Pledge to Go Veg: It’s VegWeek 2012 April 23rd-29th!

“There are 52 weeks in a year, so why not make at least one of them meat-free?”

That’s the premise behind VegWeek, a “7-day celebration highlighting the many benefits of choosing vegetarian foods—for our health, the planet, and animals.”

Started by Compassion Over Killing, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization working to end animal abuse and promote veganism, in 2009 in Takoma Park, Maryland, Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin became the first person to take the Veg Pledge. And he’s remained a vegetarian to this day! After a Mayoral Proclamation was issued to recognize VegWeek in Takoma Park, it expanded to the state of Maryland, California, Virginia and Washington DC before going nationwide this year.

All week-long, there are events and participating restaurants in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Texas, Virginia and Washington, DC. Compassion Over Killing sees this as a “fun way to discover new and delicious meat-free meals.” But even if your city isn’t sponsoring an event (ahem, like my city Boston), you can still celebrate and explore by cooking vegetarian meals from cookbooks or blogs, eat at a vegetarian restaurant, or watch documentaries like Forks Over Knives or Vegucated on veg living.

If you take the Veg Pledge, Compassion Over Killing will send you a Vegetarian Starter Pack with recipes and coupons AND you could win prizes including:

  • Gardein
  • The Vegg
  • SOL Cuisine
  • Field Roast
  • Sophie’s Kitchen
  • Cavewoman Bars
  • DVD
  • Vegucated documentary DVD and T-shirt
  • A vegan cookbook

Americans consume 10 billion animals a year. Our food choices matter. We as consumers wield an enormous amount of power. So reducing the amount of meat you eat, even for a day or a week, impacts your health, the food industry, animals and the environment in a beneficial way. Eating vegetarian or vegan also makes us more aware of what we consume and put in our bodies.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Meatless Mondays. Many people find overhauling their dietary lifestyle daunting. Or maybe they want to eat veg but don’t think they can have a great meal without meat. But Meatless Mondays and VegWeek allow people to try out vegetarian meals. People can “flirt” with vegetarianism or “lean into” it as vegan celeb Alicia Silverstone and vegan author Kathy Freston call it, without a huge commitment.

If you sign up for the Veg Pledge, who knows? Maybe if you eat vegetarian for a week, you might extend it to another week and another. You just might feel so good you want to keep going.

So how about going vegetarian for a week?? Would love to hear your results if you Pledge Veg!!

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