People can be very passionate about their vegetarianism, but they can also have many different beliefs and needs. They can’t be stereotyped and labeled, but they do want to know what’s on their food labels. This month, Jeanne Yacoubou looks at foods that are labeled as vegetarian or with a vegetarian symbol. What do these indications really mean for consumers and food companies?
When you’re deeply involved in a cause or organization, the political and philosophical issues important to you may not matter to others or to the general public. For example, when those outside of the movement think of people who are involved in animal rights, they don’t see the differences between people who are promoting spaying and neutering and others who advocate abolition of zoos, animal experimentation, or animal agriculture; they are all the same “PETA people.” Humane advocates may feel that they are worlds apart from animal rights proponents, but to many outsiders, there is no difference.
During our more than 25 years of activism, we have seen groups viciously attack others who don’t use tactics that they feel are extreme enough. Unfortunately, those organizations and the people supporting them don’t understand how few activists there are in the country, and every caring person who they drive away is a blow to the better world that we all want.
There are indeed vegetarians of every stripe. Thank you to The Vegetarian Resource Group volunteers and staff who work so hard to meet varied needs. Congratulations to VRG’s Food Service Advisor, Chef Nancy Berkoff, for being accepted to make a presentation on soy foods at the School Nutrition Association, which represents 55,000 school food service personnel.
Thank you to Arnie Alper, MD, who volunteered to be at our outreach booth during the American Academy of Family Practitioners annual meeting. Congratulations to VRG Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, who authored vegetarian chapters for two nutrition textbooks. Thank you to Sid Bravmann, who is helping us with fundraising and planned giving so that VRG will continue into the future. We appreciate Jessica Dadds and Casey McDonald giving out VRG literature at the VegFest in Seattle, which attracts more than 10,000 attendees annually, and the group in Marin County, California, that handed out our children’s materials and placemats at a 4-H career fair. Kudos to Mark Rifkin, RD, who volunteered to answer questions from the public for us on numerous Fridays. And thank you to all who support vegetarian outreach in a positive way.
Debra Wasserman & Charles Stahler
Coordinators of The Vegetarian Resource Group
The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone who wishes to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.
Thanks to volunteer Stephanie Schueler for converting this article to HTML.
The contents of this website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.
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