Sunday, August 30, 2009

Donald Watson: The Vegan World's Gandhi!

Unless you were vegan, you probably would have never heard of the name Donald Watson. I'm sure the name doesn't jump out at a lot of vegans either. In 1944, this is the man that created the Vegan Society in Britain and coined the term vegan by taking the first three and the last two letters of the word vegetarian.
Born on September 2, 1910, Watson became a vegetarian at the age of 14 because he became 'friends' with the animals on the family farm and realized that slaughtering these beings for food was simply barbaric.
In the 1940's Watson became vegan and in November of 1944 was instrumental in starting The Vegan Society. When approached much later about what date would be appropriate for World Vegan Day, he turned down the idea that it should be on his birthday. His logic was that he wasn't a vegan from birth and by no means did he singularly start the movement. Instead, he told them to celebrate the birth of The Vegan Society. He couldn't give the exact date but said it was sometime in November. Since 1994, World Vegan Day is celebrated around the world on or near November 1.
Watson lived to the ripe old age of 95 and attributed his longevity to his diet and having never taken medicine.
More information about Donald Watson can be found at these sites:
Toronto Vegetarian Association
Visit The Vegan Society's official site here.

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