Bay Area Group Cooks Up New Vegetarian Support Program

(PRWEB ) October 8, 2004 — Bay Area Vegetarians (BAV) has introduced a new Mentor Program aimed at helping people transition from meat eating to a plant-based diet. The program is tailored for those who would like to adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle but don’t know exactly how to go about doing so. BAV connects these individuals with a network of other aspiring vegetarians/vegans for support, as well as a core group of experienced vegans who act as mentors, offering advice and encouragement. The mentors chosen for the program draw on their own experience to recognize that most people make the change to a plant-based diet gradually, and empower program enrollees to determine their own pace as they travel along the path toward veganism.

While its structure is similar to the model used by other support groups (and even incorporates a “12 step” approach), BAV’s Mentor Program is unique in addressing the broad range of issues involved in transitioning to a plant-based diet – from nutrition, cooking, and eating out to animal rights and advocacy. The program offers participants an opportunity to learn about vegetarianism and veganism by posting questions to an online forum and reading responses from mentors and peers. In the program’s second stage, mentors will share knowledge with program participants by hosting vegan restaurant outings, shopping trips to neighborhood grocery stores, and educational workshops.

Over the last twenty-five years, medical research has firmly established the health benefits of a plant-based diet while demonstrating the dangers of eating meat, dairy and eggs because of their high fat and cholesterol content. The public’s growing awareness of this knowledge has dovetailed with an American obesity epidemic, the spread of dangerous meat-borne illnesses around the world, and increasing concern about factory farming’s impact on animals and the environment. Surveys show that many people would like to stop eating animal products for health, ethical, or environmental reasons, but don’t become vegetarian because they think that it would be too inconvenient. BAV’s Mentor Program is designed with these issues in mind: it highlights the healthiness of a plant-based diet while demonstrating that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience or taste when you go vegetarian or vegan. The program’s mentors – including BAV founders Chris James and Tammy Lee – themselves exemplify the practicality and health benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

Anyone who wishes to become vegetarian or vegan can sign up for the program for free at www.bayareaveg.org/mentor.htm

About Bay Area Vegetarians
Bay Area Vegetarians (BAV) is a vegetarian advocacy organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 1,500 members worldwide. Since 2001, BAV has provided an online forum to foster discussion of vegetarian and animal rights issues and facilitate communication within the vegetarian/animal rights community. BAV enables individuals and groups to organize and publicize events through its mailing lists, and also hosts its own events, including vegan potlucks, restaurant outings, and educational outreach tables at local festivals. Visit www.bayareaveg.org to learn more about BAV, as well as a host of vegetarian and animal rights issues.

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