The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Baltimore Vegfest

Posted on May 22, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Baltimore VegFest_ Casey Brown, Marissa Thobe, Michaela Sadlowski, and Nicole Turner

By Nicole Turner

I volunteered with The Vegetarian Resource Group on May 6th, 2017, at the Baltimore VegFest and had a blast. Though the weather wasn’t the nicest, it didn’t stop people from coming out to enjoy the cruelty-free festivities. This is an annual event that is organized by The Humane League, an organization whose mission is to reduce suffering by inspiring change at all levels. Baltimore VegFest is a wonderful event that celebrates healthy, sustainable, and compassionate eating and the benefits of a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. The event is free and includes various speakers, a wide variety of food, local veg restaurants, vegan cooking demonstrations, and free gift bags! My favorite part about the festival was having an abundance of food choices. My favorites were the vegan pizza, the mac and cheese, and Vegan Treat’s donuts and brownies! The event took place at the University of Maryland Baltimore County College Campus, so there were many students that came out to the event as well. It was great to see such a variety of ages attending the festival, from young kids to older adults. This was my first time attending Baltimore’s VegFest, and I look forward to returning next spring.

Throughout the day, I made great connections with visitors and many were interested in learning more about The VRG. I had conversations with many individuals who had health conditions and were using a plant-based diet to address their health concerns. I also had an interesting conversation with representatives from Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary, a 400-acre non-profit refuge in Poolesville, Maryland for farm animals and wildlife. She told me about the events they have throughout the year and the importance of spreading awareness about animal cruelty. It was exciting to be around many organizations that share a similar message as The VRG.

Some of the most popular resources people gravitated towards were VRG’s “Baltimore Dining Guides”, “Veganism in A Nutshell” pamphlets, kids coloring books, and of course, the Vegetarian Journal. The local dining guides were extremely popular since a majority of the people attending the festival were from the area, and they were interested in learning more about veg-friendly restaurants in Baltimore. Many people were interested in taking a free copy of the Vegetarian Journal, which is filled with product reviews, delicious vegan recipes, health information, and more. People were also eager to take home our materials to give to friends or family that were interested in transitioning to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Many parents stopped by to learn more about how to assist their children during the transition, and we provided them with copies of our “Vegan Nutrition for Teenagers” and “Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy” brochures.

There is something special about Baltimore VegFest. It is a tight community and so much compassion radiated from the event. It was great to share the Vegetarian Journal with so many people and tell them about The VRG and our mission. The interest level was very high, and I felt proud to be spreading awareness about such important issues. I am looking forward to next year’s event and our I hope to see you there too!
To volunteer to help at VRG booths, contact Brigette at vrg@vrg.org

To support The Vegetarian Resource Group outreach, please donate at www.vrg.org/donate
Or join at http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

New Restaurants Have Been Added to The Vegetarian Resource Group’s Online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada

Posted on May 19, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor
Conscious Fork Photo by Hannah Maxwell

Conscious Fork Photo by Hannah Maxwell

The Vegetarian Resource Group maintains an online Guide to Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in the USA and Canada. Below are some recent additions. The entire guide can be found here: http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

To support the updating of this online restaurant guide, please donate at:
www.vrg.org/donate

Conscious Fork
14 Railroad Ave.
Warwick, NY 10990
And
97 Baker St., Ste. 4
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Conscious Fork has different menus at each location, so be sure to check their website for the correct menu. They serve breakfast, lunch, and juices. There is a “build your bowl” option. Everything, except bread and croutons, is gluten-free. Almost all ingredients are organic and non-GMO.

Doe Donuts
8201 SE Powell
Portland, OR 97226
Doe is an all vegan donut shop that serves creative flavors including French Toast, Passionflower, and Thai Tea Fritter.

J. Selby’s
169 N. Victoria St.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Serving breakfast, lunch/dinner, and dessert, this new eatery is perfect for those wanting a nice sit-down meal. Try the falafel platter consisting of house-made falafel with lettuce, tomato, onion, cucumber & tzatziki sauce with pickles, fresh pita, and sprinkle of feta paired with a GuS natural soda, and a chocolate chip cookie with “soft serve n’ice cream” on top for dessert.

JaJaJa
162 E. Broadway
New York, NY 10002
JaJaJa’s “Fish” Tacos are highly recommended by yelp and Facebook reviewers. Many folks also enjoy the Empanadas.

