Earth Day was last Thursday, April 20th, AKA 4/20. What did you do? If your only participation in an Earth Day celebration involved listening to Bob Marley while passing a spliff, perhaps you will participate in what some would consider a more noble endevure in the name of our dear Mother Earth. How about changing your diet for week? A group called Compassion Over Killing, or COL first launched VegWeek in honor of Earth Day in 2009 in Maryland. Today, Vegweek is a national campaign taking place April 23 to 29. Its purpose is to celebrate and highlight the many benefits of eating vegetarian for health, the planet and the animals. Here are a few facts I took from the Vegweek website:
- 10 billion land animals animals and billions more aquatic animals are raised and killed every year in the U.S. for food. That’s more than one million animals every hour!
- Hypertension, obesity, cancer and diabetes rates are increasing each year. A vegetarian diet is good for your health and may even reverse some diseases including America’s top killer, Heart Disease.
- Factory farming contributes significantly to Earth’s three most climate change-effecting gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—all produced in excess through the simple respiration and digestive processes of billions of farmed animals.
Los Angeles is a wonderful place to be a vegetarian, even if its just for a week. Some of LA’s most popular restaurants such as Hugo’s, The Veggie Grill, Evo Kitchen, Masa of Echo Park and more will be holding events, offering discounts and creating special menus around VegWeek. If you need support participating in VegWeek, you won’t be alone. Many of our elected officials have signed the “7 Day Veg Pledge” including CA State Controller John Chiang, Congressperson Barbara Lee (CA-9), CA Assembly members Betsy Butler (CA-53) and Das Williams (CA-35), Candidate for CA Assembly Brian Johnson (CA-46), Pepperdine University Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Tony Collatos, Discovery Channel Writer Jerry James Stone, and more.
“VegWeek is a great opportunity to support healthier eating habits,” said CA Senator Ted Lieu (CA-28). “As a state policymaker, I have authored and supported numerous bills to improve the humane treatment of animals. Compassion Over Killing deserves commendation for helping improve public awareness of animal treatment.”
Are you in? You can hold yourself accountable by signing the Veg Pledge on line…