My activism traces back to age four when I had a light bulb moment filled with compassion for animals and declared I would never eat meat again. In college, I founded an animal rights club, and later volunteered at EarthSave, founded by John Robbins of Diet for a New America fame. For years now I have been writing veg-friendly articles.
Here I sit — 35 years since that childhood turning point — excited about all the momentum building about vegetarianism and veganism worldwide. Proof of the dairy-free pudding is the abundance of global events taking place which motivate and educate both the curious and those who have been veggin’ out for a time.
Right in our own neighborhoods, people are hosting raw food potlucks and herbivorous happy hours, and many cities hold larger events filled with hundreds of people and expert speakers, with vegetarian restaurants and organizations participating.
International Vegetarian Union has been holding its Vegetarian Congress all over the world for over 100 years! The 2010 event is planned for Jakarta and Bali, and North America is said to be the site for 2012. During Thailand’s Phuket Vegetarian Festival, local residents of Chinese ancestry strictly observe a 10-day vegetarian or vegan diet for spiritual cleansing; one ritual is walking barefooted over hot coals.
California entices with its yearly Animal Rights Conference in Los Angeles, and The San Francisco World Veg Festival, which celebrates World Vegetarian Day with vegan speed dating, food demos, and lectures on everything from tempeh to ayurveda. San Diego comes to life with what is claimed to be the world’s largest celebration of Earth Day and the Compassion Bash put on by APRL, which this year featured speaker Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing.
People wanting to meet other health-conscious folks and network with environmental, nutrition and spiritual gurus while feasting on delicious food might love to experience any of these events. VegNews and HappyCow are good places to start researching the festivities, along with Google.