24 April 2012

A week of vegetarian eating: VegWeek 2012 supported by officials across the nation

Earth Day has come and passed, but VegWeek 2012 is just kicking off. Federal, state and local representatives from across the country are showing their support for healthy and sustainable foods by participating in the “7-Day Veg Pledge.”

In Takoma Park, Maryland, Mayor Bruce Williams signed a Proclamation officially declaring VegWeek 2012 and encouraging residents to participate celebrating in all of the benefits and flavors of vegetarian eating. Williams is taking the 7-Day Veg Pledge along with four other Takoma Park council members.

The seven day celebration -- running April 23 to 29 -- offers a chance for pledges to explore healthy eating habits through meatless meals.

“Just limiting your intake of meat will lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack and many cancers,” pointed out Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope. “I look forward to this challenge and the healthy benefits that will result.”

Many pledges just want to test the waters; others hope to make an impact. “I became vegetarian a number of years ago to decrease my carbon footprint,” said Maryland Delegate Shane Robinson. “Now it’s a way of life and I can’t imagine going back.”

Many businesses nationwide are offering VegWeek specials, such as Cupcake Wars winner Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats in DC, and quick service chain Veggie Grill in California. Other events offered include cooking demos, bake sales, movie screenings and more.

Compassion Over Killing, a DC-based nonprofit animal protection organization, was inspired to launch the first VegWeek in 2009 when Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin proclaimed, “There are 52 weeks in a year; why not make one of them vegetarian?” Raskin was the first to take the 7-day Veg Pledge, and has maintained that pledge ever since.

VegWeek has since expanded its celebration to a national campaign, with thousands signing up to try out being veg for one week. “Every time we choose vegetarian foods, we’re helping build a kinder, cleaner and healthier world,” said Compassion Over Killing Executive Director Erica Meier. “And VegWeek is a fun way to highlight these benefits.”

Please visit USVegWeek.com for a complete list of participants, restaurant specials, events, sponsors and partners.

Madeline Heising | Blog
Boston, MA Madeline is studying Communications and Public Advocacy at Northeastern University. Going vegan on a whim in 2011 changed her entire lifestyle for the better. Her course of study, health and career intentions now revolve around plant-based living. All it took was one question ‘Why would you care more about what goes on your body than what goes in it?’ When she’s not in classes she works at Teavana and keeps up her own recipe blog. The only thing that makes her happier than talking about food is traveling, but it’s a pretty close tie.

Photo credit: Compassion Over Killing