While most of this blog tries to be an alternative to the hard news that is either not handled or mishandled by local media, I also hope to publicize softer news that meets the same criteria. Here is something I received from the Ohio Valley Vegetarians and Vegans that you might find interesting:
According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, which conducts annual surveys of vegetarianism in the United States, approximately nine million American adults are vegetarian (eat a diet free of meat, poultry, and seafood) or vegan (vegetarians who also exclude dairy and eggs). In addition, another ten million say they eat vegetarian meals most of the time, and nearly half of all Americans eat at least one meatless meal per week. Meanwhile, programs such as Meatless Mondays, a project of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, are also making an impact on Americans’ eating habits.
Whether their motives are based upon concern for animals and the environment or personal health, it is clear that more people are eating their veggies. The herbivorous lifestyle hasn’t bypassed the Ohio Valley--Wheeling readers may be surprised to learn that vegetarians have a thriving local community. Organized through the online social hub Meetup.com, the Ohio Valley Vegetarians and Vegans group has been active since July 2009 and currently boasts over 170 members.
The group most often meets at Wheeling-based restaurants that have vegetarian and vegan meal choices on their menus. Members have been pleased to see the number of such restaurants is growing—particularly in the locally-owned sector. The organization has also hosted free Wheeling showings of a variety of acclaimed food-related documentaries, including "Forks over Knives," "PlanEat," and "Food, Inc." In addition, the group helps publicize health, animal welfare, and environmental events in the Wheeling area that are not hosted by the organization, but which may be of interest to its supporters.
The group welcomes not only vegetarians and vegans, but anyone wishing to eat more plant-based meals. Membership is free, and members may participate in as many or as few group activities as they wish.
For more information on the Ohio Valley Vegetarians and Vegans, visit www.meetup.com/WheelingVeg.