The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

A Vegan Taste Test with Non-Vegan Teens

Posted on June 16, 2015 by The VRG

Lily Donofrio

The traditional response I receive when I ask people close to me to try
vegan foods is negative. They assume it’s gross to look at or gelatinous
or radioactive instead of truly thinking about and realizing its origin.
Veganism is a completely plant based diet. What is shady about fruits
and veggies? And the best part is that we vegans and vegetarians have
really worked with our wholesome materials to create some fantastic options.

I decided to open up some of my friends’ minds recently and have them
taste test some of my favorite vegan foods on the market. I chose my
boyfriend, Austin, a long time pescatarian and major supporter of me in
my vegan journey; my best friend Tabitha, a vegetarian open to trying
most things vegan; Tabitha’s boyfriend, Nate, a non-vegetarian with an
open mind; and our mutual friend Garrett, who is a total carnivore and
scoffs at the idea of veganism. I was excited to show them how awesome
this lifestyle is. So, I bought Gardein’s Seven Grain Chicken Tenders,
Amy’s Lentil Soup, Boca original Vegan Patties, Earth Balance Butter (to
spread on a whole grain English muffin), Silk’s Chocolate Almond Milk,
and SoDelicious Moose Tracks ice cream at my local Publix. Afterwards, I
gathered up my 4 friends participating in the taste test and showed them
how easy it is to prepare the foods purchased. Each participant got 1
chicken tender, 1 shot of lentil soup, 1/2 vegan patty, 1/2 English
muffin toasted with vegan butter, and a small glass of chocolate almond
milk. I asked each participant to provide a response. Here is the
feedback I received:

AUSTIN: Being a pescatarian, veggie meats often frequent my meals.
Growing up, my parents never cooked meat in the house, so I would only
eat it when I went out. This made my transition to an almost vegetarian
diet easy. I have to say that I loved both of the veggie meats used in
the taste test (vegan burger and chicken tenders). I am a big fan of
Amy’s brand, and always enjoy their products. The lentil soup was very
flavorful. The Earth Balance butter tasted quite similar to traditional
dairy butter and was delicious. “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” I am
sugar-free, so I did not participate in trying the Chocolate Almond
Milk, but I’ve only heard good things about the product.

TABITHA: I am a vegetarian and so I love being informed about new and
appraised meatless foods. I actually eat that specific brand of burgers
and nuggets regularly and have always enjoyed the products. I love Amy’s
brand, but this was my first time trying one of their soups. I have to
say that I was very impressed. The bread and “butter” was fantastic! I
would love to swap out my dairy butter for something as delicious as
Earth Balance. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, but the cocoa flavor
mixed with the nutty almond milk was amazing.

NATE: I am not a vegetarian, but many people close to me are. My mother
is a vegan. I was raised on vegetarian foods and enjoy them. The taste
test was awesome. I enjoyed all of the products, especially the
chocolate almond milk. I now believe that transitioning to vegetarianism
would be easy.

GARRETT: I was not excited going into the taste test. Vegan food did
not appeal to me whatsoever, but I decided to try it at the request of
my friend and kept an open mind. The food was great! The “meats” were
flavorful and the Earth Balance was so similar to normal butter! I did
not get to try the Chocolate Almond Milk because, like Austin, I am
sugar free. I liked the soup and am now a fan of Amy’s brand after
hearing how great it is from my vegetarian friends.

Overall, the taste test was a success. I am pleased with my results and
am glad that I got the chance to share these awesome products with my
friends. I am optimistic that they will be willing to try other vegan
foods in the future.

1 Night Stay at Velo – Veggie B&B in Eugene, OR Offered in VRG’s Online Charity Auction

Posted on June 12, 2015 by The VRG

breakfast-page-001
Want to enjoy a beautiful vegan breakfast on the patio of Velo Bed & Breakfast in Eugene, OR? Purchase your one-night stay from The VRG’s Online Charity Auction and support VRG at the same time!

