The FAQs: Everything you always wanted to know about VivaVegie and the Vegetarian Center.

Q. What is the VivaVegie Society best known for?

A. That's a somewhat difficult question, but probably our "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian," by Pamela Rice, is how most people associate us. Over 140,000 copies have been printed and put into circulation to wide acclaim over the past 10 years.

Otherwise, VivaVegie Society is the sponsor of the Vegetarian Center of New York City, the only one of its kind open to the public in the country. It also publishes The VivaVine: The Vegetarian-Issues Magazine. And last, but not least, VivaVegie is known for its vegetarian street outreach, which employs our "101 Reasons."

Q. What is some of the history of the VivaVegie Society

A. Officially, VivaVegie has been a nonprofit for only five of its 11 years of existence. Nonprofit status allowed the group to open the Vegetarian Center of New York City. In the early years VivaVegie founder Pamela Rice ran the enterprize from the Manhattan walkup that she shares with her husband (and VivaVegie vice president) Alan Rice. Click here for a general rundown of the most significant turning points in VivaVegie's history.

Wrap 'n' Wrap at the Veggie Center

Here we have a happy crowd of vegetarians enjoying VivaVegie's monthly Rap 'n' Wrap at the Veggie Center--a time when vegetarians can shoot the breeze and sort things out from our own perspective.

Q. What can your Vegetarian Center offer me?

A. The Vegetarian Center of NYC provides a unique clearinghouse for information. On a daily basis, it receives numerous phone calls and walk-in visits from inquisitive people interested in the vegetarian lifestyle. People are always grateful for what the center has to offer them, usually free of charge.

Every visitor receives a copy of our restaurant guide to New York City (or New Jersey), a guidebook to the Vegetarian Center - a listing of resources the Center provides - as well as a one crisp copy of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian."

Moreover, DSL Internet access is at the Center, as well as hoards and hoards of archival material of interest to visitors. Upon entering this sacred enclave, let your host know of any special interest you may have. More than likely, he or he will have what you are looking for.

With the Vegetarian Center, we vegetarians have a place to call home - not just once a year, which might be available at an annual conference, but all year long!

The Vegetarian Center...

  • hosts lectures, video screenings, workshops, and discussion groups;
  • offers a referral service for restaurants, stores, vegan products, and vegetarian organizations;
  • houses an archive of books, pamphlets, magazines, menus, and cataloged news reports of interest to vegetarians;
  • functions as a meeting place for groups and research room for students and journalists;
  • serves as a drop-in space for passers-by to pick up a restaurant guide or other vegetarian information;
  • offers pro-vegetarian T-shirts and lapel buttons;
  • is a place for visitors to speak one-on-one with a real, live vegetarian!

Q. I'm a journalist and want to write a feature for The Nation about a particular vegetarian subject. May I use the reference material at the vegetarian center?

A. Yes. VivaVegie is proud of its collection of catalogued news stories, books and magazines filled with information that backs up our claim that vegetarianism is the healthiest, most environmentally friendly and ethically conscious lifestyle to follow. Call 212-871-9304 or E-mail us to schedule your visit.

Q. What are the general office hours of the Vegetarian Center?

A. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday. It is advisable to call ahead: (in Manhattan) 212-871-9304 before your visit.

Q. I want to donate books and/or magazines to the Center.

A. We very much appreciate your generosity, but unfortunately, with only 200 square feet for the entire office, we have almost no room left for materials at this time. Much work needs to be done to gain financial support in order for us to have a larger facility -- preferably on the street level -- that can house more materials.

Q. I have a professional skill. How can I volunteer my services through VivaVegie?

A. VivaVegie is especially interested in your skills in publishing, publicity, bookkeeping, database management and html formatting for our Web site. In addition, if you have skills in law or accounting, consider donating time to VivaVegie. Otherwise, if you just want to be part of our periodic volunteers' open houses, give us a call!: 212-871-9304

Q. I don't have much time. Is there something on the low-commitment side I can do to help the Center?

A. Sure. (1) Collect vegetarian-restaurant menus and send them to us. (2) Arrange to do filing at the office. (3) Call on short notice to ask if there may be an errand to run.

Q. I want to make a donation to VivaVegie's vegetarian center. Since I itemize my tax returns, I want to be sure to get a tax deduction.

A. No problem. VivaVegie is an educational, 501(c)3, tax-exempt, charitable organization. As long as your contribution is not in exchange for any merchandise--membership, "101 Reasons," T-shirts or sandwich boards--it will be tax-deductible. Gifts over $15 entitle you to a receipt from us, which you should save for the next time you make out your tax returns. Keep the center strong and in the black. Checks should be made payable to the VivaVegie Society, address below. Or make a contribution with your credit card.

Q. I want to start a vegetarian ski club. May I use the Center to have meetings of core members?

A. Yes. This is one of the more important functions of our Vegetarian Center. The same would go for your glee club, your poker club, your hiking club or your "vegetarian liberation army" club. The only requirement is that most of your attendees be vegetarians and that vegetarianism be the overriding focus of your group.

Q. I'm interested in taking part in VivaVegie's famous vegetarian outreach.

A. The best way to get involved is to call the Vegetarian Center 212-871-9304. We'll let you know about the next date we plan to go out. Otherwise, consider coordinating an entire event, such as a street fair, representing VivaVegie. Feel the momentous satisfaction of seeing your efforts change people's lives.

Q. I would like to see "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian" at my local health-food store/vegetarian restaurant. How do I go about getting it stocked there?

A. If you're really dedicated to the idea, VivaVegie will give you a stack of sample "101 Reasons" to give to the retail establishment, free of charge, to test how they sell. Engage the owner/manager and keep in touch with him or her. After a period of time, ask if he or she wants to order more. See if a brochure holder is needed. In the end, do all the things that a sales rep would do to "service the account" on an ongoing basis. Ultimately, VivaVegie wants to get regular orders. An order blank is on the 15th page of each copy of the "101 Reasons."

Q. I have some sales experience. I'd like to try my hand at selling advertising space in VivaVegie's journal, The VivaVine. How do I go about this?

A. If you're sincere in this goal, VivaVegie will outfit you with a portfolio of back issues and rate cards. Put your schmooze quotient to the test and let vegetarian restaurants and vegan-product companies know that advertising in The VivaVine is a good bet. A bonus of this job is that you are entitled to a 10 percent commission.

Q. How can I obtain multiple copies of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian," the "mighty convincer"?

A. Through mail order, your first copy is $2. (Visitors to the center may have their first copy free of charge.) Additional copies are 50 cents each. Fifty copies are $20. One hundred copies are $35. All orders through the mail come postage paid. Click to our order page for complete information, including credit card orders.

Q. Is there any way I can help make sure VivaVegie's journal is properly circulated?

Bobbie Flowers
A. You bet. Anytime you can make it to the Vegetarian Center during office hours (4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday), stop by to pick up a stack of our illustrious journal, The VivaVine. Keep watch over it at your favorite location. Make sure it stays neat on "the free rack" you place it on.

Q. I hear that VivaVegie has replicas of its famous "Ask me why I'm a vegetarian" sandwich boards. How can I obtain a set?

A. A set of sandwich boards is $30, which includes 20 copies of "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian." Please add $8. for postage if you request one through the mail. Find mailing address below.


VivaVegie Society
P.O. Box 163
Pocono Lake, PA 18347