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From 14 March 2004 Issue

Meatout in Cattle Country
By Greg Lawson - ParkStRanger@aol.com 

Last Tuesday, the Vegetarian Society of El Paso had a food giveaway to celebrate the upcoming Great American Meatout. The event took place in a small park on the campus of the University of Texas, El Paso. Since Steve Best, our society's vice president, is a professor of philosophy there, he arranged the permit and the electricity.

We had two six foot tables, one to heat and serve the barbecue and one for the literature. Steve and I stirred and served the BBQ. Bertha, our society's newsletter editor, kept passing us buns on paper plates. Joan, our society's secretary, talked with the people and gave out literature as did Yvone, our society's webmaster.

In two hours we gave out two hundred vegan sloppy joes and lots of literature and advice. We had FARM Meatout flyers, "Why Vegan" in English and Spanish, and lots of other literature our society maintains for tabling events. Long ago the Veg Society of El Paso developed a relationship with the best health food grocery store in town, Sun Harvest. They gave us two hundred buns, a dozen bags of organic corn chips, organic tomato sauce, peppers and onions. The society paid for the textured vegetable protein and BBQ sauce. Bertha was able to secure a donation of 15 cases of lemon lime soda from Sam's Club.

On Monday I reconstituted pounds of TVP. On Tuesday morning from 6am to 10am, I cooked the peppers and onions and added the sauce and the tvp. Next year I must get help with the cooking portion of this event, it took me about five hours to make 10 gallons of tvp bbq.

Finally, I donned my "Pork, the Other Dead Animal" t-shirt, packed my car and went in search of a parking space on campus. Luckily I found one close to the site, because carrying a cooler full of tvp makes for a good morning workout.

Shortly after we had set up and taped our up our Meatout and VSEP posters, laid out our literature and had a couple of electric fry pans simmering the bbq, the break between the classes happened. A long line formed. Steve and I started a free form chant back and forth between us....
Free Food, Animal Free, Cruelty Free, Pesticide Free, Hormone Free, Guilt Free,
No Cholesterol, No Saturated Fat, No E. Coli, No Salmonella, No Mad Cow, No Charge.

Most people took our literature, about 60 signed the Meatout Pledge to go without meat on March 20th. Many learned the incredible idea that you can live for years without animal products, perhaps many years longer. A few vegetarians stopped by. One brought a couple of friends and as they ate he told them how you can rise to a higher spiritual level by not putting dead animals into your body. It was nice to hear him say what I sometimes hesitate to say to meateaters, that there is a spiritual side to veganism.

Yo Soy Vegetariano. I have always found it interesting that the Spanish word "Soy" means "I am". I am, I am. If you are what you eat, Yo Soy.

It's not to late to plan a Meatout event this week for The Great American Meatout on March 20....

visit www.meatout.org Meatout 

Go on to They Have No Hope But Us: The Tsunami of Suffering of Animals in Labs
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