited at restaurants, and sometimes there even seems to be a strange social hostility against those who choose to not consume animals. Since vegetarianism first started becoming a popular dietary move for some people, there have been a lot of vegetarian options entering the market. Today it is relatively easy to find an alternative to anything left behind in the transition.
So today is the day to give these brave souls a hug! Recognizing the difficulties they sometimes face in their race to save our animal friends, it’s time to acknowledge and thank them for the animal lives they save and the way their diets help to protect the environment of the planet.
How to Celebrate Hug A Vegetarian Day
Hug a Vegetarian
First on the agenda, those who have a friend or family member who is a vegetarian should hug them! They’re doing a good thing for the earth and for the animals.
Why not also ask them about it and see what ways it’s possible to provide them with support? Or, better yet, take them out to lunch at a vegetarian restaurant to show them how much they are appreciated and they can talk about it over the meal.
Eat Vegetarian Meals on This Day
For those who aren’t ready to commit to the full lifestyle of becoming a vegetarian, it’s still possible to enjoy this one day by seeing what it’s like. Take the meat off the table and see what happens! Plan three meals for this day that avoid eating meat. Or, to go vegan (which is even healthier), remove any dairy, eggs, or other foods that might contain animal byproducts.
Really, for many people, not eating meat isn’t as hard as it might seem. Just be sure to replace that meat with protein from other sources, such as beans, legumes, soy, grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and more.
Watch a Vegetarian Documentary
For people who want to educate themselves about this important issue, a documentary might be just the thing to get on board. Try out these documentaries for more information and understanding:
- Cowspiracy:The Sustainability Secret (2014). This film uncovers hidden facts related to the animal agriculture industry, its connection to the destruction of the climate, and what can be done about it.
- Earthlings (2005). Hosted by American actor, Joaquin Phoenix, this doc reveals the underlying economic benefits and dependence that humans have on animals, as well as some graphic information about the way these animals are poorly treated. Ellen Degeneres’ viewing of this film turned her into a vegetarian.
- Forks Over Knives (2011). Offering verifiable information and results of studies around the health benefits of a plant based diet, this film was reported to have made a vegan out of famous British personality, Russell Brand.
- Game Changers (2018). Having less to do with saving the earth and more to do with health benefits, this equally convincing documentary was put out by a whole host of famous names, including Arnold Swarzennegger, Chris Paul, James Cameron, Jackie Chan and more. It offers input from medical professionals and athletes about their changed understanding of food.
Sponsor a Vegetarian with a Pledge
PETA sponsors a hug pledge program, where you can sponsor with a pledge to give hugs to all the Vegans and Vegetarians you meet. You could always start there, or just go out and hug the vegetarians and vegans you know and thank them for living a cruelty-free life and honoring our fellow animals rather than consuming them.