Today, October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, and according to a recent study, more people are planning to transition to fully plant-based diets in the next five years. Meanwhile, 4 in 10 people say they are eating more plant-based now, and are motivated to make healthier food choices, while 42 percent are already eating fewer animal products and 39 percent of people are trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle, accord to a poll by OnePoll which conducted the survey for Eat Just, the makers of JUST eggs, last month.

"World Vegetarian Day was established as an annual celebration to promote the joy, compassion, and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism. The day was originated by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978. October 1st is the official date, however if necessary, individuals may schedule their event on a nearby date instead," according to the North American Vegetarian Society, a nonprofit educational organization.

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The Plant-Based Industry is on the Rise and is Not Slowing Down

Plant-based and vegan diets have been around for a long time, but now "over half of Americans are eating fewer animal products since the COVID-19 pandemic began and nearly six in 10 find themselves transitioning to a more flexitarian, or semi-vegetarian, diet, citing health as their top reason for making the change," according to the survey conducted by market research firm OnePoll and Eat JUST, Inc, a mung-bean based vegan egg company. According to the 2,000 participant responses', on average, they planned to transition to fully plant-based diets in five years' time, Plant Bases News reported.

"Nearly 60 percent of respondents in the national general population survey said they 'strongly agree' or 'somewhat agree' when asked whether their eating habits were increasingly shifting to plant-based, with 39 percent of participants 18-25 years old and 23 percent of participants 26-41 years old stating that their diet already excludes animal products," said a statement sent to Plant Based News.

"When it came to the motivations for plant-based purchases, half cited their desire to make healthier food choices, while about four in 10 said purchases were driven by a desire to eat fewer animal products (42 percent) and wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle (39 percent)."

"The results also dispelled the notion that plant-based products available today aren’t as tasty, or are more difficult to cook with, signifying the industry has made major strides in creating offerings that are not only delicious and nutritious but also easy to prepare," according to the survey.

If you want to eat more vegetables, The Beet is your guide to a healthy plant-based lifestyle. Try out our free Clean Eating Plan or sign up for Smoothie of the Day and receive free recipes in your inbox daily. There's no better time to change your diet than on National Vegetarian Day and we're supporting your decision to add one plant a day, or completely ditch meat and dairy. If you don't know where to start sign up for our 7 Day Beginner's Guide for helpful advice from experts, free recipes, tips, and more to get you on the right track.

To celebrate World Vegetarian day we might suggest you dedicate an experimental night in the kitchen cooking meat-alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, or jackfruit. Kick back and watch a documentary about the healthy reasons to adopt a more plant-based or vegetarian or vegan lifestyle such as Forks Over Knives or What The Health and treat yourself to non-dairy ice cream.