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Vegetarian Journal 2002 Issue 1

Note from the Coordinators

The Meaning of Unfolding Events

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, we have agonized over what the unfolding events would mean to the United States, the world, vegetarianism, and The Vegetarian Resource Group. Vegetarians can be found in every area of the political spectrum, from military personnel to pacifists against all war. In the short term, we may all have different answers. But in the long term, as one of our key volunteers quickly reminded us, what we do as vegetarians is just as important today as it was before September 11th.

Though anthrax and other types of biological warfare are terrifying enough, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke are some of the top killers in this country. As vegetarians, we must still work on HEALTH AND PREVENTION. If current events bring about increased ENVIRONMENTAL destruction, it's even more important that vegetarians promote diets that use organic farming methods and fewer nonrenewable resources when possible. If the economy continues to worsen (we hope not), many more people may need our help learning how to prepare meals based around more ECONOMICAL beans and grains. In the long run, in order to preserve VRG's future, we will have to find ways for all people the world over to have access to resources and to act in a more ETHICAL way. Certainly vegetarianism is one part of this solution, though not the only aspect in these complicated issues. We encourage vegetarians and animal rights and environmental activists to maintain strong beliefs and to share their knowledge, but also to remember the horrible consequences when one doesn't promote TOLERANCE of those who have different values.

Vegetarian Journal is one project of the nonprofit Vegetarian Resource Group. An important aspect of our work is in outreach to health professionals and food service staff. Recently we exhibited at the annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association in St. Louis, Missouri. (See Notes from the Scientific Department). On the first day of the show, the exhibit hall was packed and we gave away almost all our handouts. Chef Nancy Berkoff, RD, spoke for VRG to 275 food service professionals. Since she knows practical tips, they ate up the information. Even though this was a large expense for us, by educating food service staff we were able to impact tens of thousands of people. Shortly after the ADA show, Suzanne Havala, RD, testified at the Department of Agriculture concerning school lunches and soy products.

Over the years VRG has thrived and grown by retaining our beliefs, but changing with the times. We began with a typewritten four-page monthly newsletter in October 1982. In 1990, we converted to the 36-page bimonthly Vegetarian Journal. Over the past few years, we have grown such that every month we educate more than 100,000 people via our website. The cost to us of making this information available on the web is equivalent to producing two Journals. With the downturn in the economy, especially after September 11th, and impending postal rate increases, in order to maintain our extensive outreach, we have decided to go to a quarterly format. Depending on support, we may publish other special issues. We are writing this in 2001 and are not sure what the economy will bring in 2002. However, if you would like to provide support to enable us to print additional features, please contact us.

On a very positive note, we'd like to announce another great outreach project: an anonymous donor has pledged money each year so that VRG can offer $10,000 in college scholarship money. Please see the back cover for details.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group

Excerpts from the 2002 Issue 1:

The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone who wishes to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.

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