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Creating Communities.
For your health, the animals, and the planet.

Veggie News to Use
VSDC's December 2021 Newsletter

Happy Holidays!

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay 


Whatever holidays you celebrate this season, we hope that they're filled with plenty of joy, good health, and great vegan food. Best wishes to all of you from the VSDC board members.

You're Invited:
African American Networking Group's 
Kwanzaa Celebration

December 26, 1 pm


The African American Networking Group (AANG) will conduct a potluck celebration of the seven Kwanzaa principles: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

This is an in-person event held at a member's home. Since social distancing may not be possible at all times in the residence, all guests will need to provide ID, proof of full vaccination series, have a temperature check, wear a face mask, and answer health screening questions prior to entering the home. Host reserves the right to deny entry to anyone.

An all-vegan menu of food will be provided; however, guests are welcome to bring their own all vegan food or a dish to share if they would like to do so. No alcoholic beverages will be served nor permitted at the event.

Capacity is limited, so if you RSVP and plans change, please be sure to update your response so that someone on the waiting list will be able to attend.

RSVP here.

Contact David Banks for more information.

Come Skating with Us
January 8, Noon to 3 pm



$12/Adult, $9/Youth (12 & Under), $6/Skate Rental. No advance ticket purchase available.

Please join us for an afternoon of ice skating at the Washington DC District Wharf rink. This is DC’s only over-water ice skating rink. Come to Transit Pier right outside The Anthem and lace up your skates -- bring your own or rent some rink-side -- to glide over the ice and enjoy amazing views of the water and monuments. And, if we're hungry, we can treat ourselves to the vegan offerings at the nearby Falafel Inc. (1140 Maine Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024) and/or Ben & Jerry's (705 Wharf St SW, Washington, DC 20024).

This event is for those who are fully vaccinated only. Also please do not attend if you are sick or have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Weather: We will cancel the event in the event of rain and strong wind, but plan to meet in the event of snow (because, how charming!).

RSVP here.

Thanksgiving Celebration Recap

The 47th Annual VSDC Vegan Thanksgiving Celebration was a big hit, with 130 people in attendance at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Thanksgiving day. Highlights of the event included a sumptuous meal, an inspiring speech from Bruce Friedrich about alternative proteins, and presentation of the Carmen Gillmore Scott Volunteer Award to Danielle Kichler. As usual, event attendees brought generous donations for So Others Might Eat and the Humane Rescue Alliance. Event sponsors included: Bob Taylor; Bubbie's Plant Burgers; the Dalal family; DC Vegan Catering; Elissa Free; Healthier, Greener, Kinder Foundation; Hip City Veg; PLNT Burger; Rose City Vegan Chocolatier; Seth Tibbot/Tofurkey; Shouk; and the Check out some photos of the event in the gallery below.

Meet a VSDC Board Member:
Saurabh Dalal


You may have met some of the VSDC board members at past VSDC events, but perhaps you still don't know much about them as individuals. This ongoing newsletter article will enable you to learn some basic facts about each of the board members. Be sure to check each upcoming issue of our newsletter for a new board member profile.

