US VegWeek Puts Meat-Free Eating on the Political Map

Written by Erica Meier

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There are 52 weeks in a year. Why not make at least one of them meat-free? That’s the idea that inspired COK to launch our US VegWeek campaign in 2009 – it’s an idea that was shared with us by Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin.

Sen. Raskin was the first lawmaker to sign our 7-Day VegPledge, proudly noting that his participation helps “align my morals with my menu.”  His continued support has helped the campaign grow each year, empowering countless other lawmakers and thousands of consumers from coast to coast to make kinder, greener, and healthier food choices.

This year, Sen. Raskin is joined by more than 24 elected representatives—on the federal, state, and local levels—who are taking our 7-Day VegPledge as a way to discover the many benefits and flavors of vegetarian eating. Here’s what a few of them told us about why they are participating:

“No matter what you believe in, respect for animals is an important part of being human. I’m proud to participate in US VegWeek to raise awareness.”  Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva

“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.”  Maryland State Delegate Dan Morhaim

“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.”  California State Senator Ted Lieu

Other lawmakers on board for US VegWeek include US Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas), Barbara Lee (California), and David Cicilline (Rhode Island) along with Maryland State Delegates Tom Hucker and Aruna Miller, Virginia State Delegate Patrick Hope, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett (Maryland), and many more.

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Plus, all six members of the Takoma Park City Council in Maryland, including Mayor Bruce Williams, are taking our 7-Day VegPledge. Mayor Williams further expressed his support, as he’s done since 2009, by issuing a Proclamation encouraging others to join the week-long celebration by choosing vegetarian foods.

DCProc_SmallIn all, nearly a dozen jurisdictions are making US VegWeek official celebrations in their communities through proclamations and resolutions – from Washington, DC to Tucson, Arizona to Ann Arbor, Michigan to Marin County, California and more.

US VegWeek coincides with Earth Day to offer a powerful message that one of the most important steps each of us can take to protect the planet – and animals – is to choose vegetarian foods.  That’s the message shared at the first-ever Congressional Veggie Caucus which took place on Capitol Hill this past Monday. As reported in The Washington Post Elizabeth Kucinich announced “Happy Earth Day, everybody, and Happy Veg Week” as she welcomed everyone to the event.

Read more about US VegWeek, and help spread the message that we can fight global warming and animal abuse with our forks.

You can also sign up now to volunteer with our Meatless Monday or other pro-veg campaigns.

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