Start bidding at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251992100206

100% of proceeds will be donated to The Vegetarian Resource Group. Thanks so much for your support.

Native Foods Café

Posted on June 12, 2015 by The VRG

By Ivy Grob

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital,
and I dedicated the day to becoming a true tourist. When I stepped
out of the metro at the Smithsonian station, I knew I had the entire
day ahead of me to submerse myself in the history that is present
in Washington DC. I headed first in the direction of the Lincoln
Memorial, stopping along the way to see the Washington Monument and the
World War II Memorial. After saying hi to Honest Abe, I turned around
and briefly stopped to see the White House, then continued on the way to
the Smithsonian museums. This alone took over three hours and lots of
walking (good thing I wore comfy shoes!). So I decided to take a break
and head over to Native Foods Café for lunch. I heard about this
all-vegan chain restaurant from VRG coordinator Debra Wasserman and I
knew I had to try it while I was in town. What’s even better than an
all-vegan restaurant? An all vegan restaurant that’s only a ten minute
walk from the Air and Space Museum!

When I arrived I was happy to see the colorful décor and was
impressed that the employee explained to me that the menu was 100% vegan
(he actually said no meat, fish, dairy, or honey) when I told him this
was my first time eating there. I ordered the ‘Chicken,’ ‘Bacon’ and Avo
Club with Seasoned Fries, a Watermelon Fresca, and an Oatmeal Crème Pie.
The food was served very fast and I immediately dug in. The ‘Chicken,’
‘Bacon’ and Avo Club was full of zesty flavor from the chipotle sauce and
the meat substitutes were hearty and crispy. This sandwich paired with
the Seasoned Fries quickly filled me up, and washing it down with the
Watermelon Fresca was a fresh and sweet accompaniment. I didn’t save any
room for dessert so I took my Oatmeal Crème Pie with me to go and ate it
later on after I returned home to Baltimore. This was the true cherry on
top for the whole meal. The cookie itself is huge, and reminiscent of
the ones I used to eat as a child. I ate the whole thing at once and
didn’t even find myself regretting it; it was that good.

If you ever find yourself being a tourist in DC, give Native Foods
Café a try. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or just looking for
something new to try, they are a fast and easy option conveniently
located nearby to all of the tourist destinations.

For information on more places to eat, see:
http://www.vrg.org/restaurant/index.php

Ivy is interning in The Vegetarian Resource Group office this summer and attends college in Florida.

Practicing Muslim Customs as a Vegan

Posted on June 12, 2015 by The VRG

By Navaal Mahdi, intern

In Islam, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated to commemorate the obedience of Prophet Abraham, who was ready to sacrifice his son Ishmael as it was God’s commandment to him, as well as Ishmael, who was ready to be sacrificed. God accepted their willingness to make such a large sacrifice, and told them to sacrifice a lamb instead of Ishmael.

This idea of sacrifice is what Muslims ponder on the day of Eid-ul-Adha; the goal is to let go of what is most important or valuable to you for the sake of God. During Abraham and Ishmael time, a lamb was one of the most valuable goods someone could own; these days, the word valuable has different meanings to different people. Living in the United States, many of us are lucky because we have so many luxuries to be thankful for. We have healthy food available to us, especially as vegans, and we have clean water to drink. One of the ways a Muslim vegan could make a sacrifice for God is by feeding someone less fortunate–for example, a homeless person who comes to a soup kitchen–a healthful meal full of vegetables for lunch and fruit for dessert.

Another way to make a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha is to simply sacrifice money since it is of value to most of us. I know there are many people who can’t necessarily afford to make a large cash donation, and Islam supports the idea of donating within your means. You have to remember that giving up a large amount of cash isn’t expected of you; only those who have the means should do so. If you can’t afford it, even giving someone who is in need a dollar or two is a sacrifice, because you’re giving up something of worth. Islam preaches that God rewards those who make sacrifices in His name, and you will actually find that your hardships are eased when you think of others before yourself.

