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Veggie Pride

wong-jessica-52.jpg
by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

Hundreds of vegetarians, vegans and their supporters took to the streets of Manhattan on Sunday to raise awareness of and promote the vegetarian diet.

Dubbed Veggie Pride, the event was based on a similar event that takes place in Paris each May and included a parade of participants marching along in a variety of costumes as well as a faux wedding ceremony in Washington Square Park between a "seven-foot-tall pea pod and an outsize carrot," according to the New York Times.

I've always been a meat-eater — a few of my favourite things to eat include prime rib, Peking duck, BBQ pork buns and raw oysters. Nevertheless, a variety of issues are increasingly causing me some dietary concerns: from trying to find ethical seafood and local, organic meat to general worries about livestock diseases.

While it's difficult for me to imagine a life completely free from meat, I'm making an effort by trying to eat vegetarian more often (environmental guru David Suzuki suggests aiming for one day a week). What helps is the increasing number of great cookbooks and web resources that home cooks can refer to.

Still, with estimates that only about four per cent of Canadians describing themselves as vegetarian, I wonder how soon we'll see a Veggie Pride parade on Canadian soil?

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john laberge

toronto

i grow organic veggies in my gardens because i am allergic to many chemicals and fertilizers derived from petrochemical processes. so i think that to some extent a veggie pride day, is a great idea. the hitch with vegetarian publications and the anti meat eaters will not respond to is the problems associated with the veggie lovers mainstay, soy and soy related food stuffs, especially the stuff that is sourced from the orient.
i don't know the reason for it but it seems after kaayla daniels had the whole soy story published many of the pro veggie anti meat acivists who i speak to and have been willing to read it seem to be suddenly considering the true effect a true vegan diet may be having on their body and brain functioning abilities.
another thing the veggie pride day will not address is what will happen to them when they need a heart valve repair, currently the three sources of a replacement are
human cadaver harvesting,pig heart valves and as the greek cardiologist is discovering the harp seal. but again for some strange reason the true vegans seem to think that they will because of the benifit of the veggies consume never have ailments or diseases of a type that are body or brain health threatening. your reponse please and thank you.

Posted May 21, 2008 05:57 AM

Sean B. Pasternak

Toronto

I don't know. Canada's same-vegetable marriage laws still have a far ways to go.... I mean, whatever two veggies do in the privacy of their own garden is fine by me, but some meat eaters in this city aren't as tolerant. :)

Great article.

Posted May 26, 2008 03:01 PM

Bonnie Shulman

Toronto

Jessica: I am a staunch vegan after years of being a meat-eater. Veganism is my way of protesting the horrors of the meat industry - the eternal holocaust, as Charles Paterson calls it in his book Eternal Treblinka.

I am going to contact the NYC Veggie Pride people and see if we can bring the idea north of the border.

As for John Laberge's comments above, I have to say, though I didn't become a vegan for health reasons, I have never been healthier. Finally I have normal cholesterol. But who cares. The fact is, that I will NOT support the torture of farm animals, and will do everything possible to fight against it.

If you want to see photos of the horror, there are plenty of videos available at the Vegan Outreach website and others.

Posted August 1, 2008 06:58 AM

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From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.

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Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

Tara Kimura Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.

Andree Lau Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).

Jessica Wong Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.

Kevin Yarr Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.

Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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