Kahiau’s Bakery & Café
3712 S. Plaza Trail #101
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Kahiau’s Bakery & Cafe serves Hawaiian style treats. The menu changes weekly. Gluten-free and raw options are available. You can order specialty and custom cakes. There are individual or family sized options for menu items.

Morels Café
619 Baxter Ave.
Louisville, KY 40204
Morels Cafe serves vegan deli foods that are made without using tofu or eggplant. Many patrons enjoy the Philly “Cheese Steak.” All “cheeses” are cashew based. Local Kentucky kombucha is available on tap. Be sure to get a hand made “pop-tart” for dessert!

Pancho’s Kitchen
5201 W. Charleston Blvd., Ste. 120-130
Las Vegas, NV 89146
Start your day with some chilaquiles with vegan cheese and sour cream or nosh on the huevos rancheros. If you’re more of a lunch/dinner Mexican-food junkie, head there later for your fix in the form of tacos, tamales, burritos, enchiladas, nachos and much more. There’s even vegan Horchata.

Seed to Sprout
1405 Wickapecko Dr.
Wanamassa, NJ 07712
Selections of pastries, cookies, and cakes are featured daily. Seed to Sprout serves baked goods, toast, lattes and other specialty drinks. They also offer custom cakes and cooking classes.

Tassili’s Raw Reality
1059 Ralph D Abernathy Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30310
This raw eatery has a health-conscious menu with a lot of spice options available. Wraps can be selected to include a variety of spices and sauces. Comfort food options also sneak their way onto the menu. Choices include the Curried Plantains wrap or the Sprouted Tofu Delight. Be sure to check out the sweets and drink selection as well.

The GruB Factory
1210 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The GruB Factory’s motto is “Whatever you like, we can do it vegan!” In a relaxed atmosphere, they offer cashew cream smoothies, vegan chicken boxes, French toast, tacos, and more! They are located near the University of Baltimore.

The Juice Pharm
208 E. 1st St.
Duluth, NM 55802
In addition to juices, The Juice Pharm offers vegan food. They serve bowls, toast, and tacos.

Universal Love
4622 N. Main St.
Columbia, SC 29203
Universal Love serves vegan cafe food. Couple your meal with a delicious juice or smoothie. Menu items include BBQ “chicken” and vegan tacos!

Vibe Organic Kitchen and Juice
1000 Bristol St. North
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Vibe Organic Kitchen and Juice serves juices, smoothies, breakfast, bowls, burgers, and sides. All menu items are gluten-free. Vibe also has a kids menu.

Vicecream
6550 Comanche Trail #109
Austin, TX 78732
Vicecream serves six ice cream flavors, soft serve, sundaes, shakes, and splits! There is a large selection of vegan toppings, including cookies and brownies, to pair with your ice cream.

Animal Rights Activism in a College Cafeteria

Posted on May 18, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Anna Lam

Animal rights activism can sometimes seem intimidating and even counterproductive. It can be especially intimidating to those who aren’t necessarily outgoing (like me), and counterproductive because of exposure to fringe groups who are keen on employing shock value tactics to get people’s attention without starting substantive dialogues (which I think we’ve all been exposed to). While everyone who is an animal rights activist is ultimately oriented towards the goal of making the world a better place for animals, there are certainly better and worse ways to be an activist. Put simply, it comes down to making oneself approachable and likeable. At least that’s what I learned when I set up a table in my school’s dining hall to distribute leaflets containing vegetarian information.

Specifically, I learned that it’s better to be an engaged activist rather than a disengaged one. You might feel like you’re intruding unasked in people’s lives; however, people also rarely see the need or importance of what you have to offer, only you do. So the best way to at least get the information into people’s hands is to actively engage them. My friends and I experimented with just sitting down at the table, the leaflets displayed for all to see, and waited to see if anyone would approach out of interest. We got some interested side glances, but nothing more. After little success, we started to smile at passersby and say “Good morning,” which also resulted in little success. We eventually decided on a more forward approach to at least get the information from the table to the students. After passing out hundreds of flyers, I felt like I had gotten the routine down to a science: stand up; smile; lean forward; making good eye contact; hold the leaflet at approximately stomach level so it’s easy to take as they pass by; and ask politely if the person would like information on health, the environment, or vegetarianism. The person should definitely not feel reproached, confronted, or attacked for their way of life. It’s best to stay away from any kind of shaming language, as that’s a sure turn-off. I found that people were most responsive when focusing on the ways that vegetarianism is helpful for one’s health and the environment.

