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VivaVegie Society, 501(c)3
VivaVegie Society was founded by Pamela Rice in 1991. Its humble mission? Pass out copies of the homemade pamphlet, "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian," on the streets of New York City. To gain attention from New York City's notoriously blasé pedestrian, Pamela would dress up in a stretchy head cap bedecked with plastic fruit and a sandwich board emblazoned with the words, "Ask Me Why I'm a Vegetarian." She and fellow volunteers would regularly engaged in friendly and colorful street advocacy. For veganism.
It turned out that Pamela's pamphlet—"101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian"—quickly became quite popular, and, over the years, was used to great effect in convincing thousands of passersby to consider the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.
That's how it started. But soon, writing and research projects, as well as vegan event planning was added to the mix. An office was opened. And, as it happens, over the next 27 years, pro-vegan advocacy of all sorts became Pamela's primary vocation.
Twelve updated editions and reprints of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" were printed between 1996 and 2011, which amounted to over 220,000 copies—all distributed. In 2005, the pamphlet blossomed into a full-length book version by the same name—the publisher, Lantern Books.
Early on, in 1992, Pamela founded a newsletter, or zine (as they were called at the time): The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine. A bit crude in the beginning, it soon emerged as a high-quality incisive vegan-centric news digest. Forty-nine issues of it were produced, remaining in publication until 2002. The magazine stood out as unique gem in the genre of vegan journalism. Like a hound dog, the magazine's primary purpose was to sniff out every issue related to meat, fish, and poultry production, as well as anything pro-vegan. It became a place to go for vegan hard news. Aside from this, one of its best attributes was how The VivaVine served as a chronicle marking an extraordinary moment in vegan history in the city of New York.
In 1999 VivaVegie Society officially became a non-profit tax-exempt organization. This same year, founder Pamela Rice opened the Veggie Center of New York City. The facility provided (a) an event and meeting place, (b) a staging area for outreach, and (c) an archival depot for research. The center remained in operation until 2016.
In 2006, Pamela heard about a veggie pride parade that had been taking place in Paris, France. She realized this event needed to come to American shores. So, under the auspices of VivaVegie Society, Pamela brought the event to the Big Apple, organizing a total of 10 annual parades in the years to come. Pamela insisted that the NYC event remain non-sectarian when, at the time, some vegan organizations were feuding. The Veggie Pride Parade of NYC drew leaders and compassionate activists from all the major, and not so major, vegan organizations of the time. And not one scuffle among them!
In 2018, the parade lived on with Maggie Sargent for 4 additional years.
At this point, there's been a lot of water under the bridge since 1991 when VivaVegie Society was founded. So many projects, so many campaigns. Unfortunately, the Web site in recent years went into semi dormancy. Just recently, however, in the fall of 2023, one can see that there’s been a massive redesign and update of vivavegie.org. And the work furiously continues.
With a little help—financial, legal, and digital/technical—soon this Web site will rise to its proper greatness again. It’s so important that the vegan movement of roughly 1987 to 2020 be preserved in a comprehensive chronicle. This is the overarching goal of VivaVegie Society today.
Please explore the new—albeit not quite finished—Web site, here, and stay tuned for a plethora of even more posts from the golden years: images, videos, writings, links, etc., as well as contemporary vegan-centric commentary on the news of the day.
Thank you for your interest in VivaVegie Society.
©2023 by VivaVegie Society
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