Saurabh Dalal:
  • Amount of time on the VSDC board: Joined the board in 1991 (Editor's note: that's 30 years ago) 
  • Number of years as a vegetarian/vegan: I'm a lifelong vegetarian (huge appreciation to my parents) and I turned vegan in Dec of 1991 (so celebrating my 30th Veganniversary now!)
  • Amount of time as a VSDC member: Joined VSDC in 1990
  • First VSDC event you attended: I believe I attended my first VSDC Thanksgiving event in 1990 and also picnics in Rock Creek Park.
  • What do you like best about VSDC? I like that VSDC works hard to be welcoming and friendly, works at the grass roots level to create positive change while building a strong community, and has been clear in promoting a vegan diet and lifestyle since the 1990s.
  • How long have you lived in the DMV area? What brought you here? My family has lived in Maryland ever since we immigrated to the US when I was 5 yrs old.  I live in Lanham, MD, but spend a lot of time in NYC.
  • Favorite food: I love pizza, toasted sandwiches stuffed with veggies, and many international cuisines, especially Thai and Indian.
  • Favorite movie or book: It's a Wonderful Life, The Lord of the Rings trilogy (books and movies), The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle
  • Favorite out-of-town vegan restaurant? It's way too hard to choose, and many of my favorites have closed over the years but Avant Garden in NYC and Three Brothers Vegan on Long Island are really high on the list.
  • Favorite place to vacation? I don't have any one favorite spot, but I have loved many places like Brazil, Kenya, Indonesia, traveling in India and Europe, etc.  It’s as much about the people, culture, and vegan food as the place itself.
  • Hobbies: I loved collecting coins and stamps as a kid. Now I really enjoy playing trivia and games, reading history, magic, exploring ethical investing, all things vegan!
  • Who lives with you? Both my parents have passed away so I currently live alone.
  • What caused you to become vegan? I was raised as a follower of the Jain religion, and my parents held the principle of Ahinsa (non-violence) in the highest regard. Reflecting on the Jain principles and philosophy further, and seeing the work of PETA and VRG in the late 80s, led me to see veganism as a natural, integrated, and urgently necessary ethical choice.
  • What is/are your primary reason(s) for being vegan? It is such an easily accessible and comprehensive way to exercise respect and kindness to all – our wondrous non-human planetary cohabitants, members of our species, and the Earth itself – while taking a clear and thoughtful stand against animal exploitation, abuse, and killing.  Learning more about the spectacular health benefits and then the earth-shaking environmental benefits have just confirmed that going and staying vegan is a win - win - win - win - win - win - win.
  • Other interesting things to know: Having been involved in VSDC for over 30 years now, I am so happy to see so many people coming forward and working together with VSDC in a totally volunteer capacity to promote the important, vital, and powerful ideology and practice of a vegan way of living.  As we evolve as a society, it’s good and vitally important to see VSDC changing with the times, utilizing creative ways and emerging technology to effect behavioral change, and striving to be most effective/impacting within our means.  I like the phrase: passionately working to create (in a good way) our own obsolescence.

Save the Date!

VSDC's Annual Meeting (Virtual)
Saturday, February 5, 1 to 3 pm

Photo by Darkmoon_Art on Pixabay

Please stay tuned for more details
and the Zoom link.

VSDC's Historical Records Are
Being Sorted and Preserved


Joshua Levy from the Library of Congress and VSDC's Elissa Free
pose with an old VSDC Eat Smart program poster display.

Exciting news! The Library of Congress has expressed an interest in housing VSDC's papers. Founded in 1927, VSDC is the oldest continuing operating veg society in the United States. 

We need your help! If you have any old VSDC materials
newsletters, programs, brochures, handouts, memos, minutes, correspondence, photos, etc. please get in touch with We are trying to supplement our archives, and we will be happy to receive contributions of materials that we don't already have. 

In Case You Missed It:

The Michelin Guide Adds Oyster Oyster,
a Plant-Forward DC Restaurant

According to a recent story by WTOP, Michelin Guide inspectors have added four D.C. restaurants that are highlighted as "new to try" on the guide’s website.

The restaurants are not starred or Bib Gourmand restaurants — at least not yet — but are featured as new restaurants that inspectors deem worthy as new discoveries in the District. One of the four restaurants is Oyster Oyster. 

Oyster Oyster is described as a plant-forward restaurant offering seasonal menus that highlight the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic. The restaurant features locally foraged mushrooms and produce from farms who share the restaurant's ethos for stewardship. Diners can choose either the vegetarian or vegan menu.

Editor's note: The restaurant offers oysters as an option, so you may see them listed on the menu or plated on other peoples' tables.

Enjoy Winter in a Long-Sleeved
VSDC Tee Shirt!

Cooler weather has arrived, and you'll want a long-sleeved tee to wear on those crisp fall days! Surf on over to our VSDC CafePress store, where you will find all kinds of great items with the VSDC logo -- including tees, hats, mugs, mousepads and more!  We'll get a small donation when you place an order in our store, so that's just one more way to support VSDC.

Designate VSDC When You Shop at AmazonSmile

Did you know that Amazon will make a donation to VSDC when you shop at AmazonSmile and designate VSDC as the recipient? AmazonSmile is a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is start your shopping at The donation will be made at no extra cost to you.

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

It's easy to get started. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization to receive donations from your future eligible AmazonSmile purchases. Just type "Veg Society of the District of Columbia" in the search bar. Amazon will remember your selected charity whenever you shop at or with AmazonSmile activated in the Amazon Shopping app, and then every eligible purchase you make through AmazonSmile will result in a donation to VSDC.

Through the AmazonSmile program, U.S. charities have already received $285,795,312.80 as of August 2021.

