The first annual New York City Vegetarian Food Festival was held at the Altman Building, April 3rd to a packed crowd. It was a celebration of healthy, sustainable, and 100% cruelty-free foods and living. We sampled bites from some of the city’s finest vegetarian restaurants and food companies, along with health and wellness vendors from around the country. Also included at the festival was the wonderful work of animal welfare groups at a variety of information tables.
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the US would save: 100 Billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months.
There were many Asians in attendance!
Born and raised in New York City, Michelle joined the staff of the Catskills Animal Sanctuary in 2009, after volunteering for over a year. Her responsibilities include handling media relations, managing CAS’s (Catskills Animal Sanctuary) online and printed communications, recruiting new supporters, building alliances with animal-friendly businesses, increasing public awareness of CAS, and planning special events. Prior to CAS, Michelle spent over a decade as a public interest lawyer, with a focus on environmental justice litigation and policy initiatives. When she’s not at the farm, Michelle can be found in New York City with her partner and their four rescued cats, where she obsessively practices samurai sword fighting and kickboxing.
CAS is a 100-acre haven for horses and farm animals rescued from cruelty and neglect. They also educate the public about the sentience and suffering of farm animals, and the impacts of agribusiness on animals, people, and the planet we share. www.casanctuary.org
Sara Sohn has been vegan for 18 years. A few years back, she decided it had been way too long since she’d had one of her favorite childhood snacks: the rice crispy treat. With no culinary background but a lot of determination (and vegan sweets on the mind), Sara began her quest to create a vegetarian and vegan marshmallow, “the Holy Grail of animal-free sweet treats.” Food scientists warned her that her attempts would be futile and that reproducing the properties of gelatin in marshmallows would be impossible. More determined than ever, after ten months of tireless experimentation, Sara finally came up with a recipe for the perfect marshmallow: rich, creamy, mouthwatering, and completely gelatin-free!
Pulin Modi, Action Team Manager for PETA
Pulin Modi works with local animal rights activists and groups around the world, teaching them the ins and outs of organizing protests, distributing informational leaflets, online activism, and coordinating educational events.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 2 million members and supporters.
PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. They also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds, and other “pests” as well as cruelty to domesticated animals.
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.
From Crisis to Peace – Organic Vegan way is the Answer
Do you know that in this flashing instance of opening a webpage, one child in the world dies from hunger, in the arms of a grief-stricken mother. But, we feed the livestock with 50% of our grains.
Shortage of food is mainly caused by the meat industry. If we don’t eat meat, we can free up to 3.4 billion acres of land, save 50% of grains, 80% of the rainforest, 70% of fresh water, 33% of petrol energy and thus stop 80% of global warming. It ensures all people on the earth a sustainable and abundant life.
Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realized, “I am killing him – all for the passing please it brings me”. And something inside me clicked. I realized as I watched him fight for breath, that his life was as important to him as mine is to me. – Sir Paul McCartney
Most people are familiar with the expression: “You are what you eat.” In countries of the East, where vegetarianism has been the main diet for thousands of years, people recognize that whatever they consume forms a part of their body and also influences their thoughts. They believe that if they eat the flesh of an animal, then the mental and emotional vibrations or characteristics of the animal will form a part of their own nature. Thus, many people brought up in the traditions of the East prefer to live on plant food which is more conducive to the mental equipoise.
Enlightened beings, saints, mystics and spiritual teachers have traditionally advocated a vegetarian diet for spiritual and moral reasons. For those pursuing a path leading to self-knowledge and God-realization, a vegetarian diet is essential for several important reasons. I will share what I have learned from studying under my spiritual teachers, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj and Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. They taught that we are not only the body and mind, but we are soul. Our soul, which has been separated from God, its Creator, resides in the body. The spiritual teachers have taught a technique of meditation to help us rediscover our soul and journey back to God.
To help gain proficiency in the spiritual practives, vegetarianism is necessary. In order for us to be able to concentrate in meditation, we need to be calm and collected. If we eat the flesh of dead animals, our own consciousness will be affected. There is a law in the universe which states that for every action, there is a reaction. In the East, this is called the law of Karma. This means that we must reap the reward or pay the penalty for our thoughts, words, and sees. If we do good deeds, we will gain a reward. If we perform bad deeds, we must pay the consequences. Spiritual teachers advise that one should not take the life of any creature. In order for our soul to be successful in completing its journey back to its Creator, it must develop the ethical virtues of non-violence, truthfulness, purity, humility, and selfless service. The vegetarian diet is natural by-product of nonviolence, for we should not harm any living creature. Those who are serious about attaining self-knowledge and God-realization should follow a strict vegetarian diet, avoiding meat, fish, fowl and eggs.
Humanity is becoming more enlightened, more concerned about obtaining the highest quality of life, more interested in solving the mysteries of the universe, and more keen to fine personal fulfillment and lasting happiness. We are simultaneously concerned about the welfare of our global community and the preservation of our planet.
– Excerpts from a talk by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Veggie fun fact: Pigs do no “eat like pigs” or “pig out”. They prefer to eat slowly and savor their food.