Though veganism, as a concept, had been around for quite a while under the guise of ‘strict vegetarianism’, the term vegan was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson, co-founder of the British Vegan Society, an organization that believed in “the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals”. Several terms were suggested to describe the diet, such as ‘dairyban’, ‘benevore’, and ‘sanivore’. In the end, the group decided on ‘vegan’. As he put it, the word symbolized, both figuratively and literally, “the beginning and end of vegetarian”. Leslie Cross, then vice president of the Vegan Society, wrote “Veganism is not so much welfare as liberation, for the creatures and for the mind and heart of man; not so much an effort to make the present relationship bearable, as an uncompromising recognition that because it is in the main one of master and slave, it has to be abolished before something better and finer can be built.”
Nearly 70 years later, veganism is a movement that is growing even more each year. According to the Associate Press, almost half of the chefs polled by the National Restaurant Association in 2011 include vegan entrees on their menus and many chain restaurants have begun clearly marking vegan items.