Donald Watson Turns 94


Here’s a cool story that’s slipped under the radar: The Father of Veganism Turns 94.

Donald Watson is the man who in 1944 coined the term “vegan.” Back then, it wasn’t so easy to become a vegan, I’d imagine.

Sixty years. That’s some serious resolve.

6 Responses to “Donald Watson Turns 94”

  1. Marcy

    FYI it can still be prickly being a vegan (says one herself!):

    a couple weeks ago I went to Au Bon Pain (one of few places in NYC’s Financial District to have anything vegan, and which has a computer that lists ingreds. in-store)…a place I thought I could reasonably trust. I end up buying a small garden salad (I’d remove non-vegan croutons) and a simple vinagrette dressing cup to-go, with my food, and the extremely extremely small font around the wee dressing container was hard to read. even so, i read it (hadn’t been first time i’d read it, but…) and something caught my eye…in addition to saying “[now] fortified with omega 3’s”…hmmm. I look over the ingreds. AGAIN but can’t find anything that sounds fish or seafood-y like, and thus wouldn’t be veggie.

    But when I bring my food back to work I decide to be veganly-paranoid and google the only ingredient I couldn’t figure out (which had no explanation next to it, or elsewhere on package) – something like mehendin oil, as I recall. Anyways, it turns out to be from FISH CHUM – for the simplest of salad dressings?? (this is in ALL of those salad dressing containers, fyi!!) I know many folks, veggie or not, who would be disgusted to know there’s fish chum oil in there salad dressing for no reason, and in any case, want to know what’s in their food!!!

    And this is a place that advertises that they have ingredients-listings (on computer, in store), that they are very ‘open book’ – ha! Never agian will I got there. Never.

    So disgusting to know I’d been consuming that stuff!!

  2. Dennis

    I’m new to vegetarianism. Did a little reading on differences between vegetarian diet and vegan diet. One thing that realy stuck out is the source of vitamin B12. It seems that vegans have to realy make sure that they get enough vitamin b12 through fortified food or supplements. The fact that we are not able to get vitamin b12 naturally through a regular vegan diet makes me think that our bodies are not naturally made to eat strict vegan diets. Anyone have any opinions on this?


  3. Ryan

    Dennis — The “natural” way to get a source of B12 (aside from animal products) is from soil and dirt. People used to get their B12 from veggies and the residue. These days, though, B12 in soil has pretty much disappeared due to overuse of pesticides and such. Fortunately, it’s very easy to get the extremely small amount we need — vitamins or fortified soy milk or nutritional yeast. Vegan Outreach has a lot of good info about this at (B12 info specifically is at ).

  4. Tony

    Please send 2005 Birthday wishes and thanks to Donald.

    Donald Watson celebrates his 95th Birthday this year. Donald was born on 2nd September 1910. Please send birthday wishes and thanks for the inspiration to make the world a better place.

    Cards and wishes should be posted to arrive no later than 29th August 2005.

    Addressed to:

    FAO Donald Watson – Founder
    (Birthday Wishes)
    C/O The Vegan Society
    7 Battle Road
    St Leonards On Sea
    East Sussex
    TN37 7AA

    Fax Number +44 (0) 1424 717064
    If you have a photograph of your vegan group or a vegan event (from last years World Vegan Day?) Donald would be very pleased to see these.

    You can email photos and wishes suitable for printing to

    [email protected] with “Donald Watson Wishes” in Subject Line

    No animated cards please.

    Thank you for your kindness and understanding.

    Tony Bishop-Weston

    More about Donald Watson & Interview with Donald Watson at

  5. Don Quinoa

    Listen to interview with Donald Watson on BBC –

    BBC Worldwide Outlook.

  6. Tony

    RIP 1910 – 2005

    He was supertitious about boasting – he said fate had a cruel way of dealing with boasters.

    Perhaps if we hadn’t boasted so much about him living to 95….

    There again he said “when I die – be it tommorrow, next week or next year – get the flags out – I’ll have made it!”

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