A Very Veggie Collaboration With Ethical Eating Day

January 21, 2021
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“To create a better future for the next generation and focus on my personal health.” Submission by Anik, New York.

Written by Adriana DiBenedetto

Did you take part in Ethical Eating Day this year?

January 11th, 2021 marked a day of wonderful importance for the Very Veggie Movement, as it signifies the unity of two Tzu Chi USA initiatives — the Very Veggie Movement and Ethical Eating Day — to provide a brand new way to show one’s love for the environment, wildlife, and each other. As part of this collaboration, we launched an activity together that allows people to share why they think it’s important to eat ethically in 2021.

While the Very Veggie Movement was launched as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and encourages individuals to take part in the movement at any time for however long they wish, Ethical Eating Day is a specific day of global awareness that draws mindful attention to the impact society can have on the environment, wildlife, and one another. It does so by empowering individuals across the globe to learn more about these crucial issues that affect us all, and presents small ways to make a big difference. This essential need to ensure a better world for generations to come has set the stage for some amazing conversations, and through adopting a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, we as a society can take a stand in the name of our love for the environment. 

More than ever, we can see the far-reaching impact of one’s personal choices and the benefits of practicing a mindful, vegetarian diet. The Very Veggie Movement was, therefore, launched as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At wet markets, like the one the first cases of COVID-19 were linked to, a variety of foods including live animals and butchered meats are sold in an open-air setting for consumption. By eliminating the demand for meat and meat products by altering our diets, we can incrementally decrease the presence of animal products at local markets around the world, and potentially lessen our risk for the onset of similar global epidemics in the future. With this in mind, our movement aims to unite people around the causes of animal rights and environmental protection through gentle, shared lifestyle changes. And our movement also puts you in charge, so you can decide how long you’d like to commit to a vegetarian diet. 

Through the wonderful partnerships we’ve developed — and continue to develop — with outstanding organizations that share our hopes of inspiring a better, healthier future, we’re helping to make the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle easy, accessible, and fun. Our partnerships with excellent eateries across the U.S. also mean that more people will be able to try the mouthwatering vegetarian alternatives thanks to discounts offered to those who sign up for free to join the movement.

As an initiative of Tzu Chi USA, the concepts behind this movement additionally upholds the teachings of our founder, the venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen, who guides us to live in harmony with the Earth. One way we carry this teaching forward is through the adoption of a mindful, vegetarian diet, showing sincere love and reverence for not only Mother Earth, but all who share this remarkable planet with us.

We’re deeply thankful for all the thoughtful submissions we’ve received thus far! Let’s have a look:

“Health. Animals. There is no planet b! Vegan / vegetarian food is delicious”
Submission by Farrah from the Netherlands.
“To actively participate in healing power to mother earth and my own body.”
Submission by Corrina from California.
“Eating vegetarian doesn't mean I need to give up my favorite food or taste. On the other hand, I'm getting to know more food/ingredients through various vegetarian recipes and learn more knowledge about how to have a healthy and balanced diet with these foods, which make eating more fun!! Like my recent addition… BBQ tempeh!”
Submission by Ching from New York.
“I think it is important be a vegetarian in 2021 because when you eat meat, you kill animals which are very sad and bad. Animals do not deserve to be eaten. They will not live a good life because humans are eating them. Also, Vegetarians have a 24% lower risk of dying of heart disease.”
Submission by Chloesse from California.
“My daughter, my son and I made a vegan cake for my husband's birthday. Cocoa flavor cake using vegan butter and almond milk with chestnut puree and maple syrup, my husband, who is not a vegan eater, was shocked at how good the cake tastes. My kids are so proud and we decide to have more vegetarian food in this new year!”
Submission by Melody from New Jersey.
“I believe it's important to be vegetarian for our own health and to make a smaller environmental impact. My favorite food is this eggplant sushi I tried recently!”
Submission by Garson from New York.
“The heart of any religion should be kindness. We have to include kindness toward animals by moving to plant based diets. Also, a huge part of the damage we are doing to the environment is due to the use of animals in agriculture.”
Submission by Dave from Virginia.
“For our planet and all that is interconnected. To be true to my values of compassion and sustainability. To walk the talk. For the goats. The pigs. The cows. The web of life.”
Submission by Adrienne from California.
“Our lives have changed since the pandemic in 2020. The way I eat has changed too. It's more important than ever that we make healthy choices for our body and our environment in this new year. I've recently found many delicious vegetarian recipes through different cuisines, like this South Indian style golden beets and carrots with chapati 😋 It's actually not difficult to be vegetarian or even vegan!”
Submission by Nancy from New York.
“I believe that eating Animals is bad for your health and it is sad to see all those innocent creatures die. Being a Vegetarian can help lower your cholesterol and eating plants has more nutrients than eating meat. One Person, One Meat Less, One Earth. Today on 1/11 I have made this Vegetarian fried rice. I call it Spicy Garlic Egg Fried Rice. The ingredient is Rice, cut Garlic Chives, Cabbage, Egg, Cheese, and Spicy Powder. This dish have the Tzu Chi Symbol on it below is the number 111 representing Ethical Eating Day.”
Submission by Teddy from California.
“The way we choose to live our lives, down to the smallest details, can have huge impacts on our personal health and the health of our planet. To commit to eating more vegetarian foods and to think more mindfully about what we consume (for our health, climate, and economy) is not only the smart choice, but it's the right thing to do!”
Submission by Dilber from New York.
“If anyone is interested to save the world, this is really important not just for me but the entire human race. Turning to plant based diet is the easiest way anyone can do to save the world. Proud to be a Vegetarian since 2010. Best decision I made in my life. Cheers to all who made the same decision.”
Submission by Rita from the Philippines.
“I think it is important because since it is Covid-19 time, it is important we stay safe and healthy. Also, being a vegan can help you live longer like in Japan, I heard of a city with old people who lived past the age of 100 due to them being healthy vegans.”
Submission by Emma from California.
“I think it is important to eat vegetarian (or vegan) and ethically in 2021 because it is cruel and anthropocentric to kill and eat animals who can't fight for themselves. By decreasing your meat intake you also lower your carbon footprint which can help resolve the climate crisis. By eating plant-based I feel more grounded and connected to the Earth.”
Submission by Elizabeth from New York.
“Protecting the earth”
Submission by Kent from New York.
“因疫情~人類需要再次的檢討與深思-尊重地球上的每一個生命。 Due to the epidemic~ Humans need to rethink and respect every life on earth.”
Submission by Iris from California.

Thank you to all who joined us for Ethical Eating Day in 2021. We hope to see you again next year! 

You can still join the Very Veggie Movement by signing up today. When you do so, you’ll begin receiving recipes, meal ideas, tips, articles, and special deals from our Very Veggie Partners. Becoming a partner of the Very Veggie Movement is easy — discover how you can join us, too!

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