Help Create a Veggie World

Heather Francis, VRG Intern

Heather Francis interned for The Vegetarian Resource Group in the summer of 2016. She conducted research ranging from vegan food at national parks to vegan donuts. She did an educa-tional session for low-income youth, prepared vegan casseroles for a soup kitchen, and helped at numerous outreach booths.

Heather stated, "Overall, I will miss interning at The Vegetarian Resource Group, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and experience. I will continue to volunteer and stay involved with this impactful organization, as I'm already scheduled to work a booth in November near my hometown in New Jersey. I found that working for a non-profit, specifically this one, there is a lot of work, but at the end of the day I can go home knowing I am making a difference in an important movement. I will head back to Jersey with more knowledge of the vegan movement, and be able to help others focusing on trying to do justice in the animal rights world. I am in school for dietetics, and this internship instilled more reasons why I should become a dietitian. I move back into school shortly, and my first week I will be meeting with the Senior Director of Residential Dining to go over the plans for the new vegan/ vegetarian menu. I know I will utilize the tools and resources I have discovered the past two months interning for The Vegetarian Resource Group. It doesn't end here though, as the animal rights movement is growing and there is more to be done and to learn. Living the vegan lifestyle is about compassion, and showing compassion to each person one encounters. Compassion matters, and that's what the movement is about. The Vegetarian Resource Group makes this extremely clear in all that they do, and I am blessed to have been able to be a part of it."

Hana Takemoto, VRG Intern

"I was a high school intern for The Vegetarian Resource Group during the 2015-2016 school year. I had the pleasure of tasting and reviewing all sorts of different vegan foods, from seaweed and seitan to Ben & Jerry's vegan ice cream. I also helped add updates to VRG's online veggie restaurant guide and reviewed restaurants that I've visited, such as Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston, Illinois. Along the way, I've attended events like the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore and the Benefit Day at Great Sage restaurant in Clarksville, places that have offered me rich educational experiences. In addition, with the help of everyone at VRG, I've been working on investigating the benefits and feasibility of offering vegan food options for Atholton High School's lunch menu, an undertaking that has involved learning about Federal guidelines, interviewing food service staff, and distributing surveys. More recently, I've also had the opportunity to read essays that high school students submitted for VRG's High School Senior Scholarship Contest, an inspiring and uplifting task that I hope I can continue for years following the end of my internship here at VRG.

As my time at VRG is nearing a close, I can say with confidence that VRG has imparted to me powerful lessons about hard work, dedication, and passion in the name of veganism."