US VegWeek 2013
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US VegWeek 2013
There are 52 weeks in a year, why not make at least one of them meat-free?
Now in its fifth year, US VegWeek (April 22-28) is a fun way to explore a wide variety of meat-free foods and discover the many benefits of vegetarian eatingfor our health, the planet, and animals. This year's celebration, kicking off on Earth Day, will be bigger and better than ever!
Compassion Over Killing launched our VegWeek campaign in 2009 in Takoma Park, Maryland (our hometown) thanks to the inspiration of MD Senator Jamie Raskin. Sen. Raskin suggested the idea and was the first person to sign up for our 7-day VegPledge - a pledge he's kept to this day - and VegWeek was officially recognized by our city through a Mayoral Proclamation.
Energized by his new vegetarian diet, which he refers to as "aligning my morals with my menu," Sen. Raskin has since helped COK expand our VegWeek campaign into a nationwide effort encouraging people choose meat-free foods as a way to build a kinder, cleaner, and healthier world. Start today!
Why are so many people choosing vegetarian foods?
For the Animals
Nine billion land animals (and billions more aquatic animals) are raised and killed for food each year in the United States - that's more than 1 million animals every hour. The overwhelming majority of them are kept on factory farms, where the goal is to raise as many animals as possible in the least amount of time and space.
With virtually no laws to protect them, these birds, pigs, and cows are routinely treated in ways that would result in criminal prosecution if those same abuses were inflicted upon the cats and dogs with whom we share our homes. By choosing vegetarian foods, we can stand up for animals each time we sit down to eat.
For Better Health
As rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, hypertension, and other life-threatening conditions skyrocket in the United States, many researchers and medical experts come to the same conclusion: A vegetarian diet can help prevent and even reverse these illnesses, including America' s leading killer - heart disease.
The American Dietetic Association states that "appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." These findings don't just apply to adults, either. "Vegetarian diets in childhood and adolescence can aid in the establishment of lifelong healthy eating patterns and can offer some important nutritional advantages."
For the Planet
While many seek expensive green technologies to decrease our carbon footprints, vegetarian eating is an easy, cost-effective way to reduce our environmental impact at every meal. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of biodiversity loss, resource depletion, pollution, and global warming, and according to a United Nations report, generates 18% of all global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
Factory farming contributes to Earth's three most climate change-affecting gases - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide - produced in excess through the respiration and digestive processes of billions of animals. The Environmental Protection Agency has also cited animal agriculture as a top polluter of rivers, lakes, and wetlands - largely due animal waste.
Take the 7-Day VegPledge