The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group Booth at the Charles Village Festival – Two Interns Share Their Experiences

Posted on June 10, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Ivy Grob

With my fellow VRG staff, interns, and volunteers, I participated in my first outreach booth during the Charles Village Festival, an annual event located in the Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore, Maryland. It was my first look at how an outreach booth operates and truly my first look at Baltimore. I arrived only a week ago from Florida in order to intern with the VRG for the majority of the summer. I first fell in love with the scenery of Baltimore during my drive in, but after working my first booth I can now say I’m in love with the people and the atmosphere. The majority of people I spoke with were so welcoming and friendly, and surprised when I told them that I thought Baltimore was a big city. During the festival, I met a number of people who were already vegetarian and vegan and also a few who were transitioning. It was great to share some tips back and forth about cooking and food choices, and to see that Baltimore has a great community of people who share my beliefs. One woman came up to the booth and said, “I’m a new vegan, show me your absolute favorite cookbook!”

The most satisfying experience, though, was to share pamphlets and information to those who said they were not vegetarian, and to have the information be well received. This was truly the opportunity to explain why vegetarianism and veganism is necessary. I was able to share about animal rights and the environmental problems that comes from consuming meat and animal products. Some information was better received than others, but at least the information was presented for the arguers to think about. As I continue in my internship, I hope to continue to spread the message of vegetarianism and veganism at any other outreach booths to whomever I can.

By Navaal Mahdi

The 2015 19th Annual Charles Village Festival took place on May 30 and May 31 at Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore, Maryland. On these two beautiful warm days, the people of Baltimore and the surrounding areas came together to visit multiple craft and food vendors, play games, listen to some very talented live musicians, and participate in a 5K race as well as the annual Charles Village Garden Walk. The VRG was lucky enough to set up an outreach booth during the festival to talk to the variety of people attending.

When I helped at our booth on Saturday, May 30th, we had visitors who were vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and surprisingly, many of the non-vegetarians who visited us shared that they were in the process of becoming vegetarian or vegan. Folks walking down the pathway that had the booths of different non-profits on either side of it were drawn in by the variety of literature we had at our table, from books starting at $5 to free coloring books and pamphlets about our cause. Many were especially interested in the copies of the Vegetarian Journal that we had on display, and upon learning that there were delicious recipes in each issue, they would ask for their own copy right away!

Some visitors were kind enough to share their stories with us; one man explained to Matt, who is a regular volunteer at the VRG, and I that he was really close to being vegan, but found it too difficult to give up eggs for breakfast. Matt and I shared with him some other great vegan breakfasts, like banana pancakes or granola, and we also gave him the idea to mix flax seeds and water to achieve an egg-like consistency for baked goods and such. Another woman wanted to know ways to get protein while being a vegan, so we handed her a copy of the “My Vegan Plate” pamphlet we had available, which helpfully highlights sources of calcium and protein.

The Charles Village Festival was a great place to finish off my booth-working experience as an intern. It was heartwarming to hear the kind comments that people gave us about the information we provided, and it was even better to hear that non-vegetarians would make an active effort to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their diet. I hope to continue to help the VRG at outreach booths as a volunteer after I finish my College internship!

My Vegan Plate Handout: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/MyVeganPlate.pdf
To volunteer at VRG outreach booths, please contact Nina at vrg@vrg.org
To support VRG outreach, please donate at: www.vrg.org/donate
To join The Vegetarian Resource Group, please go to: http://www.vrg.org/member/2013sv.php

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