Happy anniversary, veggie-eaters!

Each year since 1977, the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS), a nonprofit educational organization, has celebrated World Vegetarian Day on Oct. 1.

That means Monday is the 30th anniversary of this special occasion, the day which actually kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month, 31 whole days the organization hopes will be dedicated to parties, potlucks, presentations and a lot of discussion about the vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are some of the benefits of vegetarianism listed by NAVS:

• Reduces the risk of major health complications, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

• Offers a solution to feeding the world’s hungry by using grains and other crops more efficiently.

• Saves animals from poor factory farm conditions and painful slaughter.

• Conserves limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other vital resources.

• Halts the environmental pollution of the meat industry.