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Vegan movement has been healthy for Marshall

Jan. 14, 2013 at 10 p.m.

It is safe to say that most people in Marshall do not follow the vegan lifestyle, or diet, for that matter. For those who don't know, the vegan way is not to consume any food that contains any animal products including milk, cheese or eggs.

This distinguishes them from vegetarians, who normally will not eat meat, but who do eat milk, cheese and eggs.

One who follows a total vegan lifestyle would be someone who does not use animal products in any way, including leather of any sort or any other animal-based product.

Most in Marshall would consider themselves omnivores, which is to say, if it sits still on a plate they will eat it, particularly if it happens to be covered in some sort of gravy.

Most recognize the health advantages of at least eating a smaller quantity of meat products than they now consume, but few would go further than just reducing their intake.

However, since the advent of Get Healthy Marshall, a non-profit organization begun by Ed and Amanda Smith, the Marshall community at large has, well, become a little less large by embracing veganism.

Just this past weekend Get Healthy Marshall brought together hundreds of people, both from inside and outside of Marshall to hear from nationally recognized leaders and experts in the vegan movement at an event called "New Year, New You."

All accounts that we heard indicated that the event was an outstanding success which means that more such activities will be on tap for the future.

We hope so because this offers opportunities to Marshall citizens that they ordinarily would not have and it brings visitors from out of town and introduces them to our city. This is a double dose of goodness.

Also, as more people move to the vegan way of eating, it could open up economic opportunities to those who want to cater to that lifestyle. So far as we know, neither Longview nor Shreveport have an organized vegan community. Guess what? Marshall does and it is growing.

If you had asked just about anyone if Marshall would ever be a nexus for veganism they probably would have questioned your faculties. However, that is just what has happened and it is a good thing.

Marshall, a small city where barbecue cook-offs can peacefully co-exist with the vegan way of life. That's a tremendous development, no matter what you choose off the menu.



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