An exciting new program is hitting the Chicago area, aimed at helping people gain from the knowledge of experienced vegans to make their own transition away from animal products easier. The Chicago Vegan Pledge Program will be held for five weeks, with weekly meetings at Karyn’s Fresh Corner, 1901 N. Halsted starting Sunday, June 16. With the program, novices will be matched up with their own vegan mentors to help guide them through the early stages of transitioning to veganism, something that can be daunting for many people. What’s the catch? Newbies will just have to commit to being vegan for 30 days and the weekly meetings. Living healthfully and consciously with your own vegan coach? Sounds like a deal to me. Topics covered will include nutrition, the environmental reasons for veganism, and being vegan in a non-vegan world, among others. I spoke with Ilana Green Cember of the Peace Advocacy Network and she filled me in a little.
Can you tell me about the Vegan Mentor program you are starting?
The program is hosted by Peace Advocacy Network and ChicagoVeg Outreach. The free, 30 day vegan pledge program starts on June 16th. Vegan pledges agree to go vegan for 30 days and they are paired one-on-one with a vegan coach, who can give them some individual support/guidance. They also receive goody bags filled with free vegan samples and coupons to local vegan establishments. We host weekly information sessions over that month (Sundays 2 -5p) that cover topics like nutrition, environmentalism, compassion, plus cooking demos and a field trip to a local farm animal sanctuary. We end with a potluck "graduation."
How can someone get involved, either as a mentor or a newcomer?
We are looking for pledges, anyone interested in trying veganism for a month who might need a little extra support, and vegan mentors, anyone who has been vegan for at least a year who is willing to pair with a pledge - go on a grocery shopping trip, cook with them, etc.
They can go to ChicagoVeg.com/CVP, which has the links to the forms you will need to fill out. Someone from our team will get in touch with them in the next few weeks. We have an optional info session on May 12th to go over the program and answer any questions. You can also follow us on Facebook.