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You, A Vegetarian?

You’ve probably heard about the many studies that show vegetarians are less likely to suffer from heart disease, some cancers, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and kidney failure. Maybe you’ve seen articles in magazines like Newsweek describing Dr. Dean Ornish’s proven success in reversing heart disease through a program that includes a lowfat vegetarian diet. You may have read reports from the Worldwatch Institute that tally the high environmental costs of grain-feeding livestock or grazing or overfishing. If you consider yourself an animal lover, you probably realize how large factory farms force animals to live in close confinement, deprived of natural behaviors, exercise, intellectual stimulation, and emotional fulfillment.

You are trying to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the advice of major health associations to eat more plant foods and cut back on animal foods. Maybe you are eliminating animal foods entirely, or taking steps in that direction. If this is a major diet change for you, you know how hard it can be to go against the habits of a lifetime in a society where just about everyone seems to eat meat.

You Don’t Need to Do It Alone
The Vermont Vegetarian Society can help you feel less alone and provide information and support as you “get the meat out.” We hold public potlucks at which people share vegetarian food. We gather as a group for dinners at restaurants offering vegetarian choices, sponsor informational programs, and publish a quarterly newsletter with a vegetarian slant. You do not have to be a vegetarian to attend our events; people of all ages are welcome. There is no charge for being on our mailing list and most of our events are free, though we welcome donations. If you would like to know more about the VVS, e-mail us at vvs@ivu.org.

Many people want to learn more about vegetarian diets, but don’t want to be scrutinized or told what to eat. You may wonder, “Will I be pressured to become a vegetarian at Vermont Vegetarian Society events?” While the VVS is unabashedly pro-vegetarian, we support the right of people to make their own choices about what they eat. When you come to a VVS event, no VVS representative will ask you whether you are or intend to become a vegetarian. Since the Vermont Vegetarian Society does not control the opinions and actions of our participants, we can’t promise you won’t encounter a “vegetarian evangelist” at our events. However, we believe that people become vegetarians at their own pace and for their own reasons. A reluctant or coerced vegetarian will probably not stay vegetarian for long.


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