Today is Donald Watson’s birthday. He was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1910. He grew up in a part of the world where even vegetarianism was virtually unheard of, yet this trailblazer became a vegan in his teens. He eventually founded the first vegan society and invented the word “vegan”. He simply took the first 3 and last 2 letters from “vegetarian” to create the new term, since he saw it as the beginning and the end of vegetarianism.
After a very long life of wood-working, teaching, tending to his organic garden, and promoting the vegan lifestyle, he died at the age of 95 in 2005. He was a true innovator and a kind, gentle soul. Us vegans see him as one of the very first who showed that it can be done, that it is possible to live a long, healthy life without consuming anything derived from animals. He also did not smoke, or drink alcohol. He’s always served as an important role model for me, and for many other vegans. His spirit lives on through all the vegans around the world.
I’ll raise a glass of sparkling vegan cherry kefir in his honour.