Chicago’s National Vegetarian Museum recently changed its name to The Vegan Museum. The museum’s board made the decision to change its name to better represent the museum to the community. The name change took effect on September 2—which would have been the 110th birthday of United Kingdom Vegan Society founder Donald Watson, who coined the term “vegan.”

“The early history of our great movement was vegetarian, the term ‘vegan’ not being coined till the 1940s. We named the museum to acknowledge vegetarian and vegan history, but as time went by we were mistakenly presumed to advocate for dairy and egg consumption,” Kay Stepkin, Founder and President of The Vegan Museum Board of Directors, told VegNews. “We have always been a vegan organization and wanted to communicate this clearly to our patrons. As our health and environmental situations become more dire, we wish to not only preserve our history but advocate for a happy and healthier planet.”

The Vegan Museum is a traveling exhibit that is displayed in various forms in and around Chicago. It is best known for its speaker events, book readings, film screenings, and vegan cooking demonstrations. The museum plans to explore different types of vegans and vegan philosophies in future exhibits. 

In addition to the name change, The Vegan Museum has created a new Advisory Council comprising influential vegans in a variety of industries, including Neal Barnard, MD, president and founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; Anne Dinshah, vice president of the American Vegan Society; and Seth Tibbott, founder of Tofurky.

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