It’s Eat Local Week in Burlington and it’s Vegetarian Awareness Month across the nation. Eat Local Week is Burlington’s celebration of Vermont’s excellent local food and drink. Vegetarian Awareness Month, kicked off by World Vegetarian Day (October 1), teaches us easy ways to “create a better world” just by making better nutritional choices.

Both local and vegetarian diets have proven health benefits and help to preserve the earth. Here are a few from the North American Vegetarian Society:


  • Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to food-borne pathogens
  • Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
  • Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
  • Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
  • Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
  • Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
  • Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

Eating locally produced foods generates many of the same health and environmental benefits. Even eating locally grown, organically produced meat has some of the same benefits, though PETA might arm wrestle you on that one.

Even if you don’t agree about accelerated climate change or the sentience of quadrupeds, you must admit that localvores and vegetarians are healthier, happier and they seem to have more fun. Take a look at the following Greenhorns trailer about the new generations of farmers and you’ll see what I mean:

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