March 20 was the 25th anniversary of the globally celebrated Meatout Day. For this event, different organizations around the world give out vegetarian and vegan food samples and information, hold cooking demos and more, to help people with becoming a vegetarian for at least one day. Meatout is coordinated by Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), who said this year 1,000 different outreach activities took place in every state of the U.S. and 31 other countries. Over 30 million Americans have explored a meat-free diet, according to FARM.
In San Diego APRL put on a Meatout event at two locations, distributing educational materials at Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market and Vons in North Park, where they also handed out free vegan lunches.
The goal of the San Diego events was to educate the public about the benefits of the vegetarian and vegan diets and encourage them to eliminate animal products, said Sara Goldsmith, APRL’s Campaign Coordinator. The volunteers also informed people of resources such as vegsandiego.com, full of restaurants and other local information, the Vegan Outreach Guide to Cruelty-Free Eating and other pamphlets.
“The more people that know the benefits of a vegan diet — for health, the environment and animals — the more likely they are to want to be vegan . . .education is key,” said Bob Silvern, Editor in Chief of vegsandiego.com. Silvern and his girlfriend interestingly became vegan after moving to San Diego from the East Coast and finding the pizza inedible. It gave them no reason to not be vegan, he said.
If you have been thinking about becoming a vegetarian and missed Meatout Day, don’t despair, for it should continue for years to come, and FARM, APRL, and other groups are always available for those looking to make a dietary transition.