Veggielicious: Toronto's celebration of compassionate cooking

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April is an exciting month; sunnier days, milder weather, and, if you're a student such as myself, the end of the university semester. Toronto has another reason to celebrate this year: Veggielicious!

From April 9-24, just in time for Earth Day, The Toronto Vegetarian Association is kicking off Veggielicious, an event to celebrate compassionate cooking and the first event of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)!

The idea is for vegetarian restaurants in the GTA (as well as St. Catherine's and even Niagara Falls) to offer deals and discounts on their dishes; serving up healthy, veggie and eco-friendly meals in their communities.

The event is taking place to encourage non-vegetarians to lower their meat consumption (and sign up for the Veggie Challenge), promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the educating the community of the positive effects a veggie lifestyle has on the environment. For those who are already vegetarian, it's a great time to take advantage of the discounts on vegetarian cuisine and introduce vegetarianism to loved ones by bringing their friends and family along.

The Veggielicious website (http://www.veggielicious.ca/) provides a list of the participating restaurants (and where to find them), chances to win prizes, a poster link, and a live Twitter feed (@TorontoVeg). Also, check out the Toronto Vegetarian Association website (http://www.veg.ca/) for information on the other work they do.

I'm very excited for this event to take place because I'll be visiting my family in Toronto for a few days next month! As a vegetarian, it's very encouraging to see that organizations like the Toronto Vegetarian Association exist, and that a large, metropolitan city such as Toronto is embracing such an event. I urge anyone and everyone who will be in the GTA while the event is running to support the local vegetarian restaurants and recommend them to people you know in the area!

Hearing about this event, I'm curious to know if other cities around the world also celebrate vegetarian cuisine in similar (or different) ways. Feel free to share what's going on in your community that is promoting compassionate living!

Tanya Ayala | @tanya_lua
Tanya is a full-time student at Concordia University, pursuing a BA in Political Science & Professional Writing. She was initially inspired to become vegetarian because of the health benefits, but after watching Food, Inc. and Earthlings, and reading Eating Animals, she realized that her lifestyle had the potential of improving the environment and animal rights.  Follow Tanya on Twitter and on Tumblr.

Photo credit: Veggielicious

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