The most essential lesson that being vegan has taught me is selflessness. Now, I find myself thinking more about taking care of the planet, as well as taking care of other living creatures. Sometimes I’ll try to leave out some scraps of food for the stray cats that live around my house, which is better than throwing food out with the trash. I’ve also learned that it feels rewarding when you take simple actions, like watering your garden during an especially hot week while actively controlling how much water you use.

But honestly, one of the best ways I have learned to sacrifice my time is by spending it helping my fellow humans adopt healthier lifestyles. When I talk to people about vegetarianism and veganism, whether it’s at a Vegetarian Resource Group outreach booth or with my peers at school, I think about it like I’m helping them get information about how to be healthier because of all the research that supports that this way of life has great health benefits. Apart from that though, just sacrificing your time–especially if you’re a particularly busy person–to help out at your local soup kitchen, children’s recreation center, or even by picking up trash in a park is a great alternative way to make sacrifices.

I’m glad that in many ways, my religion goes hand in hand with being vegan, and that I’m able to properly practice being a vegan without compromising my religious beliefs. If you’re a religious person who also has customs that aren’t quite vegan, make sure you talk to a knowledgeable figurehead in your community to see if there are any ways you can live a vegan lifestyle while practicing your faith. Being in the know is better than being in the dark!

One Week of Vegan Summer Camp Offered in The VRG’s Online Charity Auction!

Posted on June 11, 2015 by The VRG

Treat a special child in your life to a week of vegan camp and support The VRG at the same time by purchasing at The VRG’s Online Charity Auction!

Start bidding here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251992102512

Vegan Camp (VeganCamp.org) has been providing the optimal camps for vegan and vegetarian children for close to a quarter of a century. This summer, there are four overnight camp options from which to choose (while space permits).

The Explorers’ Experience Overnight Camp

Monday–Saturday, July 6–11, 2015
For kids who love to be on the go, hiking, trekking, exploring, etc.

The Amusement Park Paradise Overnight Camp
Monday–Saturday, July 13–18, 2015
For kids who love amusement parks with roller coasters and water slides

The Cyclers’ Safari Overnight Camp
Monday–Saturday, July 20–25, 2015
For kids who would love doing some bicycling each day as well as swimming and other engaging activities

The Recreational Respite Overnight Camp
Monday–Saturday, July 27–August 1, 2015
For kids who would love a more relaxed environment, enjoying the campsite with a vast array of sports, swimming, crafts, etc.

Each camp is limited to a maximum of eight children and supervised and guided by two mature, responsible, adult, positive role-model counselors. Campers have come from far and wide to attend these totally vegan camps. The camps are based in the Los Angeles area, but campers have even flown in from as far as Virginia, New York, Israel, Korea, and Russia! Before bidding, feel free to contact Vegan Camp (info@vegancamp.org) to discuss possible plans for your child attending Vegan Camp this summer. Each of the camps has somewhat of a different theme and activities, but all of the camps have a bounty of totally vegan foods, loads of vegan snacks, special vegan marshmallow roasting, smores, and other such evenings, and so much more.

100% of proceeds will be donated to The Vegetarian Resource Group. Thank you so much for your support.

Cooking for Non-Vegan Parents

Posted on June 11, 2015 by The VRG

By Lily Donofrio

My family has evolved from radically against vegetarianism to open
mindedness about veganism. They have thoroughly researched the lifestyle
and have created a plan to stay on top of me about my nutrition. They
remind me to incorporate protein sources into every meal, and they have me
make shopping lists, adding in their own suggestions to ensure optimal
nutrition. They often plan meatless meals and they are willing to try
any vegan food that I make. I love and appreciate my parents acceptance
of my diet.

I’m always experimenting with vegan foods. I love to share my creations
with friends and family. They are always honest about how they feel
about the foods, which I greatly appreciate. What with my two parents
having full time jobs, I often find myself helping them out with making
dinner. These are the nights where I get to share my vegan recipes.
We’ve had some great meals, and some not so great ones, but we always
figure out ways to improve a dish. In the past, I’ve made southern
comfort foods, tacos, build your own pizzas, breakfast spreads,
desserts, and so much more.

