Vegetarian Vision sets 25th anniversary convention in NY
From its humble roots in 1992, New Jersey- based Vegetarian Vision has grown to be a leading resource network and a think-tank
for vegetarians worldwide.
“A healthy, plant-based lifestyle is sustainable
for us and the planet,” says, H K Shah, who founded Vegetarian Vision 25 years ago realizing scarcity of availability of vegetarian food in grocery
stores, restaurants, school cafeterias, hospitals and
often during air travel.
Over the years, Vegetarian Vision, a non-parti-san and non-political group, has advocated vegetarianism through events, seminars and also established a library enabling aspiring vegetarians to
enhance their knowledge and understanding of
this way of life.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, the
group is currently working on organizing a two-day
international convention on Sept 9-10 at the Penn
Pavilion Convention Center in midtown
Chairman Shah and current president, Chandra
Mehta, along with the entire team of volunteers,
started the preparations a year ago to execute various planned activities, including a dozen world-renowned speakers on “Healthy Life, Healthy
Planet” plant-based diet's impact on health and the
planet by leading physicians, nutritionists, environmentalists, animal protectionists, vegetarian
and vegan brand ambassadors.
“The mega event’s primary goal is in alignment
with the goals and objectives of our organization in
promoting a healthy vegetarian way of life, saving
the planet, saving the animals,” explains Mehta,
who was born in a Jain family. Believing in nonviolence, being a vegetarian since birth, Mehta is
credited with furthering the organization’s cause
with her unique ability to working cohesively with
the convention team.
Mehta said many food demonstrations and
recipes would be displayed by celebrity chefs
throughout the two-day event. Ethnic food items
will be available at various stalls and booths at the
venue. About 100 exhibitor booths have been
planned. Yoga gurus are set to speak and demonstrate.
“Other than the theme of vegetarianism, for
many, the event will be a fun-filling weekend,
enjoying the fashion shows, comedy, vegetarian
pageant, entertainment from Bollywood and
Hollywood,” Mehta explained.
The two-day event is expected to benefit over
200,000 people. Several organizations, food manufacturers, vegetarian and vegan product manufacturers and store-owners have been invited to be
part of the event where they can showcase and
market their products and services.
One of the hallmarks of Vegetarian Vision’s
efforts has been the integration with mainstream
vegetarianism. Turkey-free Thanksgiving, vegetarian pageants and cruises are organized involving
all ethnicities on a larger scale, often drawing more
than 500 people. The organization also strives to
work with hospitals, airlines, schools and restaurants to aid in introduction of vegetarian food or
add more such options. Yoga, meditation, stress
management have also been routinely a significant
part of Vegetarian Vision’s activities.
An undertaking as large as the two-day convention as well as the organization's other annual
activities must require huge resources, both financial as well as others.
“Vegetarian Vision has been doing fairly well,”
notes Mehta. “All segments of people have come
forward and joined in accomplishing this humon-
gous task. We have weekly and monthly meetings.
We contact friends directly for funds. We don’t do
fundraising events. We get enough funds to move
Mehta believes her organization is motivating a
change and working toward results that can be
“Vegetarianism is the new buzz word and is rap-
idly becoming the viable and exciting lifestyle
of choice for many, and this is no accident,” she
says. “Progress doesn’t happen overnight but
over many years. Our skilled and talented
volunteers continue to dedicate their time and
energy to ensure we make the world a better
place for all living things both now and in the
Vegetarian Vision volunteers are known for
working tirelessly in partnership with others, grad-
ually leading to changes in public perception and
Above, from left, Chandra Mehta, president of Vegetarian Vision; Malti Shah, co-founder of Vegetarian Vision and H K Shah, the
organization’s founder. Below, from left, Mark Becker, Mike Desai, Vinod Shah, Kenny Desai, H R Shah, Dr. Naveen Mehta,
H K Shah, Chandra Mehta, Malti Shah, Naveen Shah, Animesh Goenka and Flora Parikh, at an event at the Indian Consulate in
New York to announce the two-day convention on Sept. 9-10 .
INDIA ABROAD AUGUST 18, 2017 48 RESPONSE FEATURE