VRG Update

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Fall 1996

Editor: Brad Scott

Suzanne Holden

Intern Profile: Suzanne Holden

My VRG internship got off to a quick, action packed start when I met Charles, Debra, and other VRG volunteers at a booth during the Alliance For The Animals Conference in Washington, D.C. last June. The first things I noticed were the large crowd hovering around the table and the multitude of  books, Journals, and free educational materials available to passersby. I quickly realized that the VRG does so much more than print books, the Vegetarian Journal, and the Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update.  I immediately got a quick orientation to the booth, started helping out, and felt right at home. What a wonderful feeling it was to help promote something I feel so passionately committed to as vegetarianism. I imagine that Charles and Debra must feel an amazing sense of fulfillment and accomplishment at having created an organization which has done so much to support and promote the vegetarian lifestyle.

My interest in vegetarianism led me to arrange my summer public health internship, as part of my course requirements for an  M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with VRG adviser Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.  As part of the field experience, she arranged for me to spend two weeks in Baltimore with the VRG.

In addition to helping out at the Alliance For The Animals Conference and March, I have had the opportunity to get to know the "ropes" of  the VRG office and write several articles for various publications. Although I had become adept at writing academic papers in my Master's program, my skills at writing consumer friendly articles and

educational materials had never been developed. While at the VRG, I completed an educational article on teenage vegetarianism for a large foodservice company newsletter, wrote an article on vegetarian options in schools for Vegetarian Journal's Foodservice Update, wrote two short articles for the Journal's Notes From the Scientific Department, and began researching and writing an article on internship options for vegetarian dietetics students. Charles and Debra gave me expert feedback on how to present vegetarian information in a non-biased and engaging fashion, which I am sure will be helpful to me in my future work.

While at the VRG, I have realized the importance of educating others about vegetarian diets in a positive fashion. It concerns me that sometimes the media, and even those in the dietetics profession, portray the vegetarian diet as something that requires a lot of  expert planning and concern. This is true only to the extent that any way of eating should be planned and thought about!  Even as a dietetics student, I used to buy into this outdated way of thinking. My excuse for not becoming vegan was that I didn't have time to plan and think about my diet as a busy graduate student. I have since realized, however, that this idea was pure (soy) baloney; my beliefs had been subtly formed in response to media and other influences. Nevertheless, this is why I feel that the educational and advocacy work of the VRG is crucial. Although the vegetarian movement has made enormous strides in the past few years, we still have plenty of work to do and people to reach.

I feel lucky to have had an experience as an intern at the VRG, and feel good about contributing to such an important and worthwhile organization. In fact, I'm sure I'll be back!

Thanks to volunteer Rob Eccles for converting this article to HTML

VRG Home | About VRG | Vegetarian Journal | Books | Vegetarian Nutrition
Subscribe to Journal | Vegetarian Game | Vegetarian Family | Nutshell | VRG-News
Vegetarian Recipes | Travel | What's New | Bulletin Board | Search www.vrg.org | Links

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September 20, 1997

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