Vegan Society founder Donald Watson honoured with blue plaque

Image source, The Vegan Society
Image caption,
Donald Watson died in 2005 at the age of 95

The founder of the Vegan Society has been honoured with a blue plaque.

Donald Watson, who died in 2005, coined the word "vegan" as a way of describing non-dairy vegetarians and produced the first copy of the Vegan News in 1944.

His nephew Dr Tim Cook unveiled the honour at Watson's former Doncaster Road School, now named New Pastures Primary School, in Mexborough, South Yorkshire.

According to the Vegan Society, there are more than 600,000 vegans in the UK.

The organisation, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, started with 25 members.

Image source, The Vegan Society
Image caption,
Members of Mr Watson's family attended the unveiling ceremony on Saturday (left to right: Bernard Cook, Tony Hazzard, Lesley Lloyd, Miranda Griffiths and Tim Cook)
Image source, The Vegan Society

Born in 1910, Watson became vegetarian aged 14 after a pig being slaughtered on his uncle's farm horrified him.

He became vegan in the 1940s, having come to feel the production of milk-related products was unethical.

The Mexborough and District Heritage Society, which has organised the plaque, said he "played a significant role in founding the modern vegan movement that is now this amazing worldwide movement".

"Veganism has never been more popular than it is today and all vegans owe a huge debt of gratitude to Donald Watson and the pioneering early members," it added.

Watson's son-in-law, nieces and nephew were among those who attended the unveiling ceremony, which was followed by a reception at Mexborough Business Centre in College Road, formerly Mexborough Secondary School where he was a pupil.

Image source, The Vegan Society
Image caption,
Watson became a vegetarian after being horrified by a pig being slaughtered

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