We are a non-profit organization dedicated to improving life on our planet by educating the public about the benefits of adopting a plant-based lifestyle. We promote compassion toward animals, the environment, and humanity by choosing to live cruelty-free. Adopting a plant-based diet makes perfect sense for many reasons. Vegetarians and vegans enjoy great health, inner peace, and a strong connection with the earth and the environment. We come from all walks of life and all areas of the world. We are all ages, colors, and cultures. Regardless of your reason for your interest in vegetarianism, we invite you to explore our site, contact us, attend our dinners and meet nationally and internationally known vegetarians, get involved and join our society. See for yourself how going vegetarian or vegan truly is the best thing you can do for yourself, the animals, and the earth.
Spring Dinner & Vegan Buffet
Dr. Brooke Goldner
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Sunland Park Holiday Inn
Dr. Goldner has starred in videos and documentaries such as Eating You Alive, Whitewash, The Conspiracy Against Your Health, Goodbye Lupus, and Super Healthy Meals for Your Family. She has appeared on TV news and media outlets such as, The Home & Family Show, Natural News Radio, Wellness Radio, and has been featured on the cover of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine.
Dr. Goldner graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University. She received her M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine, and was Chief Resident at UCLA-Harbor Residency in Psychiatry. She also holds a certification in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University.
* 6 pm meet and greet, eat at 6:30 pm
* Vegan buffet includes: vegan cheese enchiladas in red sauce, refried beans with tomato and onion, Spanish rice, guacamole, salsa, salad, chocolate pudding with strawberry garnish
* Paid reservations are due Tuesday, May 1, 2018.
*To reserve and pay with PayPal or a credit card go to www.vsep.org and click on Events – Pay Online. After you complete the payment, please e-mail the names of those attending to VSoEP@aol.com. We need to have all the names of our guests as well as who the students and children are.
* To pay with a check or money order, please first make your reservations via e-mail
to VSoEP@aol.com, or text/call (915) 877-3030. Please include all the name(s) of those attending as well as indicate the students and children. Then mail your check or money order to VSEP, 6757 Gato Rd., El Paso, TX 79932. Make sure your payment is received before the reservation deadline.
Paid Reservations deadline: Tuesday, May 1st
No refunds but paid reservations are transferable before the reservation deadline and as long as VSEP is notified (text or call 915-877-3030).
IN MEMORY OF OUR DEAR MEMBER
(April 21, 1971 – April 2, 2018)
first published in the Voice for All Animals newsletter January 1996
By Steve Best
UTEP student Tima Velarde was having an experience we can all relate to — trying to find some decent vegetarian fare at a carnivore’s restaurant. The place was Landry’s Seafood House, and on her way out the door she spotted an enormous lobster imprisoned in a glass cage, its huge claws taped tightly shut, completely immobile, a pitiful giant.
Appalled at this spectacle of cruelty, Tima decided the lobster had to be freed. Upon talking with the kitchen manager, she found out that the lobster had been shipped recently from Massachusetts and had not been fed since its arrival. She was told the lobster weighed 13 pounds and was 56 years old (but, according to PETA, a lobster lives seven years for every pound, which could make him 91 years old). Going for the market price of $200.00, unable to be cooked for lack of a large enough pot, the manager nicely offered to sell the lobster to Tima for only $85.00. Tima named him “Sebastian,” gathered up money she did not have, and set out to repatriate Sebastian to where he belongs — the ocean waters.
You may already know that lobsters are remarkable animals. They can live to be up to 150 years old, they can make seasonal journeys up to 100 miles long, they carry their young for nine months, and like dolphins they have a complicated set of communication signals to establish social relationships. Although they evolved over 100 million years ago, and can navigate ocean currents adeptly, only .01% survive the world’s most dangerous predator, the human being. In the United States alone, over 20 million are killed each year.
Lobsters indeed are sentient beings and their nervous system does not allow them to go into shock. So, when placed in a pot of boiling water fully conscious as they claw pitifully at the sides of the pot, the suffer intensely for three long minutes until they die, ready for the graveyard of the dinner plate.
