On the first of October each year, the world celebrates Vegetarian Day. October 1 as World Vegetarian Day was first adopted in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society as a way to promote the vegetarian lifestyle. "World Vegetarian Day was established as an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism," North American Vegetarian Society says.
World Vegetarian Day was eventually backed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. In fact, October is also celebrated as World Vegetarian Month that ends with World Vegan Day on November 1.
In an era when discussions about food choices are gaining momentum, World Vegetarian Day holds all the more significance as many people have started looking at the vegetarian way of life in terms of morality and the impact it could have on environment and economy.
"I am happy to be habituated to living in a way that minimizes the suffering of other living beings and is also good for the environment," Mohan, a Mumbai-based engineer who has adopted vegetarianism, told NDTV.
Since plant-based food is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, a vegetarian diet tends to keep a check on body cholesterol and blood pressure. Being low on saturated fats as well, a vegetarian diet is less likely to cause obesity.
Plant-based foods comprise of grains, fruits, vegetables and pulses which are packed with nutrition and are free from saturated fats. A plant-based diet, consisting of grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes, is also rich in dietary fiber, facilitating a normal functioning of the digestive system.
So on this World Vegetarian Day, keep that meaty snack aside and hog on the many vegetarian dishes that Indian cuisine can boast of.