On the Road to Love: The Journey of The Vegan Bus   
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We’re going where there’s people that aren’t vegan and the Bus will attract their attention and we’re going to be handing out vegan donuts that we baked last night, and handing out literature and hopefully get a few people thinking.

Gather around, loving viewers! On this week’s edition of Good People, Good Works we board the comfortable and inviting Vegan Bus. The Vegan Bus project is a group of activists, artists and speakers who travel around in a school bus that uses vegetable oil as fuel with the mission to increase public awareness about the links between a lifestyle free of animal products, health and sustainability.

Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA the project was started by Evolvegan, an organization that is also responsible for Vegan Radio, a podcast about veganism, vegans, animal rights, and living a cruelty-free lifestyle and Veganica, an on-line gallery space for artists who are vegetarian or vegan to display their work. Derek Goodwin is the founder and president of Evolvegan as well as The Vegan Bus’ driver.

The bus is a vehicle of transformation. We use it to go places, talk about veganism and talk about sustainability issues with food and with other resources like fuel. The bus runs on waste vegetable oil, which we collect from restaurants, and so that’s always a good conversation starter. And just having a bus always makes people look and get happy and start talking.

We have a local restaurant that gives us this oil when we’re local, and when we’re on the road, we have to get oil in other places, go to restaurants and ask them for it. Usually they let us take it.

Traditionally, people have to pay to get rid of it. So we’re taking it for free; lately there are more people collecting it to run grease cars or make biodiesel.

It’s better for the environment. It helps recycle waste vegetable oil. So that’s a good thing. So, for an organization to have a big vehicle that they can use for events and things, it’s nice to be able to use the veggie oil and save some money. It’s a good way to start a conversation about issues that have to do with sustainable transportation.

The Vegan Bus stages terrific events that get people interested in living a life free of animal products.

Right now a lot of our activities revolve around where we live in Northampton, Massachusetts. So what we like to do is have events that are fun and draw people in and just having great food and various activities. We have a vegan diner event that’s very popular, where we serve vegan diner food, kind of comfort foods that you might find at a diner. That’s been one of our most popular (events).

Let’s now meet Megan Shackelford who is a member of Evolvegan’s board of directors as she recaps her experiences at a local festival where The Vegan Bus conducted community outreach.

I thought the event today was really fun and I think a lot of people who don’t know about veganism or vegetarianism, we got to hand out a lot of flyers and everybody was really into having some free vegan donuts. They were like, “Okay, we’ll try it, it’s a vegan donut, and I don’t know what this is all about.”

But the fact that we were out there having fun, there was levity, there was happiness, we were being joyful and I think people were attracted to that. And I think that people who wouldn’t have been introduced to veganism or vegetarianism were, because of that. So I think it was great.

I hear that you have a special talent when it comes to cooking and baking?

That I do. That’s definitely my strength, is vegan baking and vegan cooking. And that’s how I try to win people over, because we all know that’s how you get to people is through their stomachs. So if you make something that tastes great, then I think people are going to be much more likely be converted to vegetarianism or veganism or healthy eating, as long as they know that they can still eat decadently.

So would you say that people are surprised and delighted when they try your special treats that you’ve made?

Yes, I think a lot of people don’t believe that it’s vegan. And that’s my whole point, to make something that tastes how I remember it before I went vegan. So I would say yes, they are delighted and surprised.

Apart from serving excellent food to the public, how else does The Vegan Bus create a buzz about the plant-based lifestyle?

We put on music shows. We have different artists come and perform. We have Raquy and the Cavemen from New York City (USA). Raquy is vegan. She was probably our biggest draw. At vegan diner events we have vegan artists come in and play, and they’re usually from out of town, so it introduces the local people to the music of these vegan artists.

When Good People, Good Works returns, we’ll learn more about the creative efforts of The Vegan Bus to spread the good news about sustainable living and the vegan diet. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Good People, Good Works here on Supreme Master Television where we are profiling The Vegan Bus. The Vegan Bus is an initiative of Evolvegan, a group of activists, artists and speakers who increase public awareness about the links between the vegan lifestyle, health and sustainability. Let’s now meet another project team member.

Today we’re here with Rosie, another member of The Vegan Bus team. Rosie, can you tell us about your involvement with The Vegan Bus?

Yes, Derek (Goodwin) told me about it. We work together at a vegan café bakery and he just told me about this.

We asked Rosie how long she has been a vegan.

It’s not as long as some of the other members, I’m actually fairly new. It’s been a little over a year. I was a vegetarian for years, but it wasn’t until I started being part of the community, especially when I started working at the café, when I was exposed to the community, I think that really helped.

Can you tell our viewers what inspires you the most about being vegan?

I think just the idea of harm reduction on all levels of life. Just by cutting out animal products from my life I feel like I’ve reached a whole new level of treating the Earth well and treating other living things well.

Indeed, having a supportive environment helps in making a smooth transition to the plant-based diet. But how does one create this inspiring atmosphere?

Derek, Dr. Pachauri of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) said, “People need to change their heart and then it is easier for them to change their mind to be vegan.” What do you think we can do to help change their hearts or the concept of their diets?

Creativity, I think, is the base of changing people’s consciousness. So when you meet people I think it’s important to have a positive attitude and just to really listen to what they have to say and then try to answer with your heart. Changing other people’s hearts, it’s kind of contagious, you change your own heart, you cultivate compassion in yourself and it’s contagious.

Change, cultivate, compassion, other ‘c’ words, and creativity, I think is the focus of The Vegan Bus. To combine performance art, visual art, any kind of thing that just makes people think outside of the box for a minute and consider other viewpoints.

The Vegan Bus team also travels to schools to introduce a program that informs students as to “how our interactions with animals have wide-ranging effects throughout our society.”

So we’re hoping to get a couple of humane educators on the board of directors. There are college programs in humane education, so we’d like to get some people who have completed that program to help guide our plans, but definitely a big part of our mission is to go to schools and reach younger people through humane education, which teaches not only respect for animals but I think respect for the planet and respect for each other.

I think going for the youth is a great way to do activism, because their minds are more open in general.

Before The Vegan Bus crew heads off to their next stop, Derek Goodwin provides tips on how individuals can promote the plant-based diet in their daily lives.

I think you’re going to have a great effect on the people around you so bring veganism into places where your non-vegan friends and co-workers and family are. If you’re invited to a party or if your work is having an event or something bring some vegan cookies or vegan appetizers. And that’s always a conversation starter.

And so I think in your personal life it’s very important to be a happy, healthy vegan, to eat healthy, to take care of your body and just to project this image into the world of veganism as a healthy and life- affirming and happy way to live.

Not everyone is going to be a vegan activist, outside of their personal circles but for people who are that’s the place where you can be writing letters to newspapers, or whatever your talent is to somehow tie veganism to it and bring it into the world in creative ways.

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!
Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

For their heartfelt dedication to introducing the noble plant-based diet to others, Supreme Master Ching Hai is contributing $1,500 to The Vegan Bus so many more people can enjoy their delicious vegan donuts.

Derek Goodwin and the members of the Evolvegan team, we applaud you for your innovative efforts to promote the plant-based diet, from The Vegan Bus to the Vegan Radio show. May The Vegan Bus continue to spread goodness and love wherever you may travel!

For more details on The Vegan Bus, please visit: TheVeganBus.com
For information on other Evolvegan projects please visit the following websites:
Vegan Radio Veganradio.com
Veganica Veganica.com

Thank you for joining us today on Good People, Good Works. Up next is The World Around Us, after Noteworthy News. May your journey in life always be upon the highway of Heavenly love.

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