Recently, I made a few items for my family to try, with the hopes of
receiving helpful feedback. I made Asian tofu on a stick, lentil sloppy
Joes, and chocolate mug cake. My mom loved the tofu, which she typically
doesn’t enjoy, and the sloppy Joes. She said that my mug cake was a
little dry, but flavorful. My dad said that the lentil sloppy Joes
tasted similar to the meaty variation. He liked the tofu’s flavoring but
the texture wasn’t expected. He enjoyed my mug cake. My boyfriend
participated in the tasting and enjoyed the tofu and the sloppy Joes but
agreed with my mom in that the cake was too dry. He ended up topping his
with coconut/peanut butter.

The general synopsis of the tasting was that they enjoyed trying out
the different vegan foods and that the exercise broadened their vegan
knowledge even further. I hope to improve upon these recipes and to
create even more enlightening vegan meals for my family.

ASIAN TOFU

1 block of extra firm tofu, cut into chunks
Marinade:
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
½ tbsp fresh grated ginger
½ tbsp Garlic

Marinate tofu chunks in sauce. Saute chunks until
all water is gone. Serve on a stick “kabob” style or
regularly on a plate.

SLOPPY JOES (yields 2½ cups)

2 cups cooked lentils
Sauce:
1/2 can Tomato paste
2 tbsp Yellow mustard
2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Cook lentils fully and combine with sauce. Serve on vegan bun
of choice.

SINGLE SERVING CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 tbls flour
2 tsp almond milk
1tsp Olive oil
2 tsp sweetener
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder

Combine ingredients into a microwaveable mug.
Microwave for 2 minutes.

Transitioning to Vegan: Why I Became Vegan and My Family’s Reactions

Posted on June 11, 2015 by The VRG

By Navaal Mahdi

I became vegan about 5 months ago when I got food poisoning after eating chicken at a fast food place one evening. If you have never had food poisoning before, consider yourself lucky; it is absolutely the worst pain I have ever been in. Looking back now though, I can say that experience was one of the most important experiences I’ve had thus far. In a way, I’m glad that I suffered through this event when I did because it was essentially what made me find the courage to make the change that I wanted to make for so long.

Let me first give you a little more background about where I was regarding what I thought about consuming animal products leading up to the food poisoning incident. My parents are really big advocates for eating locally-grown, organic items and have been very health conscious for years. I finally started wondering why they were so interested in where their food came from last year when I graduated high school and found that I had time around the hours I worked to research topics that interested me. One of the first subjects I read up on was food since it’s such an integral part of everyone’s life, and as soon as I got into reading up on the meat industry, I remember feeling uneasy right away.

In my opinion, once you learn about animal cruelty and how prevalent related horrific practices are in our world, there’s no way you can go back to supporting the industry that promotes it. I immediately cut down the amount of meat I was eating and started eating more fruits and vegetables, but when I started my first semester of university, it became difficult for me to control what I was eating due to the sudden workload increase I had. Because the food I was eating wasn’t on my mind at all, not only did I gain some weight but I also wasn’t able to watch what I was eating all the time. I was, however, luckily able to continue using makeup, skincare, and personal hygiene products that are not tested on animals because I bought those things in the summer while researching veganism, and I didn’t have to worry about replenishing my stock of those items for months on end.

When I had time off of school in December, I was finally able to take some time to think about topics that didn’t relate to my classes. One of the first thoughts I had did, of course, relate to food, seeing as what I was eating was probably the most consistent piece of my life at the time. While searching for food-related documentaries on Netflix, I came across Food, Inc., a documentary made to expose the industrialized American food system. Actually seeing the horrors of the meat industry shocked me because the reality was much worse than what I expected. With that being said, it’s beyond me how, after a week of only eating meatless meals following watching that documentary, I decided to eat chicken at the fast food place my friends wanted to eat at. All I know was that I learned my lesson there: after getting so severely sick because of the meat I ate, I knew that my body was trying to tell me that I was not meant to consume it.

