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Our Three 3’s

By Jasmin Singer — September 12, 2011

This past weekend, Mariann and I had the honor of speaking at the first ever Bethlehem VegFest in Bethlehem, PA. Co-organized by activist Jaime Karpovich of the insightful and witty blog, Save the Kales, the VegFest was said to attract over 11,000 veg-curious attendees. We’re excited to report that our talk, “Let the Doughnut Do the Talking: Food as Activism,” was full to capacity, with a standing-room-only crowd spilling out of the speakers’ tent — opting to listen to a lecture about veganism and ways to get involved with “food activism,” instead of shopping at the dozens of jewelry and eco-product kiosks, sitting in on a food demo by some of the city’s top chefs (many of whom were not vegan but were featuring vegan dishes), or eating at one of the many veg food vendors (including Balasia, where we got a scrumptious quinoa, curry, veggies, and bean bowl for lunch).

In addition to being elated by the totally supportive, inquisitive audience who attended our talk, we were equally delighted to see that the most popular attraction at the Fest was Vegan Treats. Vegan Treats was a pioneer in putting vegan desserts on the map, and every year they seem to get yummier, and more beautiful. Lucky for us, they deliver to NYC once a week (on Tuesdays — and no, I’m not ashamed that I know that), but Bethlehem is their home town, and they were a huge presence at Saturday’s festivities. (Incidentally, Vegan Treats founder Danielle Konya will be on our podcast this coming weekend, so don’t miss that.)

Me at the Bethlehem VegFest. Thanks to Joan Ozelis Calpin for this photo.

The talk we presented is one we’ve given in other incarnations in the past, including at the VegFests throughout the country that were recently featured on our “VegFest Mash-Up” video that we produced in collaboration with VegNews TV. However, right at the last minute, we found out that the one other animal rights and vegan-centered organization scheduled to speak was no longer able to make it. We had been assuming that they would cover Veganism 101 while we focused on our usual topic — ways to get involved with everyday advocacy. So we decided last-minute to add our very own Veganism 101 section to our spiel. And it turns out it was a very good idea, one that will remain part of our talks for a long time to come.

Me (left) and Mariann (right) during our talk. Thanks to Joan Ozelis Calpin for this photo too.

We added what we called our “Three 3’s.” Boiled down into quick sound bites, we laid out our 3 reasons to go vegan, our 3 tips on how to transition to a vegan diet, and our 3 top resources to learn more and support people in their process of going vegan. We promised to post these on our blog today, so here they are. We hope that you will comment with your own list of Three 3’s, since there are about 3 billion things that we could have included…

 

Our Hen House’s Three 3’s

1) Top 3 Reasons to Go Vegan

  1. Your Health. Bill Clinton has cured his heart disease with a healthy vegan diet, and so can everybody else. Not to mention type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, obesity, and so many other chronic diseases plaguing America. MORE.
  2. The Environment. Global warming. Water pollution. Air pollution. Habitat destruction. Animal agribusiness, and the poop created by over 50 billion land animals worldwide are huge contributors to all of the these. Not to mention that animal agribusiness is so resource intensive that is contributing on a grand scale to world hunger. MORE.
  3. The Animals! The suffering of animals on factory farms is incomprehensible. This is impossible to convey in a sound bite, but, suffice it to say, we have created a hidden universe of utter misery inhabited by billions of innocent beings. MORE.
2) Top 3 Tips on Transitioning To a Vegan Diet
  1. Eat “Transition Foods” We’re all for a healthy, whole foods diet, but transitioning from a meat-centered diet to a vegan diet can be made a lot easier if you allow yourself some of the more indulgent foods that remind you of foods you’re fond of, and which are still a million times healthier than their animal-based alternatives. Some favorites? Field Roast Sausage, Daiya Cheese (vegans have finally conquered the cheese conundrum!), and so many different milks and ice creams, from soy, to hemp, to coconut, to almond, to oat, to sunflower….
  2. Find and Foster Community. Don’t try to do this alone! There are vegans everywhere, but you have to make some effort to find them. Look for a meet-up, or see if there is a Vegan Drinks in your area. And find folks on Facebook. You need to find support, and you might end up making a bunch of new friends while you’re at it.
  3. Know Your Stuff. If you are going to change your eating habits, people are going to react. Some will be curious, some will be inspired, and some will be threatened. Know enough about the issues to feel comfortable handling their questions and telling them why you’ve made this change.
3) Top 3 Resources 
  1. Vegan at Heart – Free online email coaching program.
  2. The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau – Great new book chock full of crucial information.
  3. Forks Over Knives – Now available on Netflix!

