PAWS Magazine

Issue 41, Spring 1999

PAWS Notes

This July I will celebrate the first vegetarian year of my life. Has it been easy? Well, yeah. It has been a heckuva lot easier than I’d ever imagined it would be. Becoming a vegetarian is also something of which I am very proud.

I have always been an animal advocate, from rescuing companion animals, to volunteering with animal welfare agencies, to writing animal-friendly newspaper articles. But I had always felt more than a little hypocritical. I have worked tirelessly to make the lives of certain animals better, while I was devouring other animals with relish (and mustard!).

Jokes aside, working at PAWS has given me the inspiration and courage to follow through on my convictions. Friends like Development Director Robbin Peterson, who has at least one mouth-watering new vegetarian récipe for every day of the year, Administration and Advocacy’s Vicki Nelson, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal-friendly food and clothing alternatives, and Off-site Adoption Coordinator Denise Kuhn, who has a cheerleader-like infectious enthusiasm for "going veggie," have all served as a great support system for me.

I would like to think that I have personally dispelled some myths about vegetarians. I am embarrassed to say that I have handily disabused the notion that all vegetarians are sickly, twig-like presences that could blow over in a weak breeze. When I went vegetarian ten months ago, I was John Goodman-sized. After almost a full year of studiously avoiding meat in all forms I am, well, John Goodman-sized.

At least I have proven one thing: you don’t have to starve to be a vegetarian. There are as many unhealthy-but-oh-so-tasty foods available to me as before. I may not be eating any more Burger King Whoppers, but Burger King fries definitely hit the spot!

It is my hope with this issue of PAWS News that PAWS members and supporters like yourself might become inspired to incorporate animal-friendly meals into your diet. On page 9 you’ll read about how several listeners of KISW radio went vegan for a day, thanks to a PAWS-inspired promotion. Most of these listeners were self-confessed meat-a-holics, and yet they had no problems on their meat-free day. In fact, they loved the food! If they can do it, you can too!

If you are ready to "go veggie," even for a day or a week, I’d like to hear from you. On the PAWS News section of the PAWS web site I will post personal stories from people who are giving vegetarianism a try; people just like you! If you want to share your experiences, e-mail me at pawsnews@paws.org.

Go Veggie!

Richard Huffman
PAWS Communications Director


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