Predictions and Expectations

The Wall Street Journal called to ask us about non-vegetarians fueling the growth of mainstream restaurants offering meatless options. Charles finds calls like this one intriguing since, when he was in college more than 30 years ago, he wrote a marketing paper explaining why Burger King should sell veggie burgers.

Approximately 25 years ago, a large animal group asked Debra to do a vegan cooking demo, since only one of their staff people at the time was vegetarian. Last year, this same group gave away our Vegan in Volume to 200 food services to encourage serving vegan meals. The book was so popular that the same group asked for 500 more copies. It appears so many of our predictions about vegetarianism have come true — some even faster than we expected — and our long-held beliefs are becoming increasingly accepted in society.

We often received essays from students who felt ostracized because they were vegetarian. Thank you to our families, who never really gave us a hard time in this regard. Sadly, Debra's father passed away recently. Even though he wasn't vegetarian himself, he always supported Debra's efforts to promote vegetarianism. We remember one time when we were organizing a conference and dinner for more than 400 people in New York City, and we lost power in the kitchen. Debra's father rigged up numerous extension cords so she could have a single light bulb by which to supervise the serving of food. All the dishes came out on time, and none of the attendees was the wiser. Chef Ramsay would be proud.

Debra's father was a scientist. We knew we were on track when he read articles in Vegetarian Journal and said they were scientifically sound. Not everyone in the movement has agreed with our approaches, but it's gratifying that non-vegetarian scientists could take seriously what our experts were writing. Thank you to all of our volunteers, supporters, and those who have included VRG in their wills so that the group can continue its work after all of us.

Also, we greatly appreciate VRG intern Amanda and staff member Mary, who hosted a booth at a health fair for a Baltimore City school. The students weren't at all vegetarian, but since two of their teachers were vegan, the students asked some good questions. For example, they wanted to know more about what someone on a vegan diet actually can eat.

Right now, we are working with a vegan doctor who is developing resources for underserved clients. If you work with such a population, please send us tips, hints, and recipes that have been successful with people who don't have access to good supermarkets and are used to a typical American fast food diet.

Thank you for working with us towards a vegetarian world!

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group