Test Your Vegan IQ!

Sunday, April 04, 2010 | 0 comments »

By DeLane McDuffie

The first time I met a vegan, to be honest, I didn't know what to say. Coming from the birthplace of American barbecue, meeting someone who actually didn't eat meat or even wear leather shoes felt sort of like finding a unicorn in your backyard or the Loch Ness monster in your bathtub. But unlike these imaginary (some will beg to differ) creatures, veganism is alive and well . . . and thriving. Answer the following questions about veganism.
  1. Which day is World Vegan Day? November 1st is World Vegan Day. So when you're snacking on leftover candy corn the day after Halloween, there are people in the world who are reaping the benefits from eating real corn.
  2. Who coined the term "vegan"? Donald Watson, a British vegetarian, became discontent with the vegetarian practice of consuming eggs and dairy. In 1944, he, along with Elsie Shirgley, decided to go their own way and spearhead a movement for people who didn't eat or use any animal products. This was the start of the Vegan Society. Watson created the word "vegan" by combining the first three letters and the last two letters of the word "vegetarian."
  3. What are two alternative forms of veganism? There are certain factions of vegans who partake in the Raw Food Diet (or raw veganism, which is eating only uncooked food) or the Fruitarian Diet (eating only raw fruits and seeds).
  4. What's the total percentage of vegans in the U.S.? According to a 2008 national poll conducted by the market research firm Harris Interactive, roughly 3.2 percent (7.3 million people) of U.S. adults are vegetarian, and approximately 0.5 percent (1 million people) of them are vegans.
  5. Which famous mathematician was the first to record the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle? It was Pythagoras of Samos. Yes, that Pythagoras of Pythagorean theorem fame. Along with math and the meatless diet, he taught his pupils to honor and respect animals and humankind alike, believing that humans and animals were equals and that no animal should ever be harmed.