Tima knew she could not save all the lobsters, but she decided at least she could save Sebastian. She contacted Sukie Sargent who called Tucson animal rights activist Roberta Wright, who had experience in lobster liberation, successfully stopping Reay’s, a chain store, from selling them. Roberta referred her to Ofelya Rotunda, a PETA contact in New Hampshire, who has experience in releasing lobsters back into the ocean off the coast of Maine. Sukie also spoke with Tracy Reiman, PETA’s International Grass Roots Campaign Coordinator, who faxed her detailed instructions about how to handle shipping a lobster through the mail, provided a list of national media contact, and herself notified CNN and 20/20.
But, much would have to be done in the meantime. Sukie immediately faxed press releases for the event of freeing Sebastian to local and national news She arranged to have Sebastian released on Wednesday January 17. Unfortunately, this was the day of the huge dust storm that blew through El Paso. Worried that the plane would not leave that day, Sukie postponed Sebastian’s release until Thursday, 6 p.m., and sent out a new batch of faxes to the media.
And there were other problems. Nate, the cook at Landry’s assured Sukie that he had the proper boxes to ship Sebastian, but when Sukie arrived on Thursday at 1 p.m., she found that he did not have a top to the box. Sukie frantically began a search for a proper cover to the box, and shortly before 6 p.m. found something that would fit enough cutting and pasting.
At the designated time, Tima and a small group representing Voice For All Animals met with channels 7 and 26 at Landry’s as Sebastian was gently lifted from his prison and placed snugly into the box that would carry him home. His small eyes looked up at the group and sparkled, almost as if he knew he was in loving, fork-free hands.
But Sebastian was not yet out of troubled waters. Although Federal Express initially told Sukie there would be no problem putting a live lobster through the mail, she was told at the office on Airport Blvd. that no pets could be shipped! Well, Sebastian was no one’s pet and once Sukie assured the manager that no one expected a guarantee Sebastian would make the journey alive and well (they could only promise that he would get a rough ride from automated machinery), he was on his was, with “This way up! “ and “Good Luck, Sebastian!” written all over the box in a large black print.
That night we watched the TV report on Sebastian. Our hearts warmed at the thought the he was on his way home, due to arrive in New Hampshire the next morning. But we worried about his safety and said a prayer to the lobster God. The next afternoon, Sukie got the good news from Ofelya: Sebastian had arrived and was in good shape. Ofelya discovered that Sebastian in fact weighed 15 pounds, making him 105 years old!. Ofelya did not have a cooler large enough to fit him comfortable, so she transferred him to the cardboard box that he was shipped in and with a CNN crew made the hour-long drive to Maine, where it is illegal to capture lobsters of Sebastian’s size.
Unfortunately, when Ofelya, CNN, and Sebastian arrived in Maine, there was a storm coming and the waves were pounding the rocks. After some time, Ofelya found a safe place to release Sebastian, and she watched him bob in and out of the water, before finally swimming under the waves, home free!
At this very moment, Sebastian is likely eating and happily scuttling around, socializing with other lobsters, moving his great claws and body freely. Though CNN’s coverage of the story on Tuesday, January 23, and though the upcoming 20/20 story on this same issue, millions of people will come to know Sebastian and, hopefully become more conscious and compassionate in their relation to our brothers and sisters of the animal kingdom.
Until all lobsters, are free, until all animals are free, we must continue to act compassionately at every possible opportunity. We can all learn from Tima’s example who not only expressed outrage at the abuse of animals, but undertook decisive action. Tima, we all thank you, and most of all so does Sebastian.
El Paso Best of Veg 2017 – Announcing the Winners!
For the past 5 years VSEP and EP VegSnob have held a Best of Veg – El Paso contest among our local eateries.
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VSEP is participating in the Amazon Smile program! If you shop online at Amazon, 0.5% of your eligible Amazon purchases will be donated to VSEP. All you have to do is visit smile.amazon.com and start shopping!
Need Cooking Inspiration or Vegan Friendly Material?
It’s at your public library!
They have many vegan cookbooks in both print and ebook formats. You can also download free digital copies of Vegetarian Times and other magazines.
Visit your nearest branch or elpasolibrary.org for more information.
From the Prez
This February the Vegetarian Society turns 25 years old and we plan to celebrate!