Adjusting to a life without animal products was honestly not as difficult as I thought it would be. I realized that if I was strict with myself from the beginning, if I always kept the reason for living this lifestyle on my mind, it would have been easier for me to maintain a vegetarian diet months earlier. Though I do regret not doing that before, I realize now that the fact that I took such a big step at all is pretty great; it really doesn’t matter when you become vegan, it’s just the fact that you’re aware and willing to make a change that’s the big deal.

Because I was raised in a household where my extended family was always a big part of my life, I was very curious as to what their reactions would be once they found out I had become vegan. On the weekend before Memorial Day, I took a short trip to Canada, where the majority of my family lives. I didn’t tell anyone that I was vegan beforehand because I knew that if they found out about my diet change, they would be worried about my health; I wanted them to see firsthand how much better I was doing health-wise, and I wanted to explain to them why I chose to pursue this lifestyle.

My family is big on having tea together with a variety of snacks, so naturally the first question I got was when one of my aunts noticed that I was reading the ingredients on the back of multiple snack boxes intently. She assumed that I was counting calories, so hearing that I was concerned about what ingredients were present in the cookies or spring rolls was a surprise for her. Many others turned their heads to hear why I was being so cautious, and when I explained that I avoided dairy and meat products, I saw a look of realization come across her face.

I had gotten a lot of comments about weight loss upon arriving, and when I was asked about my secret, I tried to change the topic because I didn’t want people to assume I went vegan to lose weight. When I finally confirmed that I’m vegan and explained what it means to live such a lifestyle, the first words out of most people’s mouths had them asking me about how safe such a dramatic change is. It takes a while to address the concerns that people who love you have, and it’s important to remember that they question you because they care. If you’re strong in what you believe, their beliefs about your choices shouldn’t affect you; after all, you’re not doing anything wrong!

Of course, if you want to help people understand why you’re pursuing the vegan life, there are hundreds of sources available online, including on The Vegetarian Resource Group website www.vrg.org, that will help you show those who are concerned for you that what you’re doing is safe. On this trip, I learned that knowing parts of these sources off the top of your head will not only show others that there’s a legitimate reason for you being vegan, but it will persuade them to give your lifestyle a try, or at least support your cause. I’m not saying that everyone will be willing to completely change their diet after talking to you, but people will definitely be curious to try a life with more vegetables than meat in their meals. Honestly, even convincing someone to incorporate more vegetables in their diet is a good start because at least they are open to seeing how tasty and healthful their meals can be with vegetables instead of meat!

I think that it’s so important to stay true to what you believe, and I know firsthand how difficult it is to commit one-hundred percent to this way of life. It is possible though, and it’s really easy to maintain once you set yourself some boundaries and actually get going. If you’re thinking about becoming vegan, definitely try it before you decide whether or not it’s for you. Similarly, if you’re trying to understand why a family member or a friend of yours has decided to go vegan, it’s important for you to remember that they have legitimate reasons for living the way they do. There’s nothing that has helped me on this journey more than seeing that my family supports me, accepts me, and has at least tried to understand where I’m coming from, even if they don’t necessarily agree with me.

VEGGING OUT AS A VEGAN TEEN

Posted on June 10, 2015 by The VRG

By Lily Donofrio

The life of a teenager is hectic and stressful. Hormones are raging, papers are due, positions on sports teams are being filled, social lives are being balanced, the working world is being introduced, bodies are changing, homework is taking up on average 2 hours a day, and such a depressing amount of more. We have boyfriends and girlfriends and pets and parents and siblings and teachers and bosses and coaches and best friends and secret admirers and advisors. It is essential for us busy bees to take some time to ourselves and relax.

