Several hundred “veg heads” united in Venice on April 26 for LA’s first VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE! The record crowd made veg history (estimated at 850 people by the owner of Culver Events, which hosted the event).
The amazing veggie day began at noon, when participants gathered at Culver Events to begin a 5K walk through Venice, adorned in eye-catching costumes and thought provoking signs to educate people about the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a vegetarian diet. Lorri Houston, Founder of Animal Acres, which organized the VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE, kicked off the march with the “Ten Top Reasons to Go Veg”, and then led parade participants through the streets of Venice. The parade stretched for several city blocks, often stopping traffic as cars honked in support (along with the occasional “Eat Beef” jeer), to which marchers enthusiastically responded; “Your Mamma was right, eat your veggies!” Everyone was in high spirits, carrying signs and chanting for the entire parade – clearly feeling proud and happy to be a “Veg Head!”
After the march, participants gathered for a post-parade rally to celebrate the vegetarian lifestyle, with special guest presentations, music & entertainment, costume contest, and of course, a smorgasbord of vegan food from our area’s top veg restaurants. Participants sampled an array of veg foods – from raw vegan to Indian samosas to Thai curry and Tofurkey brats. Participating restaurants and food vendors included: One World Vegetarian Cuisine, Vegan Factory, Tofurkey, Perfected Foods, Samosa House, Leaf, and C’est LaV’s Bakery.
In between veg meals, participants enjoyed the rocking tunes of Crazy Aunt Mary, Monogroove, and Truth on Earth, an all girl, all vegan band who brought the message home with tunes about protecting the animals and the planet. Special guest speakers included Rory Freedman, author of the New York Times best seller Skinny Bitch, which has sold over two million copies worldwide, and Karen Dawn, author of Thanking the Monkey, Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals, declared one of 2008’s top new books by the Washington Post.
The Los Angeles VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE received extensive coverage on the internet, with several videos and blogs posted the day after the event. One blogger, the Vegan Shoe Lady, summed up what everyone seemed to feel about the event…
I have to say, the LA Veggie Pride Parade on Sunday was a GREAT event. I’ve commented before on some of the PR issues veg*nism gets – mainly the widespread belief that we’re sickly, whiny, boring, no fun at all, and don’t get to eat anything good. The VP Parade was proof that the opposite is true. It was fun, it was a healthy outdoor activity, lots of cute costumes were involved, and good food was readily available (C’est LaV’s chocolate crinkle cookies are AWESOME). Definitely my kind of day.
Ah, if only every day could be VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE DAY. ‘Til next year…