Image by World Animal Protection. Black and white image of three pigs sleeping closely together in an outdoor paddock. Text reads: World Vegetarian Day.

World Vegetarian Day

Animal Awareness Days

The first of October is known worldwide as World Vegetarian Day.

On this day and during the month of October, vegetarians worldwide raise awareness and promote a vegetarian lifestyle.

What is World Vegetarian Day?

World Vegetarian Day was started in 1977 by the North American Vegetarian Society and became endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union the following year. 

This day was created to promote the compassion and joy associated with a vegetarian lifestyle. It is also used to inform others of the vegetarian lifestyle's benefits for both humans and animals. 

When is World Vegetarian Day?

World Vegetarian Day falls on October first of every year. It also kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month which ends on the first of November.

How can you celebrate World Vegetarian Day?

There are a variety of ways in which World Vegetarian Day is celebrated. While you can find festivals and other events to attend, many people celebrate Vegetarian Day by doing the following

  • Bringing vegetarian food to work or school to share with others
  • Wearing clothing with an informative vegetarian message
  • Hosting vegetarian dinners for friends and family
  • Host screenings of vegetarian-related documentaries for friends and family
  • Giving educational presentations at schools
  • Placing ads in local newspapers and other local publications to spread awareness
  • Asking local hospitality businesses to only offer vegetarian menus for the day in observance

The World Vegetarian Day website has many ideas for other things that you can do to celebrate the day, as well as a huge array of outreach materials to help you spread the message.

The benefits of World Vegetarian Day

There are tons of benefits of World Vegetarian Day for both humans and animals. These benefits include:

  • Mitigate climate change, as reducing your meat consumption will challenge food systems and discourage the use of factory farming.
  • Improve health as studies have shown that increasing your intake of plant-based proteins can reduce cancer rates and heart disease, as well as increase lifespan. 
  • Spreading awareness for the animals living in factory-farm conditions which is typically associated with poor living conditions and abuse.
  • Helping the environment, as plant-based diets leave a much smaller footprint compared to animal agriculture. 
  • Encouraging a solution to world hunger by prioritising vegetarian diets everywhere, leading to produce and grain crops being used much more efficiently.

Sign Up Now

Thank you for signing up to our mailing list.

By submitting this form, I agree to receive further communications from World Animal Protection and understand I can opt out at any time. For information on how we use your details, and how we keep your details safe, please read our privacy policy.

By submitting this form, I agree to receive further communications from World Animal Protection and understand I can opt out at any time. For information on how we use your details, and how we keep your details safe, please read our privacy policy.

World Vegetarian Day FAQs

What does being a vegetarian mean?

Being a vegetarian means living off a diet excluding animal meat and seafood. However, there are several variations of vegetarianism. For example, some people may choose to be pescatarian, meaning the only animals they eat are fish.

What exactly can vegetarians eat?

Vegetarians can enjoy a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, tofu, nuts, pasta, beans, grains, desserts, and even animal products such as honey, milk, and cheese.

Depending on where you are in the world, the idea of meatless meals could feel daunting. However, there are many meals you can enjoy that do not include animal meat.

Why do people become vegetarians?

People become vegetarians for many reasons. However, the most common reasons include animal welfare, enhancing their overall health, and certain religious beliefs.

How do vegetarians differ from vegans?

Whilst vegetarians exclude animal meat from their diets, vegans differ by excluding all animal products. Vegetarians typically still include dairy foods in their diets, such as milk, cheese, and cream, whereas vegans will consume plant-based alternatives instead.

Those who follow a vegan lifestyle may even exclude using all animal products, such as wearing clothing made from animals like wool, leather, and silk.

Can the world survive without meat?

Consuming a plant-based vegetarian diet will provide the nutrients and vitamins needed to sustain a healthy and active lifestyle. Reducing your intake of animal-based proteins and switching to plant-based foods will improve your own health and the health and well-being of your community.

The real challenge is to change the perception of farmed animals globally. Every farmed animal is an individual with the ability to feel emotions, and the factory farming industry causes billions of animals to suffer every year.

In addition to the suffering of 80 billion land animals annually, factory farming has catastrophic impacts on the world. Habitat loss due to animal agriculture is the single largest threat to the world's biodiversity, with 80% of global land use being used for animal agriculture.

The more we exploit and consume animals, the more we will damage our planet.

Infographic treating pigs better

Infographic: Why we need to stop treating pigs like dirt

Related content

Solutions to climate change include reducing meat consumption


Our food system is now coming under the spotlight in the race to find solutions to climate change. Governments must stop overlooking the rapidly escalating toll that factory farming is taking on our planet.

Jacqueline Mills

Do you think that I'm thinking?


Have you ever considered the pain and suffering that pigs go through? Take a moment to meet a sow, living in a factory farm environment.

No Future for Factory farming

Food systems

Factory farming is a global problem, that requires a global solution. A moratorium on factory farms is urgently needed to safeguard animals, our climate, health and the environment.