Note from the Coordinators


An article about recent research from the University of Toronto and University of California, Berkeley stated that, "New research shows that upper-class people have less empathy than lower-class people, but sometimes this can lead them to do the most good for the most people when their bleeding-heart compatriots won't."

Many individuals become vegan or vegetarian because of empathy for animals, starving people in third world countries, people with disease, or the environment. Yet, as in all movements, sometimes the individuals and groups receiving the most publicity and support are those who are not empathetic towards others. A case could be made that those same groups made the most change. But then if you don't practice empathy towards all, why is it logical to be vegetarian or vegan? If individuals can be treated any way that advances your cause, why should animals be treated better? There has always been and probably will continue to be for a long time this debate in bringing about change.

When we observe how nasty people can be on the Internet, in politics, and sometimes in our movement, it is sad and discouraging. Then, when we read the amazing essays sent to us by high school students entering The Vegetarian Resource Group's annual college scholarship contest, we are reminded there are so many kids out there that care about others. Today it seems there is a vegetarian or two in almost every class. This is very different than not too long ago when there wasn't a vegetarian at every school, and probably not a vegan in an entire school system. But these kids are still a minority. They are all so brave and often feel different from others. We feel bad we can't give them all a scholarship, but for the purposes of this award, there are always five to ten who stand out. After a difficult selection process, we offer our congratulations to the 2013 scholarship winners (see pages 18-19). And thank you to the St. Louis Vegetarian Society, which enabled us to give several runner-up prizes to last year's entrants.

To support additional scholarships, needs-based internships, or sending Vegetarian Journal subscriptions to all the entrants, you can donate at or call (410) 366-8343. Please indicate the purpose of your donation.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler, Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group