The Viva Vine: vol #4, no #1: January / February 1995
Big Apple Vegetarians: The Apple Awards for 1994
by Pamela Teisler-Rice

It's kind of funny, but the first moment, just about, that New York City gets itself a really viable, and regularly active vegetarian group, it has to have an awards ceremony. . . Welcome to New York.

I'm talking about Big Apple Vegetarians, of course.

Here in New York City (The Big Apple, remember?), we don't have a national vegetarian organization on the caliber of a North American Vegetarian Society. We don't even have a storefront vegetarian community center. But, here, we do have awards. As they say in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, "Go figure."

The event was not 100% serious business though; it was only about 50% so. Many of the awards categories it happens were just a little bit goofy. Still, those truly hard working and dedicated people working for the vegetarian cause (albeit, there are quite a few) did get their well deserved 15 seconds of fame.

And a fun time indeed was had by all.

The Apple Awards ceremony took place this past December 17 at Vegetarian Heaven restaurant at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Some 70 people attended the Chinese vegan sitdown meal. Manny Goldman entertained us on his electric piano, and I was the emcee. Big Apple founder Jean Thaler organized the event and the judges were Mia MacDonald, Rynn Berry and Davy Davidson.

As for the awards, nominations were taken right from the floor and after nominations were closed, the judges made their decisions right on the spot. It was required that nominations had to be for people in the New York City area. However, a nominee did not have to be present at the time. Brief biographies on especially noteworthy people were peppered into the program.

The awards were as follows (winner is LISTED FIRST):

> Vegetarian Gourmand: Arthur Brown, Carol Lipton.

> Biggest vegan biceps in the tri-state area Hubert Davis, Rita Mattioli (co-winners)

> Most ubiquitous veg-evangelist: Pamela Teisler-Rice (UNCONTESTED).

> Activist who would rather go naked than wear fur: Cat Kubic, Adela Pisarevsky, Manny Goldman, Andrea Lieberman

> Activist who will not go naked (but won't wear fur either): Batya Bauman, Joan Zacharias

> Vegan policeman/woman: Arlen Baden, Jed Civic,

> Most Spiritual vegetarian: Noach Valley (the veggie-rebbe), Rynn Berry, Buddha (though not from the New York City area, it was pointed out that in the case of Buddha, he really was everywhere at once).

> Animal activist of the year (takes in more than just vegetarian activism): (all were honored equally) Martin Rowe, Solveg, Adela Pisarevsky, A. J. Elterman, Connie Salamone, Phil Goff, Henry Spira, Gary Francione, Anne Earle, Anna Charlton.

(It was declared that to be nominated was an honor.)

> Most visionary business oriented to vegetarianism: Jed and Susan Civic for Environmental Travel, Conscious Singles Connection, Terra Verde, Herban Kitchen

> Most published (or best quality) letters to the editor or downloads to the Internet: Richard Schwartz, Henry Spira

> Most non-leather shoes: Kim Rosenthal, Mia MacDonald (declined), Davy Davidson.

> Matchmaker: Joan Goldstein for Conscious Singles Connection

> Author of the Year: Lorna Sass for Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, Rynn Berry, Martin Rowe

> All the news that's fit to print award (an award going to the vegetarian publication of the year): Martin Rowe for *Satya*, Craig Gordon, Pam Teisler for "The VivaVine," Batya Bauman for Feminists for Animal Rights newsletter.

> Mother of All Potlucks award: Tony White for Break Bread for a Change, Hubert Davis for Vegan Society of Queens potluck, Jean Thaler for Big Apple Vegetarian events

> Best friend of farm animals: Dawn Hernandez of Farm Sanctuary

> Vegetarian of the Year: Jean Thaler (who tried to decline), Hubert Davis, Patrick Donnelley and Richard Pierce of Whole Foods Project,

> Longest time vegetarian: No one could out-longevity Manny Goldman, a vegetarian since 1964

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