US VegWeek Success: Thousands Go Meat-Free for a Week!

Written by Jaya Bhumitra

kids-usvegweek

Our fifth annual US VegWeek wrapped up on Sunday, and it was a resounding success!

The weeklong celebration highlighting the many benefits and flavors of vegetarian eating included more than 3,500 people from coast to coast taking our 7-Day VegPledge, 140 restaurant specials offered in 21 states, 150 events held in 33 states, and more media coverage than ever before.

Among the thousands of VegPledgers nationwide were nearly 30 federal, state, and local elected officials—including four members of US Congress from California, Arizona, Texas, and Rhode Island. In addition, 11 cities issued official proclamations declaring April 22-28, 2013 as US VegWeek.

Highlights from the week:

  • johnsalley3,100 students in Guilford, Connecticut public schools participated in US VegWeek. All four elementary schools had 100% meat-free menus, and the daily entree served in Guilford’s middle and high schools was a delicious meat-free meal.
  • Former NBA star John Salley kicked off Ann Arbor, Michigan’s week of vegan events, and was joined by Mayor John Heiftje who issued an official US VegWeek proclamation.
  • Author Colleen Patrick Goudreau gave an inspiring and informative presentation in Oakland, Calif. on “Debunking the Myths of Veganism.”
  • Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale, Florida hosted a screening of the award-winning film Vegucated and offered free vegan samples; while Forks Over Knives was screened in other cities.
  • Animal rights philosopher and Animal Liberation author Peter Singer spoke at Boston University in Massachusetts to discuss progress made for animals since the publication of his book in 1975.
  • VegPledgers took a field trip to see rescued farmed animals at Animal Place Sanctuary in Grass Valley, California.
  • Bake sales took place from Boca Raton, Florida, to Chicago, Illinois.
  • Numerous VegPledgers wrote in via our “Ask a Dietitian” segment to receive guidance on eating nutritionally-balanced, plant-based foods.

We’ve also received tons of inspiring feedback from hundreds of VegPledgers about how US VegWeek gave them the jump start needed to keep standing up for animals, the planet, and their health, every time they sit down to eat! Here are a few of your stories:

“I never understood what these animals go through, all the pain and hurt just for us to eat them for our own benefit. I’ve learned so much, and now I’m healthier and feeling so much better about my life. Making this change was the best thing I have ever done.” (Linoshka, Wichita, Kansas)

“I felt much better doing vegan for this past week. NO HEARTBURN! The first day was hard. But as the week went on it became fun to try new foods that I may have not ever tried before. By Thursday I was less hungry and craved fruit and veggies instead of chips and dip. I will definitely be going vegan during the weekdays and eating a lot less meat, eggs, and dairy on the weekends. I have already made the switch to almond and soy milk in my coffee.” (Jan, Green Bay, Wisconsin)

“Doing the 7 day VegPledge showed me that it’s not hard at all to go vegan. After this amazing week of eating vegan, I will never go back to drinking milk and eating eggs and cheese. Thank you so much for educating people about the wonderful lives everyone can live while helping animals and standing up for their rights.” (Jessica, Southampton, Pennsylvania)

We’re so grateful to all of our amazing volunteers, partners, and sponsors who helped make US VegWeek a huge success—from Maine to New York to Florida to Oregon and everywhere in between!

Did you participate in VegWeek? If so, tell us about it! Be sure to also check out more “Best of US VegWeek 2013” photos on Facebook, and if you have any to share of the vegan meals you ate or events you attended, please email them to info@usvegweek.com. We’re so glad you could celebrate with us, and hope you’ll volunteer to help make next year even bigger and better!

Map

Map of US VegWeek Events, Restaurant Specials and Proclamations Around the Country

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