Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

Northwest VEG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Portland, OR that works to educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
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NW VEG Volunteer Spotlight: Hank Itkin

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March 1, 2010

Hank Itkin shares his expertise as editor of the Northwest VEG Thymes print edition. His outstanding attention to detail, as well as his enthusiasm for the veg cause, has helped create a wonderful newsletter. Thanks for all your great work, Hank!

How long have you been veg and why?
I went veg 20 years ago immediately after reading Diet for a New America by my cousin John Robbins. I found just about everything in his book persuasive. The health advantages of a veg diet were already fairly well known at the time, but John's discussion of the dimensions of animal cruelty and the environmental effects of raising livestock was eye-opening to me. There was no tapering off for me: I went cold Tofurkey.

What's on your dinner plate?
I like variety, but egg-free pasta with some kind of red sauce hits my plate often. Lately, I've done various incarnations of veggie chili. I usually have chard, spinach, or beets on hand and some Honeycrisp apples.

How has being veg impacted your life?
I feel as physically and mentally healthy as Iíve ever been! I also feel like I've made a small contribution to the earth and its inhabitants. Most of my hiking friends are omnivores, but they are typically curious about veg diets, so I get to share that quite frequently. Being veg also is a constant reminder to me that the other part of the healthy formula, exercise, can't be neglected.

What has been your most memorable NW VEG volunteer experience?
I really enjoy my role as editor of the Thymes print edition, and before that, I helped with some design tweaks of the newsletter, as well. But when John Robbins came to town a few years ago and I volunteered (unbeknownst to him) to be his escort during his visit, the look on his face when he saw me there was truly unforgettable.

What is something about you people should know?
Hmmm... that I played ice hockey as a kid but still have all my teeth? That I actually like reading Faulkner? Maybe you should know that I still retain a little bit of my childhood shyness, so if I seem reticent at times, it's not you; it's me.

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