Maybe you're a true-blue -- or green -- vegetarian. Maybe you've just been thinking about cutting back on the beef. Maybe you're curious about why so many people are eating vegetarian or vegan diets. There's no better week to answer those questions and celebrate the veggies than U.S. Veg Week, starting this Meatless Monday (April 21) and running through April 27. (Not to be confused with World Vegetarian Day on Oct. 1.)
The backbone of national Veg Week is the seven-day pledge: no meat for one week. Think you want to give it a try? Sign the pledge and you can get a vegetarian starter kit. Just over 5,000 people have signed the pledge -- reportedly among them are Cory Booker and MMA fighter Aaron Simpson (and Esther the Wonder Pig, the official Veg Week mascot).
It's no coincidence that Veg Week is falling the same week as Earth Day. Started in 2009 in Maryland by the nonprofit Compassion Over Killing, Veg Week touts reducing our carbon footprint and creating sustainable food streams as one of the main benefits of a vegetarian diet. In fact, Berkeley combined the two with a Vegan Earth Day celebration this past weekend.
The goal of U.S. Veg Week is to use this seven days to explain to the uninitiated how to become a vegetarian, to dispel many of the concerns people have about going the veggie route, and to eat some tasty veg dishes in the process.
Across the country classes, events, workshops, and festivals are happening to support this goal.