Veganism: Coming to a School Near You

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Veganism is the newest social justice movement on the block, and kids of all ages are starting to get the memo! Each new generation of kids is growing in awareness and feels more inclined to take interest in political issues. Recently, countless videos of children protesting eating animals in their households have gone viral, and it’s astounding amazing to watch kids as a whole grow in understanding and give a voice to the voiceless. The anti-animal violence front is at its peak: colleges were the first to take on guest seminars informing young adults why to go vegan, now veganism is spreading to kids all around the USA as young as sixth grade! Food or Friends is a new program backed by Vegan Outreach. This educational presentation reminds youngsters to give into the voice that tells us to love and protect our furry friends, despite how different social trends urge us to put those thoughts on the back burner for our taste buds. Vegan Outreach worked to establish an interactive and fun classroom experience, while also urging kids to push their critical thinking (and critical empathizing) skills; as they question if deterring their health, the earth they live on, and the well being of animals is worth that cheeseburger. The Food or Friends project currently is small-scale and in just a handful of cities across the United States, but I can’t wait to see this project grow so more and more kiddos can get on board and help to put an end to animal cruelty!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

V-Grits Heads to Chi-Town!

This past Saturday, the V-Grits crew had a rad time selling our vegan cheeses at Chicago Veganmania! We came, we ate (a lot), we sold, we left. Here are some highlights from our trip (mostly food, of course).

  • Rocket 88: Out first stop was in Indy! We needed some donut/coffee power to get us to Chicago, so a stop at a local coffee shop with a lovely selection of vegan options was definitely needed! Some veg-friendly menu items included Apple Pie Donuts (delish!) and savory Tempeh Waffles. If you’re in the neighborhood, I would definitely check it out!
  • Chicago Diner: I ordered a Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Chocolate Chip Milkshake with whipped cream Saturday night. How’s that for plant-based? 😉 Chicago Diner is doing it right, with their awesome slogan “Meat free since ’83!” Meat free is how we like to roll! Of course, no diner is complete without country fried steak, spicy chicken sandwiches, and Reubens, right? This spot had it all, and was packed from wall to wall when we visited! We love to see vegetarian spots thriving, and this one kept our bellies full (for a couple of days) and our taste buds content!
  • Pick Me Up Cafe: Another vegan-friendly diner we ate at was Pick Me Up! This diner had everything from vegan jalapeño poppers, to french toast, to steak pizza grinders! The portions will not disappoint! Not to mention, a killer tea selection! I opted for a dark orange cinnamon clove tea, and regret not asking for another tea bag!
  • Chicago Veganmania: We had such a blast at this event! While selling cheese out the wahzoo, we met some inspiring folks, including Jasmin Singer, co-host of podcast “Our Hen House” and Senior Editor of Vegnews, cookbook author and YouTube star the Vegan Black Metal Chef, and NFL vegan David Carter, aka the 300 pound vegan! Talk about starstruck! The day was completed with some amazing food (mango lassis, ribs, typical vegan stuff), educational seminars and cute vegan apparel! It was a great day all around, we can’t wait until the next one!

Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi

Are Vegans Really Making a Difference?

The quick answer: yes. Vegans are making a HUGE difference. According to this chart by the Humane Society, up until April 2015 there have been 7.4 billion more animals slaughtered for animal agriculture than  1960. Not the most reassuring news, right? However, in just a little over a year from April 2015 to the current date in July 2016, animal slaughter has decreased by 4.6 billion animals. It’s definitely becoming more popular to be aware of how your food was made, and luckily it is definitely making a dent in food production! Vegnews recently came out with an article stating even Tyson recently was challenged as to how they are going to compete with the astronomical growth of the plant-based meat industry! Vegan options are popping up everywhere nowadays due to the increased vegan demand. Every animal or animal product you leave off your plate also makes a difference, since that is one more life you chose to save! Not to mention, every new vegan is one of a new hundred vegans.

Although being vegan is based on ethics, there are definitely side benefits! I have met several vegans who have been able to overcome major health risks, including getting rid of tumors and avoiding open heart surgery. I have met one woman who was told she would die in two weeks, but went vegan and oil-free and has been living for six years. Veganism has also been known as an alternative go-to for reversing diabetes and cancer. I myself have seen minor benefits such as clearer skin and increased energy, with an added benefit of better mental health because of a clear conscience of eating cruelty-free!

Another side benefit of going vegan is knowing that your food in no way participates in harming the earth! United Nations came out with the news that a vegan diet is absolutely vital not only for the earth’s benefit, but also to put a dent in world hunger. According to the UN report, animal agriculture accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even in areas depleted of resources, the majority of water, land and vegetation is still being used to keep cows alive for animal agriculture. The UN also claimed animal agriculture is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

So are vegans making a difference? Does one person really make an impact? Is animal agriculture a topic worth discussing among other world issues? We hope you were able to figure out! It’s never too late to start leading a cruelty-free lifestyle!

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                               Signing off for the sentient,

Sammi