Feeling discouraged about the plight of animals raised for food around the world? Need a lift? Visit the Meatout 2011 Event Directory and delight in the wide variety of interesting events taking place this month to promote veganism. With pledges to serve vegan foods to nearly 20,000 people, Meatout events range from public feed-ins and presentations, to events in schools and retirement communities, plus demonstrations, open mic nights, and more.
In Pembroke, Massachusetts, students at Brockton High School will take a vow of silence to honor animals raised for food and will wear badges to identify their involvement in Meatout. They will put up posters and operate information tables sharing the positive message about the benefits of a vegetarian/vegan diet. The cafeteria will also offer vegetarian options for students from March 21-25.
Although vegan outreach frequently targets younger people, one event in Fargo, North Dakota will share the benefits of a vegan diet with approximately 200 residents of a retirement community. Rachel, the compassionate coordinator of this event, works for the retirement community and saw a perfect opportunity for residents, many of whom are 80 or over and have diabetes and other chronic conditions, to make choices to improve their health and quality of life.
Rachel is frequently consulted by people in the community for nutritional tips and healthy recipes and is looking forward to providing lots of helpful information to residents on March 21st. She is also looking forward to giving residents a chance to try a variety of vegan food products, teaching them different ways to prepare vegan foods, and showing them how delicious vegan foods are.
At Colorado State University, Colorado Coalition for Animals‘ Charlotte Cressey will give a powerful presentation about the dismemberment of nonhuman animals, the dismemberment of the human spirit, and how to return to wholeness. In Alexandria you can attend an poetry open mic night and vegan potluck where the focus is on compassion for all beings. And in California, kids from the Mars Academy (a nonprofit private academy for k to 12th graders) will share a vegan feast, serve vegan lunches to the homeless, and distribute information and vegan food samples to the public.
And how about events outside of the U.S.? In India’s city of Madurai, Grace Trust, one of FARM’s Sabina Fund recipients, will mobilize its coalition members, volunteers, and youth to promote Meatout’s educational initiatives, potentially benefiting 25,000 people. In Mexico, people will celebrate the Dia Sin Carne (Day Without Meat) with a fiesta including music, vegetarian food, movies, and more. In Spain, a month-long online vegan bloggers’ event will promote the month without meat. And depending upon where you are in Germany, you could feed apples to 32 cows rescued from slaughter, get an animal welfare-related tattoo, or enjoy free vegan chocolates!
Finally, if you are feeling alone or discouraged on your own vegetarian or vegan path, perhaps we can all find inspiration in the words of Carolina who is hosting a private feed-in Odendaalsrus, South Africa. As she shared with FARM for the event directory, Carolina believes she is the only vegetarian in her city of 200,000 people. She says meat-eating is a “big thing” there and people don’t relate well to vegetarians, much less vegans.
But Carolina persists and says, “I walk every single day and always think what an amazing opportunity it is to do leafleting.” If she can do it, alone in a city of 200,000, so can we!
A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone hosting or participating in a Meatout 2011 event. And there’s still time! Register now and you can take advantage of food offers from our generous food sponsors. Plus get our handouts and our colorful new vegan brochure to give to all of your attendees.
~ Cindi Saadi for the FARM Blog