By Karen Leibowitz
The Vegetarian Resource Group hosted another successful booth at the annual Richmond Vegetarian Festival. It was held in the beautiful Azalea Gardens of Bryan Park. The VRG booth was placed in a perfect location, near the music stage and under a shady tree.
Intern Devlyn and I had the honor of working with long-time volunteer and vegan advocate Elsa Spencer, PhD. The three of us spoke with numerous festival attendees throughout the day. Elsa has her PhD in nutrition and is an expert gardener. She was able to answer a lot of questions that people had relating to the vegetarian diet. Devlyn and I spoke with and handed out related resources to students and new vegetarians about a number of subjects such as local dining options, foods that provide adequate levels of iron for those that are anemic, and ideas for vegan meals without nuts or gluten.
One attendee was very excited to see us there. He had lost over fifty pounds of excess weight after becoming vegetarian, and was passionate about sharing his encouraging story with others. Another attendee, a clinical nurse in an assisted living community, talked about the need for healthy vegetarian options, wishing there was “something more than a white bread peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” She was relieved when we provided vegetarian senior care information and told her about assisted living meal ideas on our website.
Hosting booths like this one is rewarding because we have the opportunity to encourage people to continue pursuing the vegetarian/vegan diet by providing resources to make it easier, and we can provide information to those who are curious.
If you would like to volunteer at VRG booths, contact Nina at VRG@vrg.org
If you would like to intern at VRG go to http://www.vrg.org/student/index.php
If you would like to support VRG outreach, donate at www.vrg.org/donate
To join VRG go to http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php
If you are attending the Taking Action for Animals Conference in Washington, DC this weekend June 28-29th, please stop by the Vegetarian Resource Group booth.