How does one relax? Some take comfort in hot baths, vacationing, exercise, food, meditation, sleeping for obscenely long lengths of time, massages, Netflix marathoning, etc. The list can go on forever. I personally find relaxation in spending time with friends and vegging out. But different from the typical teenage binging, we do it vegan-style. We watch True Blood and Keeping Up With the Kardashians seasons over bowls of vegan cookie dough. We run out to the store to pick up Amy’s brand dairy free Mac n’ Cheese after major test weeks. We bake kale chips to satiate our cravings for salt. We have learned to keep our teenage norms animal-free.

It is so easy to prepare vegan comfort food. You just have to take recipes into your own hands and play around with ingredients. There are the obvious replacements like nut milk and Earth Balance Spread, and the not so obvious ones like using hot water and flax seed or avocados as eggs. Playing around with these variations is a great way to make veganism even more fun!

So if you are cramming for your finals, practicing relentlessly for your band’s gig this weekend, or swimming countless laps in the pool in preparation for your next meet, and are looking for a little bit of extra motivation, I suggest that you plan a night in with your buddies and cook up some intriguing vegan treats.

VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH

1 can chick peas
Almond milk, as needed
Sweetener to taste

Desired amount of vegan chocolate chips (I use 1/4th cup)
Blend chick peas in a food processor until smooth, add almond milk 1 Tablespoon at a time if preferred consistency is not reached. Add sweetener and continue blending. Mix in chocolate chips.

KALE CHIPS

Kale (2 cups obtains about ½ cup kale chip)
¼ cup oil of choice (I prefer sesame)
Seasoning of choice: SALT AND VINEGAR= 1 tbsp coarse sea salt, 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar; CHILE LIME= juice of ½ lime, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cayenne pepper (another tsp if you prefer spicier); ASIAN STYLE= 2 tsp ginger, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp garlic

Add all ingredients together in a bag, shake thoroughly. Bake in oven set at 325 degrees for 20 minutes, or until crispy.

MICROWAVE MUG CAKE

1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp sweetener of choice
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mug, mix thoroughly. Cook in a microwave for 2 minutes.
OPTIONAL TOPPINGS= vegan chocolate chips, peanut butter, vegan ice cream, vegan coconut whipped cream.

THE GUAC (Yields 2 cups)

3 avocados
Juice of 1 lime
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup favorite salsa
½ tbsp coarse sea salt

Harvest the meat from the avocado and mash. Prepare and combine all ingredients.

LOADED VEGAN NACHOS

2 cups of tortilla chips
½ cup soy crumbles (store bought soy crumbles or crumbled seitan)
¼ cup cashew nacho cheese (recipe below)
¼ cup salsa
Handful of jalapeños
Handful of chopped onion
½ cup beans (black or pinto)
1 cup lettuce

Arrange ingredients to your liking.

CASHEW NACHO CHEESE

¾ cup cashews soaked for 30 minutes
1 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp salt
Juice of ½ lime
1½ tbsp nutritional yeast

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

CHOCOHOLIC ICE CREAM

2 frozen bananas
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp sweetener
Splash of almond milk

Combine all ingredients in food processor, blend, freeze, and serve.

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

Posted on June 10, 2015 by The VRG

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

One-Night Stay at Velo Bed & Breakfast, a Veggie B&B in Eugene, OR, Offered in VRG’s Charity Auction!

Posted on June 09, 2015 by The VRG

$_57

Get away, vegan-style, at Velo Bed & Breakfast! This veggie B&B sits on lovely wooded acreage, just two miles from the whimsical city of Eugene, OR. Bid on a one-night stay at this lovely B&B and more in The VRG’s Online Charity Auction!

Start bidding at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251975922055

Velo Bed and Breakfast is located two miles southwest of Eugene, Oregon. It’s an ideal spot for cyclists; the riding nearby is superb. The countryside surrounding Velo Bed and Breakfast is prime Oregon wine country, with exceptional Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Velo features two beautiful en suite rooms. Guests enjoy their own separate entrance and spacious separate living/dining and patio areas. Gourmet organic breakfast and dessert are included. For more information about Velo Bed & Breakfast, see: velobandb.com/

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