VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter
Editor: Sonja Y. Helman
Volume 13, Issue 5
November 2009


  12. About The Vegetarian Resource Group
  13. About VRG-NEWS


Fortunately, there are numerous vegetarian Thanksgiving events to attend. You can find many U.S. listings for such events on the Gentle Thanksgiving website [ http://www.gentlethanksgiving.org/ ]. Gentle Thanksgiving (a project of FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement)) also offers resources for compassionate alternatives to the traditional turkey dinner. If you are in the Baltimore area, we hope you will attend our Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck on Sunday, November 22 (please see section 6 for more details).

At this time of giving thanks, we would like to express our gratitude for all who have helped us throughout the year. We couldn't do it without you!

Thanks to TheVegetarianSite.com for donating 10% of their August proceeds to VRG! We really appreciate their generosity. Make sure to check them out for vegan shoes, clothing, food, belts, accessories, and more!

A big thank you to the following volunteers who have helped with our VRG booths at events around the country:

BookExpo America (BEA), New York, NY: Julia Driggers, Heather Gorn, Kristen Lambert, Karen Lazarus, Rachael Prokop

Their Lives, Our Voices (Midwest Animal Advocacy Conference), Minneapolis, MN: Barbara Stasz

Richmond Vegetarian Festival, Richmond, VA: Elsa Spencer

JAINA Convention, Anaheim, CA: Kim Birnbaum, John Cunningham

Vegetarian Summerfest, Johnstown, PA: Jeannie McStay, Ben Shaberman

Taking Action for Animals, Arlington, VA: Kristen Lambert, Jeannie McStay, Rachael Prokop, Ben Shaberman

D.C. VegFest, Washington, DC: Heather Gorn, Mark Rifkin, Yuko Tamura

Portland VegFest, Portland, OR: Jessica Dadds

NY's Capital Region Vegetarian Expo, Saratoga Springs, NY: Terry Carlo

Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, Charlottesville, VA: Elsa Spencer

Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore, MD: Melanie Campbell, Heather Gorn, Carole Hamlin, Jeannie McStay, Mark Rifkin, Jenny Saccenti, Kathleen Wilsbach

World Veg Festival Weekend, San Francisco, CA: Phil Becker

VeganMania, Chicago, IL: Gretchen Chlebowski, Julie Conry, Eric Sharer

Great Sage Benefit, Clarksville, MD: Heather Gorn

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, Boston, MA: Susan Petrie, David McLaughry, Sam McLaughry, Reed Mangels, Arnie Alper

If you are interested in assisting us, please let us know! You can email vrg@vrg.org or call (410) 366-8343. Thanks!


Congratulations to Vegetarian Resource Group Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, who is co-author of The American Dietetic Association position paper on vegetarianism. This was a very intensive and time consuming project; however, the effort spent on accuracy and documentation was worth it as evidenced by the following note sent from one of our nutrition interns:

"The other day my boyfriend, who is an MD/PhD student at UPenn, received..."

To read the rest, please see the following:
http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/dec_09_addition.ph ]

Editor's Note: For the updated position paper on vegetarian diets by the ADA, please see:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/2009_ADA_position_paper.pdf ]


VRG Nutrition Advisor Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, has written a helpful guide on raising young vegans, "Tips for Parents of Young Vegans." Topics include nutrition, peer pressure, making food fun, and more! To read the article, please see [ http://www.vrg.org/family/tips_for_young_vegans.php ].

Editor's Note: If you are the parent of a vegetarian or vegan child, you may be interested in our Parent's E-mail List. This network is a way for parents of vegetarian and vegan children to exchange ideas on various topics. Please go to [ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vrgparents/ ] to join.


by Rachael Prokop VRG Intern

This summer I took a writing internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group. In my two and a half months here I learned a great deal about the nonprofit and publishing industries and found myself surrounded by people who share my passion for vegetarianism.

Only a few days after arriving in Baltimore from Ohio, VRG coordinators Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler took me to New York City to attend a publishing trade show, Book Expo America. It was the experience of a lifetime. I was surrounded by publishing companies big and small, and was able to learn more about the publishing industry than had even been hinted at in my college English courses. I met many VRG members and volunteers at the conference, all of whom were interesting, vibrant people. In the evenings Debra and Charles showed me and Kristen, the other intern, around New York, making stops at some delicious vegetarian restaurants.

All too soon the conference was over and I started my office job in earnest. I had several writing assignments, including writing an answer for an FAQ that VRG dietitian Reed Mangels is working on, writing a Vegetarian Action article for the Vegetarian Journal, and composing several Veggie Bits for the Journal. I also researched restaurants for VRG's restaurant guide and took on several smaller assignments, such as writing press releases. One of my more time-consuming tasks was to send out and then compile the answers to a survey on vegetarianism. Luckily I had Kristen's help with this, but many hours were spent learning how the mail merge option on the computer worked, labeling envelopes, looking up addresses for returned mail, relabeling envelopes, and sending e-mail after e-mail. However, the growing pile of filled-out surveys on my desk is proof that hard work has results.

