Happy New Year and Welcome to the new VegSarasota.com

Happy 2015 my fellow plant eaters.  Finally after nearly 2 years I can say we have a nearly functional website for the local vegan scene in Sarasota and Manatee counties. And by functional, I mean the opportunity for you to participate in making it a better site is finally here. I am only one of a 1,000 vegan voices in this area, and I hope to engage as many of you as possible. So please register today on this site and also at meetup.com/VegSarasota Of particular excitement:

  • Plant-Strong, Vegan Restaurant Guide: We have over 30 listings now, and I expect to hit 50 soon, of places to get easy, peasy vegan food with no hassle. Many of these are places I have not visited, so I hope the community will provide the reviews.
  • Guide to our local veg-scene – This is still very much in progress, but if you feel you or your organization should be here, then please, please register now so I can give you control of your listing. Contact me after you register so I can set you up.
  • Easy Facebook Registration: So that you can review and list your favorite vegan friendly restaurants, books and movies.
  • Newsletter: You can register again (after a 2 year hiatus)  for our html newsletter designed to encourage you on your own dietary journey. This will be independent of meet up and hopefully will highlight articles posted here on the site as well.
  • Community Calendar: You can see a summary of upcoming events from the local meet up groups. I’m biased toward VegSarasota of course, but there are several other, related groups that I have tried to include in the calendar.
  • Community Content: We have many plant friendly writers and bloggers in the area, and hopefully you will see some of their best content on this site.
  • Completely Free and un-biased content: There are no paid listings, advertisements or sponsored content. Sure we will have articles from hard-working people who are trying to earn a living supporting the vegan economy locally, but those articles will be free to read and subject to editorial review.

Caring for animals, your health and the planet during the holidays

It’s the crazy Christmas time of year when last minute sales, lists of presents and social events galore keep us hopping. There they are the endless requests for money from every good cause under the sun. If you are like me, sometimes you forget about the local stores and organizations that strive to make our area better every day.

When you shop for gifts, think about which stores have helped support the organizations you care about this year. Can you shop where you know the owner? When you dine out, can you choose one of the fantastic locally owned restaurants on our restaurant list? Perhaps your friends and family would appreciate a gift certificate for a wonderful, compassionate dinner instead of present. Or perhaps you can adapt an animal in their name with our local sanctuary SDA. How about taking the kids to pick strawberries instead of shopping? Or visit the farmer’s market together. Time together as a family in the presence of nature and animals is rare enough. For older folks, how about a yoga class together or sign up for a 5K to train for together.

Exposing young children to loving animals and delicious fruits and vegetables may be the greatest gift you can give them for long term health. Have a look at our resources and if you think of a local organization that is missing, please contact me on meet up so I can add them.

Vegan for the Environment

While animals are a very natural part of the environment, there is nothing natural about raising cattle, chickens or pigs in America today. First comes the billions of pounds of polluting and genetically modified corn and soybeans that are fed to these animals. Each animal is different, but it generally takes from 2 to 9 pounds of food to produce a pound of animal flesh. That food could feed people instead and leave more farmland free for forests and wildlife. Then comes the billions of pounds of manure that is smelly, toxic and poorly regulated . Every city in America has a large staff of people dedicated to treating sewage and runoff to protect people and the environment, and there are many strictly enforced regulations for sewage treatment.  Yet large chicken, pork and cattle operations often do not treat their sewage at all. The 2014 movie Cowspiracy very eloquently summarizes the environmental challenges created by the meat industry.

Vegan for health

A whole-plant foods diet low in fat significantly reduces your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes and many forms of cancer. The scientific evidence is clear. To live a long and healthy life, your should start and maintain a low-fat, whole plant foods diet today.

Join us on  meetup.com  and learn with us how to eat the healthiest diet possible.

Why be vegan?

All meat comes from living animals. Cows, pigs, and even chickens are all capable of learning and showing emotion. They raise and care for their children. Most of all, they can feel pain. There is no humane meat.  To have meat an animal had to die that did not want to die. To be vegan is to try and make decisions when eating and shopping that respect life. A vegan lifestyle protects the planet and your health if you make wise choices. Learning to make better choices is what we do together. Join us on meetup.com and learn with us.