Do you celebrate World Vegan Day on 1 November?
Did you know that the first day of November is celebrated each year as the birth of
the UK’s Vegan Society at the Attic Club in London in November 1944? It was in
November that the group issued its first hand-typed quarterly newsletter, Vegan
News — the word ‘vegan’ having been suggested by group member Dorothy Watson, wife of the newsletter’s creator, Donald Watson. Dorothy thought his word ‘non-dairy vegetarians’ was a bit cumbersome as a name for their group.
But, in true generous vegan style, the Watsons credit fellow founding society members, the Hendersons, for using the word ‘vega’ or ‘vegan’ in their self-penned cookbooks at the time, and also The Vega restaurant established in Soho from 1934. During the war and post-war years of rationing, members lobbied for more equitable rations for vegans, and they also had to make their own plant-based milk from nuts.
In Australia, of course, our First Nations population often consumed a mainly plant-
based diet of native delicacies — up to as much as 90 per cent plant-based according to one researcher. As a vegan myself, and seeing the movement being founded by volunteers on a basis of health and mindfulness, I often think that vegan principles can also be applied to other aspects of life, including business.
For example, by focusing on these 10 simple standards, based on vegan ideas, you could hone in on improvements to parts of your business.
1. Know your purpose and be mindful about your choices.
2. Be clear about your messaging and communication with your customers, and your teams.
3. Grassroots developments are crucial, so try to use suppliers in your local area.
4. Focus on your business health and wellbeing, but also on compassion — make
sure your business does not inadvertently support any industry that exploits animals. You could also donate to charitable animal protection causes.
5. Compassion extends to humans too. So, make sure your business policies on
anti-slavery and child labour are up to speed.
6. Think environmentally friendly, sustainability, and best use of all your resources
and waste products.
7. How’s your transparency? As a vegan, you’d like to know what your food source
is, and it’s the same for your clients: be open and upfront about your supply chain,
your ingredients, product sources.
8. Sometimes, when the right choices are not available, it means doing without. So,
saying ‘no’ to that triple choc slice with cream — or a tempting business partnership — can often be a good thing to do. (Or at least thinking twice about it!)
9. It’s all about striking a balance — if you follow a vegan diet, you might need to
supplement your protein intake in some way. In business, if there’s something that
your product offering is lacking, seek out like-minded suppliers to fill a crucial gap.
10. It’s a movement with volunteerism and health at its heart — so embrace
volunteering and healthy lifestyles in your business. Let your teams have some time
off each year to volunteer and play community sports and use that spirit to boost
your corporate social responsibility and staff morale.
Let me know some of your own ideas. And if you live near the Scenic Rim area and
want to check out veggies from local suppliers, Sunday 30 October 2022 is the annual Farm Gate Trail.
Find out more here: www.destinationscenicrim.com/farm-gate-trail/