Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

When I first spotted the ad for a vegetarian editor and graphic designer, I thought I'd be a good fit for the position. I jumped at the opportunity to combine my compassion for animals with my communications and publishing degrees. But when I realized that The Vegetarian Resource Group offices were less than a mile from my apartment, I knew it was meant to be. Frankly, I couldn't believe that a vegetarian group with such a rich history existed within walking distance and I had been none the wiser.

Editing the journal isn't all comma splices and color swatches. One of the best parts of this job is getting to work with our college interns. VRG interns do not go on coffee runs or get relegated to the copy machine; I work with them on writing feature-length articles and Veggie Bits, our short product reviews. I teach Technical Writing at the University of Maryland at College Park when I'm not at VRG, so it's a treat to be able to help shape a student's writing without having to assign a grade at the end. Instead, we celebrate by sampling some of Baltimore's best vegan eats: mac 'n cheese at Land of Kush, milkshakes at Lost City Diner, or veggie sushi at Sticky Rice.

Though much of my time here at VRG is spent carefully inputting the nutritional analysis for our recipes, and trying to design attractive yet functional displays of data for our many surveys, I recently got to take part in my favorite aspect of creating a veggie world: sampling new vegan products. At the Natural Products Expo East, I roamed row after row of the Baltimore Convention Center, sampling mini vegan marshmallows in tiny cups of cocoa and every gooey grilled 'cheese,' in sight, all in the name of finding innovative vegan products to introduce to you, our readers. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

A few days after accepting the Senior Editor position, I realized I had history with VRG after all. There's an ancient fridge in my parents' basement covered with magnetic letters, pictures of my sister and me with Bert and Ernie, and other childhood relics. Amongst the memorabilia, I spotted a tiny rectangular magnet with an old VRG logo. According to my mother, it was placed there by 9-year-old me, who was newly vegetarian, and an active supporter of The Vegetarian Resource Group nearly 20 years ago.

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