Join Us for VSDC's Virtual Game Nights


Join us on Thursdays for VSDC's virtual game nights. The games are fun and challenging. Hope to see you there! Contact Jeanette Irwin for more information.

VSDC Book Club 

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay 

The VSDC Book Club is a long-standing tradition, having recently completed its 29th year! We would be pleased to welcome new members, so please join us. Book club members read fiction and nonfiction in alternating months, about any topic. The book club meetings are open to all participants who have read at least half the book and have RSVPed by two days before the meeting. Book Club participants vote for two upcoming books at every other meeting: one fiction and one nonfiction. Any Book Club member can nominate a book — be prepared to participate in the discussion if it wins! We read books that are in paperback, in print, and under 400 pages. Plus, we read authors we have not read in the past five years. Click here for more information about the book club — including every book that we have read. 

You can RSVP on VSDC’s Meetup page. Join us for this upcoming meeting:

January 23 - Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, 1 pm. RSVP here.
Contact Beth Preiss via the VSDC Meetup page for more information.

In Case You Missed It #2

Vegan Restaurant Owner in Bali
Chosen as a CNN Hero

Photo by CNN

According to a CNN story, when the COVID 19 pandemic caused hardship in Bali, vegan restaurant owner Made Janur Yasa started a program in which local villagers could exchange plastic for rice -- a barter system that would benefit the environment and empower the local people. Residents can turn in plastic trash they collect in exchange for a main food staple.
In May 2020, he hosted the first exchange in the village where he was born and raised. It was a success, and the concept quickly spread to other villages across Bali. His non-profit, Plastic Exchange, was born.
The program brings together local neighborhood groups called Banjars who collect plastic from their homes, streets, rivers, beaches and surrounding areas.

Villages hold community exchange events once a month in which residents can bring in plastic to trade in for rice. Yasa says the organization has so far helped feed thousands of families and collected nearly 300 tons of plastic for recycling.

We Have a Fantastic New Website!

We are very pleased to announce that we recently launched a new website, designed by Vegan Web Design, based in Australia. We believe that you will find the new website to be informative, easy to navigate, and very attractive. 

The new site showcases our myriad activities and the growing list of GreenRewards members.

We hope you will check it out at 

Upcoming Events List:

Volunteer Opportunities with VSDC

Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay
VSDC is an all-volunteer organization, and we are seeking volunteers to assist with our ongoing events and other administrative activities. Individuals who are interested in becoming a VSDC volunteer should go to and click the “Volunteer” tab to fill out a short survey. A Board member will be in touch with you after the form is submitted to discuss areas for involvement.

We especially need volunteers for the following areas:  
  • Social Media Volunteer:  Assist with promoting the VSDC brand, mission, and programming on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.
  • Affinity Group Volunteers:  Help plan events for our LGBTQ+, Singles, and Youth groups.
If you have any questions about these positions or would like to get involved in other activities, please send an email message to

Become a Member of VSDC

It's Easy, It's Fun, and We Need you!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay 

Are you wondering, "Why should I become a VSDC member?" 

With VSDC membership, you will:
  • save money at area restaurants and businesses in the VSDC GreenRewards® discount program
  • receive discounts at VSDC events 
  • receive our newsletters and announcements
  • vote for Board members
  • support a great, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization.
But not only that -- your support also benefits the veg community! VSDC exhibits at conferences and festivals to educate people about the benefits of a vegan diet and lifestyle. We help make a veg diet easier to follow by organizing educational, community-building, and social activities for people to learn and share ideas. And we partner with businesses to help them see a vibrant veg community so that they will increase their vegan options.

Contact David Banks for more information.
Click HERE to join VSDC

Submit an Article or Recipe

Do you like to write articles or recipes? We welcome your submissions for future issues of our newsletter. Articles should be related to vegan lifestyles or community building. Pictures are encouraged. If you submit a recipe, please indicate the source if it's not your original work. VSDC reserves the right to select articles for publication in order to achieve balance, and we may also edit the submissions for length and clarity. Contact our newsletter editor, Leigh Scott, for more information or to submit an article or recipe.
The Veg Society of DC (VSDC) is an educational nonprofit organization promoting the tremendous benefits of veg eating through education, community-building, and social activities. VSDC welcomes people wherever they are on the path to an all-plant, vegan diet and lifestyle.

Creating communities.
For your health, the animals, and the planet.

Copyright © 2021, Veg Society of DC, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 4921, Washington, DC 20008-0121

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