Vegetarian Action

Eric Sharer Dietitian and Activist

IF YOU LIVE BY THE MANTRA �BE THE CHANGE YOU want to see in the world� and embrace what you believe in, then you can relate to Eric Sharer. Eric is a registered dietitian and a Vegetarian Resource Group volunteer who became vegetarian four years ago after he found a Mercy for Animals/Vegan Outreach pamphlet on a city bus in Providence, RI. Insight into the horrific mistreatment of animals who are produced to satisfy the human palate and the animal rights aspect of the lifestyle fortified his decision. Six months later, he went vegan.

Now, Eric is the Chicago Outreach Coordinator for The VRG. His journey to taking on this volunteer position began several years ago, when he was attending the American Dietetic Association National Conference and met Co-Director Charles Stahler at the VRG booth. Eric jumped at the opportunity to educate more people about veganism through affiliation with The Vegetarian Resource Group. �It is significant to play an active role in promoting plant-based diets because the general population does not know about the many benefits, nor can they relate to the rationale behind veganism,� he said.

Eric has promoted a vegan diet time after time, having tabled at a variety of events in the Chicago area. Among these are Veg Fest, VeganMania, the Chicago Green Festival, and most recently, FamilyFarmed EXPO in March 2011.

�I would say the most memorable event was Chicago VeganMania,� he recalls. �This is an amazing free event where the entire vegetarian and vegan community comes together to celebrate their lifestyle; showcases local companies, vendors, and musicians; and opens their hearts to anyone in the public who would like to join them.�

In addition to his activities with The Vegetarian Resource Group, Eric packs his day-to-day life with opportunities to represent and promote the vegetarian movement. As a registered dietitian, he concentrates on helping his clients achieve greater overall health by transitioning towards a more plant-based, crueltyfree diet. Eric is also working with Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization, to provide nutrition education to the public at several upcoming events.

Furthermore, a group of physicians and registered dietitians has developed a program with which Eric was happy to become involved. �I have recently become a Food Life instructor with The Cancer Project, a community-based nutrition education and cooking program that focuses on cancer prevention, defeat, and survival by adopting a plant-based diet,� he explained. Eric will be conducting these courses throughout the Chicago area.

Clearly seeing no limits to how he can inform others about veganism and help the planet achieve an ethical, healthful, sustainable balance, Eric also contributes to presentations at colleges, documentaries, and other animal rights activities.

Now you can begin to envision Eric�s dedication to being the change he wants to see in the world.