It’s easy to confine oneself to the company of like-minded people. It’s encouraging and motivating, and there’s nothing like being a part of a community of those who share the same values as yourself. But it’s also a good exercise to connect with those around you who may not be vegetarian. It’s useful, if not an imperative, to be able to associate with unlike-minded people, because we inevitably have to interact with them on a daily basis. While it’s fine to outwardly express your thoughts on animal rights around people who agree with you, those unfamiliar with the issue may be turned off by the “holier than thou” effect that we vegans can sometimes have, especially on the ethical stance.

That’s why awareness is so important. Because unawareness can lead to being complicit in something that one is actually morally opposed to. And, really, most people are against animal cruelty if you were to ask them. No one likes to see animals in pain. So getting the information out there is a crucial first step towards more informed, cruelty-free purchases. Our money really does have a tremendous impact and, as consumers, it’s our most powerful asset. And as an activist, your most important asset if your voice, and by using your voice for those that are unable, you’re making a tremendous impact in helping people, the environment, and animals alike prosper.

For information on other activist ideas, see http://www.vrg.org/teen/#activism

New Vegan Restaurant Opens in Baltimore!

Posted on May 18, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

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The Grub Factory, 1210 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201; (443) 602-7018

Enjoy Vegan Soul food at this new restaurant. The GruB Factory’s motto is “Whatever you like, we can do it vegan!” In a relaxed atmosphere, they offer cashew cream smoothies, vegan chicken boxes, French toast, tacos, and more! They are located near the University of Baltimore.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner. Counter service, vegan options, take-out,
VISA/MC/AMEX/DISC, $

HOST FOR VEGETARIAN EXCHANGE STUDENT NEEDED

Posted on May 17, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

New_Logo-351x95

My name is Laura, and I am the Special Services Director for OCEAN (Organization for Cultural Exchange Among Nations), which is a non-profit organization that sponsors foreign exchange students, ages 15-18, and places them in volunteer host families and high schools throughout the U.S. for a semester or academic year. We are currently seeking a volunteer host family for a young man from Spain who is a vegetarian and would like to live with a host family who follows similar dietary practices. We are therefore seeking a host family for him who would be able to accommodate his request. This can be anywhere in the United States.

Student’s Name: ALEX
Age upon Arrival in the U.S.: 16
Home Country: SPAIN
Grade of Enrollment: 12th
Interests: Soccer, basketball. He is interested in learning to play American football.
Please feel free to visit our website at www.ocean-intl.org for more information. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail (info@ocean-intl.org) or by phone at 1-888-996-2326, Ext. 5. Thank you for your time.
Sincerely,
Laura
Special Services Director

OCEAN
2101 E. Broadway Road, Suite 6
Tempe, AZ 85282-1735
Phone: (480) 907-7285 Fax: (480) 907-7526
Toll-Free: 1-888-996-2326
Website: www.ocean-intl.org
E-mail: LStahl@ocean-intl.org

Many stadiums, including the Orioles’ Spring Training home, are becoming more vegan-friendly!

Posted on May 17, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Me-and-the-Bird-Os-event-2015

Hey, sports fans! I’m Heather Moore, the new volunteer Veggie Happy Manager for the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve been following the O’s my whole life, and I think they’ve been “following” me, too—although that’s probably just a coincidence. I was born in B’more, and I moved to Norfolk, Virginia, with PETA, the organization where I now work, in 1996. Soon after that, the O’s announced that their Triple-A team was going to play in Norfolk, about 10 minutes from my apartment. Years later, when I was considering moving to Sarasota, Florida, the O’s announced that they were going to hold Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium, which happens to be about 10 minutes from the house I ended up buying. Clearly, I was meant to get Spring Training season tickets.