What are YOUR Three 3’s? Tell us below!






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(10) Readers Comments

  1. September 12, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Sounds like an awesome event!!! I'm tempted to kidnap you and bring you down to DC VegFest.

  2. September 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Great post. And aside from your "3's", I love spreading the word that organizing a veg fest is an amazing way to educate folks around veganism. We did a veg fest in Denver in 2008 and was blown away by the feedback we got and the attendance. On another note, I can feel the excitment when I read your blogs. And this means that I (in bold) get more excited.

  3. Heather
    September 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Looks like this was a really great even. 11,000 turnout for an inaugural event blows my mind. Love your three 3s idea. It's something that can easily be presented and remember for new vegans and people in transition. Great job. Will you be posting a video of your talk on YouTube any time soon?

  4. September 12, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you for all the work you do. Over the past two days I have reflected myself, and with other vegans, on the fact that while this was not a "typical" vegfest, and while it was not 100% vegan (something I hope to change!), it did create an incredibly welcoming and inclusive environment for people who have always been curious but didn't know where to start. I am really proud of that, and endlessly pleased that you both were able to be there and spread your message. Thank you for the kind words, the support, and the work you both do every day on behalf of veganism and, of course, the animals. There is already talk of restaurants changing up their menus and already plans for more vegan activism in the area. We love you, Our Hen House! :)

  5. September 12, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    The event was great; thanks for the tip that Jaime was the impetus behind it so that I can send my compliments appropriately!

  6. September 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    One of my 3's is the Human Cost, which includes the workers at the farms and processing plants. They are put in dangerous conditions of working with sharp equipment, disease, low wages, stress, and abuse. It was a great event and your talk was amazing. Thanks for coming to Bethlehem.

  7. September 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Your 3's are fantastic! I'll add that I think the book Vegan for Life by Ginny Messina and Jack Norris is excellent.

  8. Joan Ozelis Calpin
    September 12, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    My Top 3 Reasons to Go Vegan: 1. Knowing I am living my values of peace and non-violence 2. No longer supporting businesses/industries that do not share my ethical views ( regarding animals & the environment) 3. To live longer - on average we live 6 years longer than meat eaters Top 3 Tips on Transitioning To a Vegan Diet: 1. Explore meat-free ethnic foods 2. Be compassionate with yourself - you will make mistakes, but learn and move on 3.Share your decision with friends/family what and why you made that decision so that they can begin to understand your food choices. MyTop 3 Resources: 1. 'Earthlings' by Shaun Monson 2. Our Hen House website & podcast 3. Food for Thought podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

  9. September 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Responding to your question posted on FB about comments. My experience is that the readers of our blog comment using several different modes. For every one comment I get on the blog I get 10 - 15 via Twitter, FB, LinkedIn or Tumblr. In some acses many more. I love that because it shows me that folks are willing to take the time to let me know what they thought about the blog in their own way and using the social media mode that they are most comfortable with. I hope this is helpful. The Gay Vegans simply adore you two!

  10. September 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I'm sorry to have missed you guys, but I'm glad that my absence might have made a seat available to someone considering veganism! http://a-soy-bean.blogspot.com/2011/09/bethlehem-vegfest.html



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