Near the end of my internship, I went to the Taking Action for Animals conference in Arlington, Virginia, where I was able to meet many people and organizations who are doing wonderful things for animals. VRG was popular there, and I was glad to be able to help fellow vegetarians and those who wished to become vegetarian. This fall I will be returning to Ohio for my senior year at Ohio

Northern University, where I am majoring in creative writing. My internship here helped me choose my career goal, which is to write for a nonprofit organization. My time at the VRG was invaluable for helping me move towards that goal and to remind me how important vegetarianism is in my life.

If you would like to apply for a VRG internship in Baltimore or to do a long distance internship, please send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter detailing your interests, skills, goals, and vegetarian knowledge to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203, or e-mail to vrg@vrg.org. Most internships are not paid. If you are looking for a paid internship, please indicate your financial need.

For more information about interning with The Vegetarian Resource Group, please see section 11.


VRG Research Director Jeanne Yacoubou, MS, has created a lesson plan for children on water usage. It includes a lesson in four steps with assessment template and discussion questions and answers. To view the entire lesson plan, Clean Water for Everyone Today and Tomorrow with Good Food Choices, please see [ http://www.vrg.org/environment/K-2_lesson_plan_clean_water.php ].


The Vegetarian Resource Group is happy to host our 28th annual Pre-Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Join us as we show our thanks for turkeys and all living creatures by not eating them!

Admission is $4 per adult; children are admitted free. Also, please bring a vegan dish - that serves four - as a contribution from EACH member of your party. Write the ingredients of your dish on a 3" x 5" card to accommodate guests with special diets.

Also, please bring a serving utensil for each dish. Paper plates, cups, napkins, and plastic utensils will be provided; however, we suggest attendees bring their own reusable dishes and utensils in order to reduce waste.

If you are unable to cook, you may bring a prepared vegan dish for four, from a local natural foods store or restaurant.

We also encourage you to bring a non-perishable vegetarian canned food item to donate to North Baltimore Mennonite Church, who will distribute it to those in need.

WHEN: Sunday, November 22, 2009; 5 p.m.
WHERE: North Baltimore Mennonite Church, 4615 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210
WEB:http://www.vrg.org/press/thanksgiving_potluck_09.htm ]
EMAIL: vrg@vrg.org
PHONE: (410) 366-8343 (VRG office; call for more information)


The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 Included an extension of a previously expired provision that allowed individuals to roll over up to $100,000 from an individual retirement account directly to a charity (such as VRG) without recognizing the asset transfer as income.

Originally passed in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and extended through 2007, the tax-free rollover has produced more than $130 million in charitable gives, according to the Council on Foundations.

Eligible contributions may now be made through Dec. 31, 2009 for the 2009 tax year. These contributions can be counted as all or a portion of the taxpayer's required minimum distribution (RMD) for 2009.

As in the previous version of the law, a qualified charitable distribution is money that persons 70 1/2 or older direct from a traditional IRA or Roth IRA to an eligible charitable organization. The amount is limited to $100,000 per year per person. Although no charitable deduction is allowed for this contribution, the amount distributed directly to the charity can be excluded from gross income.

There are a few requirements that must be met before the distribution from an IRA to a charity is considered tax free:

The maximum amount eligible for this type of transfer is $100,000 per individual IRA owner. A married couple with separate IRA accounts can make transfers of up to $100,000 each in a single year. Of course speak to your accountant or lawyer for personal financial, legal, or tax advice.




Good news for Virginia vegetarian and vegan motorists! A special vegetarian license plate has been proposed in the state of Virginia, and Delegate Jennifer McClellan has agreed to sponsor the bill in the General Assembly. But first they need to obtain 350 prepaid applications to submit to the DMV and then the General Assembly by the end of this month.

This effort is being jointly sponsored by the Richmond Vegetarian Festival, Vegan Action, and the Vegetarian Society of Richmond. To learn more about the license plate and to view the design, please visit [ http://www.veggieplates.org ].



Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) has launched a national search for a full-time vegan chef. They are looking for a formally trained chef who will lead the way in developing CAS's innovative culinary education program. If you have a passion for protecting and honoring animals, enjoy teaching others about how to eat in ways that are kind to the Earth and all its creatures, and are formally trained, you just might be who they are looking for.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary provides a safe home for farm animals, an advocate for those who can't stand up for themselves, and a resource for education. Started in 2001, CAS is located in Saugerties, NY.

For more information or to apply, please see [ http://www.casanctuary.org/chef ].



Looking for vegetarian reviews, news and more? You can find that, along with tips on raising vegetarian kids, travel, and humane living at VegBlogger.com. Written by a vegetarian writer, this blog is dedicated to informing, inspiring, and combating apathy. Check it out here [ http://www.vegblogger.com/ ].



