The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

My Internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group

Posted on October 27, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor


By Alicia Hückmann, intern visiting from Germany
Considering my ethnic and academic background, I was probably one of the more unusual candidates for an internship at The VRG. I am studying German, English, and Math to become a teacher, I am not a native English speaker, and I live in a city about 4,000 miles away from the VRG office in Maryland. Nevertheless, I decided to take a chance and applied for an internship during my summer break from August to Mid-October in 2016.

Before I tell you about my experiences during my internship, let me answer a question that you might be asking yourself at this point: Why would a student teacher from Germany want to work at a non-profit organization in the US that is in no relation to any of her college majors or career goals? The reason why I started to look for internships abroad was my motivation to improve my English writing skills as well as deepen my understanding of other cultures and mentalities. As I am interested in animal rights, protecting the environment, and veganism, I focused on organizations that raise awareness of these issues. After days of research, I had compiled a list of non-profits all across the English speaking world that both matched my preferences and accepted applications for three-month internships. After some further research, however, this list shrank down to a certain non-profit in Baltimore that I had never even heard of before. The reason for this was the fact that the VRG was the only organization on my list which promotes their agenda based on facts rather than emotions, which covers a large variety of topics, and which probably wasn’t going to send me out on the streets in a bunny costume to raise money. (Only recently have I heard rumors about the existence of such a costume somewhere in the dark corners of the VRG office).

Even though I primarily came for the language experience (rather than career opportunities), I ended up getting both, as many of the projects co-directors Charles and Debra assigned to me were somehow related to my future profession. During the first weeks of my internship, for example, a group of VRG interns and I had a chance to talk to children and teenagers at TuTTie’s place (a residential group home in Baltimore) about the benefits of being vegetarian and to make vegan banana ice cream with them. I also wrote two articles about being a vegan teenager in a meat eating family, one giving advice for teenagers whose parents do not approve of their decision and the other one directed at parents who do not know how to deal with their children’s new lifestyle. Other articles I wrote were assigned to me because of my personal interests and experience including vegan recipes of German dishes as well as veg(etari)anism in Germany and Ireland.

Although writing texts for the VRG homepage and journal was my main occupation during the time of my internship, I was also able to work at VRG booths at festivals. Among my personal favorites were the Vegan Soulfest in Baltimore and the DC Vegfest, both of which are exciting events to attend as a plant eater (mainly because of all the plants you can eat). However, I also really enjoyed other events which were not exclusively vegan like the Hamilton Street Festival and the Waverly Farmers Market. It was very interesting to see how people responded differently to our booths in different areas – while the people in Hamilton were mostly interested in the environmental and ethical advantages of vegetarian diets, those who approached us in Waverly were more interested in health benefits and fighting diseases.

Hands down the highlight of my internship was attending the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. The amount of vegan foods was simply overwhelming. I was able to taste all kinds of different products like sushi, jackfruit, pizza, mock cheese, brownies, and many more and most of which I hadn’t noticed in shops before. This convention was also the place where I discovered some of the best vegan ice cream on this planet and which is one of the many reasons why I am going to cry my eyes out when I get on my plane back to Germany in a few days.

Long story short, I have taken so much more away from my time at the VRG than I could have imagined. I did not only learn many new things about the vegan movement but also how important it is to question common assumptions and “facts.” The people I met and worked with are some of the most inspirational and dedicated people I know and made me feel at home from the first day of my internship. I had an amazing experience here in the US and I will definitely continue to support the VRG in the future.

For more information about The Vegetarian Resource Group internships, see:
To support The Vegetarian Resource Group outreach, donate at
Or join at

Leave a Reply

  • Donate

  • Subscribe to the blog by RSS


    Sign up for our newsletter to receive recipes, ingredient information, reviews of new products, announcements of new books, free samples of products, and other VRG materials.

    Your E-mail address:
    Your Name (optional):

↑ Top