Since I’ve been vegan for 25 years, I’m just as interested in the options in the concession stands as I am in the action on the field. To continue reading, go to:
http://www.veggiehappy.com/wp/2017/05/o-so-exciting-news-vh-manager-guest-post/

Natures Hampers®: Vegetarian and Vegan Gift Baskets from the UK

Posted on May 16, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 9.24.10 AM

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
Natures Hampers is a family-owned and -operated business specializing in all-natural and cruelty-free vegetarian and vegan gift baskets and hampers perfect for picnics in the park, special occasions, and holidays. There are four main categories of hampers to choose from: traditional (ex. chocolate, tea, snacks); beer & wine; activity (ex., gardening, golf) and pamper (bath & body products). Natures Hampers also offers discounts and branding to corporate clients. Owner Jayne Morris relayed to us by email in April 2017:

“We are a vegetarian, family-run business and corporate friends of the Vegetarian Society [of the UK], although we do try to be vegan as much as possible. If you look at our website, www.natureshampers.com, we specialise in hampers that are packed with good and tasty food and drink, and that are a bit of a treat, too! We are always searching for new, interesting and artisan products.

We offer a range of beauty/toiletry hampers with products that use natural oils and scents. We don’t use any products tested on animals.”
Wanting to know more about Natures Hampers, The VRG asked Jayne the following questions. Here is what we learned:

Q: How long have you been open for business?
A: We have been selling hampers for about two years.

Q: Do you have a brick & mortar store?
A: We are online only and operate from a farm in East Sussex, England.

Q: What’s the difference between a basket and a hamper?
A: A hamper in the UK has two meanings: one is laundry and the other is a “picnic hamper.” A basket is a hamper without a lid, but we do use various containers.

Q: Do you have a vegan best seller?
A: Our vegan hampers are generally good sellers. There is a big movement here at the moment to not eat meat or to eat it seldom. Also there is a lot of conversation amongst the community (doctors, public, etc.) about how good for you it is.

Q. How helpful is the Vegetarian Society label in generating interest and/or sales?
A: The Vegetarian Society is helpful, and usually runs the occasional piece/comment if they are writing about gifts…

Q: Are all of your baskets/hampers vegetarian or vegan?
A: Our website is entirely vegetarian. I am a vegetarian (almost vegan) as are most of my family.

Q: Do you ship to the United States?
A: We are not able to sell directly to the USA market because of the various shipping and customs restrictions…although…our hampers can be purchased on Ebay in the US: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=natures+hampers&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.X%22natures+hampers%22.TRS0&_nkw=%22natures+hampers%22&_sacat=0

Q: What percentage of your products are American made?
A: We only buy a couple of products from the US. We try to source locally, so as to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

For information about other mail order sources in the USA and other locations, see:
http://www.vrg.org/links/products.htm#retailer

EVERCREME DEEP NOURISH CONDITIONER

Posted on May 15, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

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Who would think? L’oreal recently had a coupon in the Sunday newspaper for EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner, which they stated in the ad was vegan. On their website, they indicate: *No animal derived ingredients or by-products. Formula not tested on animals.

For a list of cruelty-free mail order companies which carry cosmetics, personal care items, and other products, see:
http://www.vrg.org/links/products.htm#retailer

Support The Vegetarian Resource Group Year-Round – Become a Monthly or Quarterly Donor!

Posted on May 15, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

The Vegetarian Resource Group is an activist non-profit organization that does outreach all-year-long. For example, today we are giving a several hour presentation on veganism to 10 University of Maryland Dietetic Interns (all of whom are not vegetarian and will soon be practicing dietitians). VRG tables at different events throughout the USA and also sends literature free of charge to other groups/individuals doing educational activities in schools, hospitals, camps, restaurants, libraries, etc. Our ability to continue doing this depends on people like you! Your donations allow us to promote the vegan message whenever we’re called upon for assistance. Please consider becoming a monthly or quarterly donor to The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Thanks so much for your support. You can become a monthly or quarterly donor online here: vrg.org/donate

EATING VEGAN AT PRET KEEPS GETTING BETTER!

Posted on May 12, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

PretStar

On their website, Pret names these items as vegan:

Miso Sweet Potato Banh Mi, Asian Greens Veggie Pot, Chipotle Corn & Avo Veggie Pot,
Chakalaka Wrap, Asian Tofu Sushi Salad, Turmeric Tofu Balance Box, Mediterranean
Mezze Salad, Spicy Black Bean and Mango Wrap, Carrot Turmeric Soup, and Almond Matcha Latte

For more information, see https://www.pret.com/en-us/not-just-for-veggies

There are Prets in Boston, Chicago, New York City, and Washington DC.

For information about eating at other restaurant chains, see:
http://www.vrg.org/fastfoodinfo.php

To find vegetarian and vegan restaurants, go to:
http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications,
including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal
medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified
health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient
information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure
about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and
mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgement about whether a
product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or
confirmation on your own.

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