Plant Power Day is celebrated every March 7 to raise awareness about the benefits of sustainable eating and encourage everyone to embrace plant-based diets. Did you know Plant Power Day was launched by Alpro and BOSH!? Plant-based diets have different meanings depending on the individual. A plant-based diet may be entirely vegan — no animal-derived products — consisting mainly of plant foods, or is made up of whole plant foods that are minimally processed. While a plant-based diet has been an option for many people for ages, it’s not until recently that it gained mainstream attention with people embracing it as a lifestyle.
History of Plant Power Day
The history of plant-based diets is interwoven with veganism, which is itself derived from vegetarianism. The earliest evidence of vegetarianism appeared in 3300 to 1300 B.C. in the northern and western ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It was a lifestyle mainly practiced by Indian emperors and philosophers, including Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Mahavira, and Acharya Kundakunda. Vegetarianism was also practiced in ancient Greece and Rome by prominent individuals such as Seneca the Younger, Ovid, Plutarch, and Empedocles.
They argued this choice of lifestyle was due to health, the transmigration of souls, and animal welfare and justice. The Arab poet, all-Ma’arri, was one of the earliest known vegans. In the 19th century, vegetarianism became a widely accepted movement in Britain and the United States. Professionals that were self-identified vegetarians raised awareness of the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle through their works.
That includes the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley in his 1813 book, “A Vindication of Natural Diet,” the physician William Lambe, and Sylvester Graham — he developed the meatless ‘Graham diet’ that was hugely popular in the 1830s in the United States. Several vegetarian communities and societies were established around this time. The United Kingdom Vegetarian Society, established in the 1840s, was one of those societies.
Several members requested for a section of the Vegetarian Society’s newsletter to be dedicated to non-dairy vegetarianism in 1994. When the Vegetarian Society refused the request, the secretary of the Leicester branch, Donald Watson, started a newsletter called “The Vegan News” in November of that year. That led to the establishment of the Vegan Society and the vegan movement — ‘veganism’. The movement received a large following from individuals who eat mainly plant produce and desist animal exploitations.
In 1980, T. Colin Campbell coined the term ‘plant-based diet’. The term refers to a diet that is low fat, high fiber, and consists primarily of vegetables, focusing on health and not ethics. The term has since been used in various works to mean ‘veganism’, ‘vegetarianism’, and ‘semi-vegetarianism’. In 2018, the European company Alpro, and vegan recipe website, BOSH!, established Plant Power Day to encourage people to eat a more vegetable-based diet and plant-based foods.
Plant Power Day timeline
The earliest evidence of vegetarianism is in the Indus Valley Civilization, which philosophers and emperors practice.
Donald Watson and Dorothy Morgan invent the word ‘vegan’ and use it as the name of their new quarterly newsletter.
T. Colin Campbell invents the term ‘plant-based diet’ to present his research on a diet at the National Institutes of Health.
Alpro collaborates with BOSH! to launch Plant Power Day.
Plant Power Day FAQs
What food can you eat on a plant-based diet?
The main foods included in a plant-based diet are fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes, tofu, seeds, bread, and plant-based milk. You may choose to eat animal products, but it has to be in small quantities.
What are the negatives of a plant-based diet?
The main negative of a plant-based diet is the absence of some nutrients in plant products, including calcium, iron, and vitamin B12. Also, a plant-based diet requires meal planning and preparation.
Where can you get the best plant-based meals?
You can get great plant-based meals at the best vegan or vegetarian restaurants in the country. In the U.S., that includes Elizabeth’s Gone Raw, Crossroads Kitchen, and Gracias Madre.
How to Celebrate Plant Power Day
Cook a plant-based meal
Cooking is definitely the best way to celebrate Plant Power Day. There are numerous cookbooks and recipes you can try your hand at if you’re new to a plant-based diet. If you want the familiar, you can try swapping some of your regular meals with plant-based substitutes. Watch cooking channels to get inspired.
Advocate for sustainable living
Having everyone embracing sustainable living is essential not only to general wellbeing but also to the survival of plants, animals, and the planet. You can advocate by using your social media platforms if you have a good following, writing articles on sustainable living, encouraging your friends and family to take up that lifestyle, or volunteering for relevant organizations.
Go out for plant-based meals
You don’t think you can put together a tasty plant-based dish? Well, that’s why we have restaurants! Vegan and vegetarian restaurants pop up every year, which means there may be one in your area. Search the internet or look up vegan or vegetarian restaurants on ‘Yelp.’ For the best experience, go with a friend or family member that enjoys plant-based meals.
5 Interesting Facts About Vegetarianism
Most return to meat within a year
A U.S. Humane Research Council study revealed that about 84% of vegetarians go back to eating meat less than a year after taking up the vegetarian lifestyle.
Vegans hate vegetarians more than non-vegetarians
Vegans believe vegetarians are ruining their anti-meat campaign, which makes them less tolerant of vegetarians than non-vegetarians.
Vegetarians can eat meat
Vegetarian is a general term for anyone who chooses to eat a mostly plant-based diet, which doesn’t restrict them from eating meat, unlike vegans.
Vegetarians are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency
Vegetarians that eat a plant-based diet without meat are likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, as the vitamin is only present in meat, fish, and dairy products.
Fruitarians are radical vegetarians
Fruitarians are vegetarians who eat only nuts, seeds, and fruits, which can be dangerous to their health.
Why We Love Plant Power Day
A plant-powered diet is healthy
A plant-based diet is generally viewed as a healthy and sustainable way of eating. Research has shown that eating a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, and vegetables helps improve heart health, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity, and eliminate the need for medications.
Plant-based foods are good for the environment
Aside from being the second-highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, livestock rearing is the primary cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution. Consuming a plant-based diet can help reduce the negative impacts of livestock rearing, combat climate change, and create a more sustainable world.
A plant-powered diet contributes to animal welfare
Embracing a plant-based diet reduces the demand for animal products, consequently decreasing animal suffering and cruelty on factory farms and helping to save endangered species.
Plant Power Day dates