I had the pleasure last year of meeting and recently interviewing Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing (COK). Vegan for the last 15 years, Meier leads a team of staff and volunteers highly dedicated to helping animals.
COK is a powerful voice for farmed animals, from ending the egg industry’s misleading “Animal Care Certified” logo to launching a pro-veg ad campaign featuring 30-second commercials on MTV stations nationwide to successfully urging BOCA to become a 100% egg-free company, said Meier.
Most recently COK hosted Maryland VegWeek, officially recognized by government officials. Several lawmakers pledged to go vegetarian for a week.
COK is excitedly collaborating with other like-minded organizations like APRL, Vegan Outreach, and Mercy for Animals for various campaigns and projects. COK is based out of Washington DC which has had a recent explosion of vegan options. A few places Meier suggests are Sticky Fingers Bakery, Java Green, Toscana Grill, Great Sage, My Little Bistro, The Vegetable Garden, and Bread & Brew.
“Now that summer is around the corner, I love shopping at my local farmers market for fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens like kale, chard, and mustard greens. And I’m also a fan of vegan meats, like Gardein, Tofurky and Field Roast, which are thankfully available year round!” said Meier.
Some favorites cookbooks are The Conscious Cook (by Tal Ronnen), Veganomicon (by Isa Chandra Moskowitz), and How it All Vegan (by Sarah Kramer). She also recommends COK’s Easy Vegan Recipes.
Meier congratulates those transitioning towards a vegetarian or vegan diet for their positive influence on their health, the environment, and lives of animals raised for food. Vegetarian eating offers a wonderful opportunity to expand our palates, and meat-free options have never been more plentiful in restaurants and grocery stores across the U.S., said Meier. She suggests encouraging a friend or family member to join you as you try new foods, or consider joining a local Meetup or Vegetarian Society to meet other vegetarians and vegans in your community.