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From  Issue
24 February 2002
MeatOut is Coming

By ParkStRanger@aol.com

There are a couple of times a year we can get really pushy about vegetarianism, one is October 1 (World Vegetarian Day), and the other is the Great American MeatOut. This March 20th will be the 18th annual occurrence of MeatOut which is coordinated each year by the Farm Animal Reform Movement.

Based on the Great American SmokeOut, March 20th is a day we can ask our meateating acquaintances to give it up for just a day. Of course we want them to go a bit further and give it up entirely, but the main purpose of MeatOut is to raise awareness that eating meat is a bad habit, responsible for more deaths each year than smoking.

Now is the time to start planning your activities and to register them with FARM, which has event kits, flyers, posters and other material to help with your events. One good way to get the word out is to have a literature table at malls, health food supermarkets and on campuses. Tabling should be done a day or two in advance so that people are aware it is coming. You can have them sign a pledge to give up meat on March 20th as well as give out printed information about vegan diets.

It is a good idea to develop a good relationship with your local health food supermarket or food coop. My health food supermarket gives us coupons, vegetarian meat and faux dairy products to pass out when we table there. The store manager even bought a lifetime membership to my vegetarian society on behalf of the store.

Letters to the editors of papers is something else that should be done. FARM has sample letters you can use as a template. Be sure to write your letter at least a week in advance and ask them to run it before March 20. Call a local radio talk show or be a guest on your local "Good Morning" TV news show. I am scheduled to appear on "Good Morning El Paso" and I will bring the news team a breakfast of scrambled tofu and vegan sausage. It's a good idea to feed the news team, because you can talk more while their mouths are full.

Another good thing to do is to organize a vegetarian potluck lunch at your workplace. Put up a poster where you work or send a memo that March 20th is the Great American MeatOut and announce your veg lunch plans. I am lucky enough to have two vegetarian coworkers, and between the three of us we plan to feed all the other rangers at my park a vegan lunch.

I urge you to take advantage of the opportunity that MeatOut gives us to spread the word about the health reasons, the ethical reasons and the environmental reasons for a vegan diet.

Go to www.meatout.org
or call FARM for free at 1-800-meatout

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