April 22-28: US VegWeek Puts Meat-Free Eating on the Political Map
Lawmakers Across the Country Take Weeklong Veg Pledge
For immediate release:
April 10, 2013
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Washington, DC—There are 52 weeks in a year. Why not make one of them meat-free? That’s the idea behind US VegWeek, a nationwide campaign empowering thousands of people—including federal, state, and local representatives—to pledge to choose vegetarian foods for at least seven days as a way to discover the many benefits and flavors of vegetarian eating.
Public officials taking the 7-day VegPledge include Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva, California State Senator Ted Lieu, California Assemblymember Das Williams, Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, and Annapolis, Md., Mayor Josh Cohen, among others.
“No matter what you believe in, respect for animals is an important part of being human,” stated Arizona Congressman Grijalva. “I’m proud to participate in US VegWeek to raise awareness.”
According to Md. State Delegate Dan Morhain: “As the only physician in the Maryland General Assembly, I know the importance of eating a vegetarian diet in decreasing one’s risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and a variety of cancers.”
Calif. State Sen. Ted Lieu continued, “As a state policymaker, and father of two, I enthusiastically encourage everyone to participate in US VegWeek by treating themselves to more fresh fruits and vegetables that can lead to a longer, healthier life – and lifestyle.”
Several jurisdictions have also expressed support through official US VegWeek proclamations encouraging residents to participate: Washington, DC, Tucson, Ariz., Montgomery County, Md., and Charlottesville, Va.
Additionally, dozens of businesses nationwide—including Loving Hut restaurants in 37 different cities—are offering US VegWeek specials, and everyone is invited to attend free events such as cooking demos, bake sales, movie screenings, and more.
Compassion Over Killing, a national nonprofit animal protection organization, first launched VegWeek in 2009 with inspiration from Md. Sen. Raskin. He was the first lawmaker to take the 7-day Veg Pledge—a pledge that continued beyond the first week and that he’s kept to this day. Energized by his vegetarian diet, which he refers to as “aligning my morals with my menu,” Sen. Raskin encourages others to make kinder, greener, and healthier food choices.
Sen. Raskin is in good company. Millions of Americans, including former President Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and Mike Tyson, are opting for meat-free meals. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, meat consumption nationwide has decreased 12% since 2007.
“Every time we sit down to eat, we can stand up for our health, the planet, and animals simply by choosing vegetarian foods,” said COK’s Campaigns Director Jaya Bhumitra. “And US VegWeek offers a fun and supportive way to get started.”
Visit USVegWeek.com for a full list of participants, restaurant specials, events, sponsors, and partners.
Compassion Over Killing (COK) is a national nonprofit animal advocacy organization. Since 1995, COK has worked to end the abuse of animals in agriculture through undercover investigations, litigation, corporate campaigns, public outreach, and other programs. Online at COK.net.