A Fort Wayne certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator (VLCE) , Heather Dahman, joins over 50 of her fellow Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA) coaches throughout the country to offer free education and support to those who want to enjoy meatless meals or explore the full vegan lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support slaughterhouse workers who are being told to risk their lives to provide meat and other animal products.
“Coronavirus has put plant-based eating in the spotlight in three primary ways," says Moran, founder of MSVA and author of books including Main Street Vegan and The Love-Powered Diet. "We’ve learned how many infectious diseases have arisen from the wildlife trade, live markets, and industrialized animal agriculture. We also know that many of the underlying conditions that make COVID-19 more serious — obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease — have been shown in myriad studies to respond favorably to a whole-foods, plant-based diet. And asking workers to risk their lives to provide an ‘essential’ food item, meat, is outrageous; many of us haven’t eat meat or other animal products for decades."
Meatless May and More
Many consumers have expressed interest in reducing meat consumption after experiencing shortages and hearing revelations about the alarming spread of COVID-19 in meat-processing plants. Others are curious about the health benefits and environmental sustainability of a vegan lifestyle, as well as the more compassionate relationship it promotes towards the animals trapped in the current food system.
A Meatless May boycott in Iowa of the “corporate” meat industry was launched early this month by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to support slaughterhouse employees who are being required to work despite the COVID-19 health risk. Meatless May is gaining traction and will continue beyond the end of the month. “Let’s take this from Meatless May to Meatless Nation,” says Joe Enrique Henry of LULAC. By shining a light on the plight of workers in the meatpacking industry, Henry hopes Meatless May will show the meat industry that consumers will stand with these workers and move closer to the healthier, more traditional diets of the past, when meat was a luxury item and plant foods sustained daily life.
Main Street Vegan Academy coaches are proud to partner with LULAC in exposing the brutality of the meat industry and encouraging exploration into a vegan diet. Visitors to Main Street Vegan’s Meatless May & More site (www.mainstreetvegan.net/meatless-may) can complete a contact form to get a free, personal phone or email answer to their go-veg questions from a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. Assistance is available in English and Spanish are available.
Also on the site are links to free weekly online cooking classes from JL Fields, VLCE, of Colorado Springs, author of Fast & Easy Vegan and coauthor with Victoria Moran of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook. People can also sign up there for free informational Zoom webinars on vegan eating and living with Holly Skodis, VLCE (Wilton, Connecticut) and Sha-Hanna Soaper, VLCE (Westfield, Indiana); and similar webinars in Spanish offered by Karima Vega, VLCE (Denton, Texas) and Enrique Velez (San Juan, Puerto Rico).
In addition, local coach,Heather Dahman, will be offering a free 7-Day Plant-Powered Challenge to help people who are interested in having more meatless meals. The 7-Day challenge which begins on May 25th will include a vegan swap guide to help participants find alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs as well as a 7-day meal plan. To sign up, join The Veg Academy Challenge Group on facebook at facebook.com/groups/thevegacademy.
"Veganism is about reducing harm and living with a compassionate heart," says Moran. "That compassion extends to both the animals and the humans trapped in a brutal, unsustainable system. Whether people are interested in cutting back on meat consumption, participating in a temporary boycott, or exploring the vegan lifestyle more permanently, our coaches are here to support their journey.”