The Jew & The Carrot (i.e., I) Led a Parade

Yesterday, I embodied the dual identity of the Jew and the carrot once again to lead the third annual Veggie Pride Parade through the streets of Manhattan. Trailing a police escort and walking in front of hundreds of enthusiastic herbivores, I frequently shouted “Eat Your Veggies, Not Your Friends!” while dressed as Chris P. Carrot.

The event was organized by Pamela Rice, who frequently had control of a megaphone during the parade. While some of the cheers seemed corny (e.g, “Hey, ho, we’re so cool. Being veggie truly rules!”), she and other megaphone users tried to express a wide variety of reasons for embracing vegetarianism, including cruelty to animals, health, the environment, and many more. This should come as no surprise, as Rice is the author of 101 Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian. Her book helped inspire my 2007 “Counting the Omer” blog, which offered a different reason to go vegetarian for each of the 49 days of the sefirot. Considering that tonight marks the 49th day of the omer, it’s a good opportunity to take a look back at Counting the Omer.

Photo by Robyn Lazara

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6 Responses to “The Jew & The Carrot (i.e., I) Led a Parade”

  1. Hannah Lee Says:

    Hey, Michael, that is one cool costume! What was the response from the street?
    In the generation since I’d become vegetarian, it’s become an acceptable life choice, even if there are many Jewish households that still serve meat on Shabbat and the holidays.
    A point made by David Kessler in his new book, The End of Overeating, is that to overcome an addiction (of any kind), it is crucial to create positive images of the new behavior and negative ones of the “bad” behavior (sort of like athletes visualizing their victories). I recall telling a veggie friend that we’d gotten over to the other side (of conviction), because when we think about meat, we have pictorial images of the flesh of animals and how could we even think of eating it?
    Hooray for Shavuot, a holiday when Jews choose not to eat meat.

  2. warwak Says:

    Great meeting you!

  3. Roberta Says:

    Michael,
    I was there too – one of the front banner carriers
    wearing a headpiece of my own design – (a leek head)

    I have been working in many ways to bring more information to synagogues and other Jewish groups about why Jews should consider becoming vegan and how it really fits in with Jewish Values. It saddens me that this week, in celebration of Shavout, so much dairy will be consumed without a thought to the cruelty inherent in the modern system of factory farming and the realization that cows and all mammals make milk for their own infants, not to have it taken from them by humans.
    You and Penelope were an appealing couple as usual.

  4. Michael Croland Says:

    Hannah, I think people on the street were just amused more than anything. It’s not like we engaged the crowd with intelligent polemics in a back-and-forth dialogue. :-P

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