Off The Hoof is a new veggie lifestyle magazine from the United Kingdom. Its content covers a broad range of ethical and environmental issues including climate change, current charity campaigns, undercover expos�s, reviews of the latest green events, recipes from award-winning chefs, travel features, and new vegetarian product reviews.

It is published by Yaoh, a hemp company that sells a range of organic, vegan hemp bodycare and food products. They also organize the Eco Veggie Fayres.

In order to spread the word about Off The Hoof, they are offering a free download of Issue 5 at their website [ http://www.offthehoof.co.uk ].



For a limited time, you can give Vegetarian Journal to friends, relatives, and even yourself for 25% off the normal rate! We will send notice of your thoughtful gift along with your personalized note to anyone in the United States for the special price of $15 per subscription ($27 to Canada and Mexico; $37 to other foreign countries).

There are many ways to order:

By mail: Please send a check or money order made payable to Vegetarian Journal to VRG, PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

By phone: (410) 366-8343 M-F 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST.

Online: Please visit [ https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?cid=1565 ] and make sure to put the recipient's name and mailing address along with how you want your message to read in the Comments box.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and U.S. currency.

This offer expires December 31, 2009.


(This recipe appears in Vegan Seafood: Beyond the Fish Shtick for Vegetarians by Chef Nancy Berkoff, EdD, RD [ http://www.vrg.org/catalog/veganseafood.htm ]).

Eggplant Caviar

(Makes about 2 cups or eight 1/4 cup servings)

1 pound eggplant
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped, seeded green bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced green onion (white section only)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons diced black olives
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kelp powder or ground dried nori (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped pine nuts or almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a fork, prick the skin of the eggplant in several spots. Place the eggplant on a non-stick cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes or until soft and starting to collapse. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Put olive oil in a skillet and saute the mushrooms and green peppers for 3 minutes. Add the green onions and garlic and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Allow vegetables to cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove the stem from the eggplant. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape the soft interior of the eggplant into a food processor or blender canister. The peel can be discarded. Add the sauteed vegetables, olives, lemon juice, pepper, and kelp or nori powder and blend until smooth.

Place in a bowl and allow caviar to chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with nuts, if desired.

Total calories per serving: 41
Total Fat as % of Daily Value: 3%
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Iron: 0.5 mg
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Fat: 2 g
Calcium: 15 mg
Sodium: 33 mg


VRG Scholarships

The VRG will again award $10,000 in college scholarships. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we will give two $5,000 college scholarships to graduating high school students who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools and/or communities. The students must be graduating high school in spring 2010. The deadline is February 20, 2010. For more information or to read about past winners, go to [ http://www.vrg.org/student/scholar.htm ].

VRG Internships

Responsibilities depend on background, major if in college, and interest of applicant. Tasks may include research, writing, and/or community outreach. Internships are helpful for students working toward journalism, English, and nutrition degrees. Business majors can obtain experience related to the business aspects of a non-profit organization. Activists can learn new skills and gain a broader knowledge, as well as share their expertise. Positions open throughout the year for all ages (including high school students living in Baltimore). Internships are unpaid. Send resume and cover letter to: The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; vrg@vrg.org.


Our health professionals, activists, and educators work with businesses and individuals to bring about healthful changes in your school, workplace, and community. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member and media questions about vegetarian diets. The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization. Financial support comes primarily from memberships, donations, bequests, and book sales. The Vegetarian Journal, a print magazine, is a benefit of membership in The VRG. (For more information, please see the Vegetarian Journal online.)

If you would like to make a donation, become a member, volunteer, or find out more about The VRG, contact us at:

The Vegetarian Resource Group
P.O. Box 1463
Baltimore, MD 21203
Phone: (410) 366-8343
Fax: (410) 366-8804
E-mail: vrg@vrg.org
Website: [ http://www.vrg.org ]

Donate: [ https://www.givedirect.org/donate/?Action=GC&CID=1561 ]

The contents of this newsletter, 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.


VRG-NEWS is the e-mail newsletter of The Vegetarian Resource Group. This is an announcement list so subscriber messages are not accepted by the list. If you have a technical question about the list, please contact us at vrg@vrg.org. If you have any suggestions, ideas, or corrections to VRG-NEWS, please direct them to vrg@vrg.org. Thanks!

If you are a new subscriber, you might enjoy reading past issues of VRG-NEWS online at [ http://www.vrg.org/vrgnews/index.htm ].

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Contents of VRG-NEWS are copyright 2009 by The Vegetarian Resource Group. The newsletter may be freely distributed in electronic or print form provided its contents are not altered and credit is given to The Vegetarian Resource Group, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203.

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PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203
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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.

Web site questions or comments? Please email vrg@vrg.org.