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Media Advisory Date: February 28, 2002 - Contact: lauren Ornelas, 530/759-8482

Cruelty-free Diet Promoted at High Schools

Vegan Outreach, Viva! Target Students on National Day of Outreach

Vegetarian activists are reaching out to high school students with their message about the benefits of a vegetarian diet for the animals, the planet and health. Two national organizations, Vegan Outreach and Viva!, have declared Friday, April 5 as a national day of outreach to high schools.

"Students are some of the best friends the animals have," said lauren Ornelas, U.S. coordinator of Viva! "They have open hearts and open minds, and they care about animals and the environment. We want to show them that there is a healthy, environmentally-friendly alternative to a meat-based diet."

Vegan Outreach and Viva! are seeking interested individuals who are already vegetarian (a diet that includes no meat or meat products) or vegan (a diet that includes no animal products at all, including dairy). Anyone interested in getting involved in the National Day of Outreach is encouraged to participate by distributing literature at their local high schools on April 5. Participants will be provided with Vegan OutreachÕs "Why Vegan" pamphlets and Viva!Õs leaflets geared towards students about pigs on factory farms.

This project is also sponsored by Animal Rights International.

"We find that students often speak out for animals in the classroom and at home," Ornelas said. "Many others who don't speak out might be more willing to do so if they knew they had support from other like-minded people. We want to make sure that we are there to help them make the connection between their love of animals and the food on their plate.

"As someone who became a vegan in high school, I know how important it is to have others nearby who will help you along the way. For students who are already vegan or vegetarian, we hope this will inspire them to become stronger advocates for animals. For those who still eat animals, we hope this will open the door to a more compassionate world."

Deadline to order materials is Friday, March 29.

Additional information and leaflets can be obtained by contacting:

lauren Ornelas - 530/759-8482. email: whenpigscry@vivausa.org

Groups involved:

Animal Rights International www.ari-online.org

Vegan Outreach www.veganoutreach.org

Viva!USA www.vivausa.org