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Eating your vegetables… Greens for goodness

An Irish organization celebrates the birth of awareness for an age-old alternative lifestyle.

Across the world, and throughout history, many different groups of people have sought ways to be healthier and live in harmony with their environment; the best known of these groups, perhaps, is the vegetarian movement.

Vegetarianism is the practise of following a plant-based diet, usually without the inclusion of eggs or dairy products, and always excluding meat (though some people who claim to be vegetarian still partake in fish and other seafood). Anything containing animal products is also generally avoided, often including processed snack foods like cookies, chocolate and certain kinds of crisps.

Vegetarianism is thought to have began around the 6th Century BC in several ancient Asian cultures, most notably India, and was originally based on religious reverence for animals and a desire for harmony with nature.

Since that time many modern-day groups have concluded that if people were to eat less red meat and other animal products they would live overall healthier lives. The first Vegetarian Society was founded in the UK in 1847 and since then an International Vegetarian Union has been established joining vegetarian support groups from all over the globe.

The movement involves so many people that it even has its own holiday. World Vegetarian Day is observed every year on October 1 and ushers in Vegetarian Awareness month for the duration of October.

To commemorate this celebration of alternative lifestyles, a group in Ireland will be holding its own event in honour of World Vegetarian Day.

The Vegetarian Society of Ireland is a charity, run entirely by volunteers, with the goals of promoting the positive aspects of vegetarian living in health, animal welfare and environmental terms, and spreading awareness of their ideals and what it takes to be a vegetarian.

The celebration will feature stalls focusing on vegetarian lifestyles as well as several guest speakers including nutritional therapist Eleanor Winters, sociologist Roger Yates and philosopher Paola Cavalieri.

The event will take place September 30 from 12 pm until 5 pm at the St. Andrews Resource Centre, 114 Pearse St., Dublin.

For more information, contact 014880250 or email vegday@vegeterian.ie.

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