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:
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!