NOTES FROM THE COORDINATORS

NATURAL FOODS: UPSCALE OR DOWNSCALE? MANY ROLES FOR PROMOTING VEGANISM

Like individuals in other movements, many vegan activists have strong opinions and think their method is the only way to go. We would contend that movements always need all the approaches; however, you should support and work on the ones that make the most sense for you.

In an article from Hartman Group marketing firm, they stated that 41 percent of American shoppers shop at BOTH a natural/specialty retailer AND either supercenter (e.g., Walmart) or dollar stores. Some activists don't like any one of these retailers for various reasons, but it seems like there is room enough to pick the approach you agree with, and let people know vegan products are available there. Some individuals want to eat at gourmet vegan restaurants like Sublime in Florida, Candle Café in New York, or Great Sage in Maryland. Others enjoy an inexpensive meal at Taco Bell. Do what works best for you.

We'd like to thank all our volunteers and staff, who help promote a better world in their own unique way. Kudos to Shani Stewart in Florida and Laura McGuiness in California, who compile our monthly email newsletters. Thank you to Jane Michalek, Carole Hamlin, and Suzanne Hengen, who help with each issue of Vegetarian Journal. And Carole's fundraising has enabled us to have a second needs-based intern. What would we do without Phil Becker, who has coordinated outreach booths for us from Pennsylvania to California? Thank you especially to Reed Mangels, who has shared her scientific knowledge and commitment for decades, as well as speaking in Massachusetts, Florida, and other states. Without Cathy Conway, each year at the meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we would never know if our materials arrived, nor would we have a professional answering questions for the hundreds of registered dietitians who come by our booth. Matt Baker's dependability has made our life so much easier, whether he's running a booth, following up on our surveys, setting up tables for Thanksgiving, or responding to scholarship entrants. What would we do without Alan Polster keeping the website updated throughout the week? And of course, David Milner's HTML skills are invaluable.

Finally, thank you so much to Samantha Gendler, who has taken on The Vegetarian Resource Group's blogging/Facebook tasks. Visit www.vrg.org/blog or https://www.facebook.com/thevegetarianresourcegroup for the latest Vegetarian Resource Group research and news including discount offers on vegan products, details on new veggie restaurants, and updates on whether various food ingredients are vegan or not. If you would like to volunteer in the Baltimore office or long distance, email vrg@vrg.org.

Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler

Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group