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Vegans Bring Alternative Lifestyle To COC

khts_inthecommunityCOC tries a new approach to raise awareness for global issues.

Vegans, vegetarians, environmentalists and interested community members are invited to a celebration designed to kick-start the summer, and possibly a vegan lifestyle, at College of the Canyons first Vegan Earth Day event.

Co-presented by the College of the Canyons Classified Senate, Sustainable Development Committee and Students for Sustainability campus group, the Vegan Earth Day celebration will take place from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, June 22 at the college's Valencia campus.

The event will address a number of green awareness, sustainability, environmental impact and personal lifestyle issues associated with a vegan lifestyle while recognizing the very first Vegan Earth Day, as well as this month's World Oceans Day global celebration.

Vegan Earth Day was created to bring mass awareness to environmentalists, media members, government representatives and concerned citizens around the world about the potentially devastating impact of meat consumption on our environment.

Event organizers are calling on global participants to 'go vegan' on June 21, 2009 for at least one day, in an effort to save the earth and help reverse global warming.

Veganism is a diet and lifestyle choice that seeks to exclude the use of animals and animal products for food, clothing or any other purpose. The lifestyle choice is often due to one's personal moral convictions or ethical commitments concerning animal rights, the environment and/or human health.

The concept for World Oceans Day was proposed in 1992 by the Government of Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and has been unofficially celebrated on June 8, every year since then. World Oceans Day provides an opportunity each year to celebrate the world's oceans and society's personal connection to the sea.

"I've been a vegetarian for 40 years, and with the advent of new cheese food products will soon be completely vegan," said Dennis Lettau, president of College of the Canyons Classified Senate. "As a long time environmentalist, I'm also very active in issues that affect our planet."

"Our hope is to combine Vegan Earth Day and World Oceans Day into one campus event," added Lettau. "That brings attention to and informs our students and community members about some of these important environmental issues."

Including a vegan style barbeque beginning at 11 a.m. in front of Seco Hall and a special 1 p.m. film presentation in Mentry Hall-318, the event will also feature an in-depth panel discussion on issues ranging from the environmental impact and health implications of a vegan diet, to the connection between environmental sustainability and animal agriculture, and the controversy surrounding 'green business' practices by some major corporations around the world.

"Given society's increasing awareness about the connection between the foods we eat and the harmful environmental side effects, the event organizers hope to provide valuable and practical information about the impact of our daily dietary choices," said Jia-Yi Cheng-Levine, co-chair of the college's Sustainable Development Committee. "We'll also try to show people a positive and healthy alternative to a diet and lifestyle laden with animal products in what should be a fun and delicious event."

For more information about the 2009 Vegan Earth Day celebration at College of the Canyons contact Dennis Lettau at (661) 362-3211.