El Paso and VSEP have undergone many positive changes in the last 2 ½ decades. We have grown from a handful of founding members to 65 life members and over 260 supporting members. Make it a goal to recruit at least 2 new members this year and help us grow!
Some of us remember the days of searching for restaurants with vegan options and when finding them, wondering if in fact they were in fact vegan and after some internal dilemmas ordering the salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Have times changed! We now have several vegan-only eateries and many more that have vegan and vegetarian options. We can now find vegan breakfast burritos, donuts, coffeecake and other delicious dishes at Savage Baked Goods (by the way, if you haven’t tried it yet, join us there for a special restaurant hopper later this spring). You can also order vegan treats from Sane Treats, Brenda’s Baked Goods, and Orange Peel Bakery. For lunch and dinner options, there is the vegan Lick It Up food truck outside the Monarch bar, Eloise’s Meatless Monday’s discount, and Whole Food’s Monday vegan burger and beer special.
Vegetarian and Vegan values associated with treating animals more compassionately are also permeating El Paso’s culture. We now have a dedicated crime unit working on animal abuse issues – making sure those that abuse animals are held accountable. Although it is sad to read the articles about the abuses, it is reassuring to know that our community will not continue to tolerant them. There is also talk of our shelter becoming a no-kill facility. This will be a challenge given the number of companion animals that are abandoned each year in our city. Each year when animal control releasing the number of animals that are euthanized, it is a wake up call for the need to continue education efforts on the benefits of spay-neuter programs and the need to end back year breeding. On the bright side, it seems that the tide is changing and most El Pasoans are treating their animals as companions rather than possessions that can easily be discarded and replaced. Continued education and providing positive role models are the keys!
We will coordinate with UTEP’s Environmental Advocates for a tabling event along with Animal Place’s Brave the Cage campaign on the UTEP campus on Feb 28- Mar 1 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer).
One way that we will we be celebrating our 25th Anniversary year is by hosting a community event. We will be hosting a workshop, Training the Chefs. This event will feature a internationally renown chef trainer who will provide vegan menus and preparation techniques along with dietary and other information to a variety of El Paso chefs representing restaurants, hospitals, schools, and assisted living facilities. The workshop will culminate with the chefs preparing a vegan dinner. We have applied for a grant from the Pollination Project (we will hear the results March 9th) but regardless of the outcome, we are going forward with this exciting project. Keep an eye out for updates and ways that you can engage.
Join VSEP for a vegan bake sale at Ardovino’s Farmers Market in April to celebrate Earth Day. If you would like to bring baked goods to sell, help man our booth or just stop by and enjoy some delicious vegan desserts send an email to email@example.com. We will try to a have a few gluten-free options as well.
Our Spring Dinner of VSEP will be a fiesta! On May 5, Cinco de Mayo, we will enjoy a Mexican dinner at the Holiday Inn Sunland Park. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Brooke Goldner, an M.D., a psychiatrist and author of the book Goodbye Lupus. Dr. Goldner was diagnosed with systemic lupus nephritis with stage IV kidney disease at 16 years old and made a startling recovery from her disease at 28 years old by embracing a vegan diet. Now, she educates physicians and patients on how to heal and achieve vibrant health using foods available from any supermarket.
As usual, we will be having a variety of restaurant hoppers, including one at Gallery 3 Kitchen, throughout the Spring. Check out our calendar of events at www.vsep.org for details.
Once again, thanks to all of you for helping VSEP a successful organization – we can’t do it without you! Please join us at our monthly board meetings, volunteer, host a potluck or attend one of our events. New ideas are always welcome.
Here’s to a peaceful, compassionate, earth- and heart-healthy spring!
P.S. Have some extra time this spring, volunteer with VSEP! See our open positions by going to vsep.org and clicking on the VSEP leadership link.
Roman and Adriana Wilcox believe that every human has the right to good, clean, hearty food. Their belief and the classic Bob Marley song “One Love” helped create One Grub Community. The One Grub Community call themselves El Paso’s first meatless merchants, selling planted-based vegan food and strive to provide peace, love and grub. They’re a part of a small vegan community that’s growing in El Paso. “Food is a right, not a luxury. Access to healthy food is a human right and (Roman) shows…