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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Volunteer Spotlight: Tanja Diers

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November 1, 2013

We are so lucky to have Tanja as part of the NW VEG family. She was an intricate part of the Race for the Animals and Portland VegFest planning committees this year. Without her we wouldn't have had a course on race day! We are so excited to see what she accomplishes next

1. How long have you been veg and why?
Iíve been vegan for about 2 years. It came about for a variety of reasons, but mostly due to a increased awareness of the health implications of a meat based diet. Over time, it has grown to include more ethical issues.

2. How has being veg impacted your life?
Well, itís a constantly evolving thing. Iím always learning and I really love that. I think itís impacted my family as I attempt to share info in the least invasive, pushy manner. Iíve learned to appreciate the little victoriesÖ. convincing my niece to add spinach to her sandwiches, my dad to try almond milk, my mom to visit Portland Vegfest, and my boyfriend to expand his already healthy habits.

3. How did you get involved with volunteering for NW VEG?
I think that community is really important. Although Portland is very veg. friendly, becoming vegan is still quite the lifestyle change, especially the older you are. Not everyone has a support system and they may not even know any veg. people. NWVeg offers so much (from Compassionate Thanksgiving and all of the potlucks to Portland Vegfest and the multitude of meetup options), that I think itís important to help in whatever way I can. *Reminder: Compassionate Thanksgiving is coming up on Sunday, 11/24 and volunteers are needed!

4. What has been your favorite or most memorable NW VEG volunteer experience?
Probably running around Mt. Tabor with Gregory and Ron, trying to get ready for the Race for the Animals with Karen and her team sprinting along the other route. I donít think any of us realized the work involved or the amount of exercise we would get that day. It was stressful, but a great day. We learned A LOT and will be ready next year! *Interested in being on the Race for the Animals planning committee? Then email Chelsea Davis at for more info.

5. What advice would you give to individuals considering volunteering for VegFest?
When I first adopted a plant based diet, I stumbled upon Portland Vegfest about a month later. The experience was mind blowing to a new vegan who had no idea, not only of the possibilities, but to the vast community that was out there. I think it is really important to volunteer at Portland VegFest so it can be successful as possible. It is the first introduction for so many people to the veg. lifestyle and can have a real impact on peopleís lives. *Visit the Northwest VEG volunteer page for more info on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

6. What is your favorite veg meal, either homemade or from a restaurant? Anything with beets, especially beet tartar from Portobello. Oh, also my friend makes the most incredible vegan crepes with homemade vegan nutella spread, vegan whip, and lots of fruit. Yum!

NW VEG would not exist if not for our passionate and dedicated volunteers! Thanks to your support, we're able to reach more people and continue doing good. Whether you're looking for a one-time project or a longer term commitment, there's a good chance we have a match for your interests, skills, and goals. Visit the volunteer opportunities webpage and email our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Chelsea Davis, at to get started!

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