Monday, 16 February 2015

NEW: Vegan Runners @ Meat Free Monday Project.

The Vegan Runners brochure that is currently being translated in Thai language.

Left: I mounted a plastic crate in front of the bicycle. When I go running I can put my stuff in there and lock it. Later I can use it to bring vegan foods to the park. I also can put a plastic container with dog food in it, and put my groceries in it.

Middle: Vegan Runners #1! Actually he is not a runner but he follows me on the bicycle.;-)

Right: Other joggers in Prajak Park.

Last year I started with a Vegan Meetup here in Udon Thani. But unlike Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Udon Thani hardly has any vegan or vegetarian expats. After two meetups I made up the balance and instead of crunching it out and organizing something that has little success, I terminated the Vegan Meetup.

Last year I also did an interview with Gene Baur, the founder of Farm Sanctuary. Besides an animal rights activist, Gene is also an accomplished amateur  long distance runner and with his running he generates a lot of positive attention for a plant based diet amongst other (non veg) runners. I was inspired!

I also did think to myself that while a vegan meetup is largely a social event for fellow vegans and an activity that seldom appeals to regular normal non veg people, on the other hand something like running is more a vegan outreach activity, in that one truly reaches out with an activity  that appeals to non veg people and which non veg people easily can join.

Inspired by Gene, last year I started to run in Prajak Park here in Udon Thani.

Prajak Park is a big park and has a large community of Thai people doing activities like jogging, bicycling, yoga, and exercises. The right kind of people that might be interested in healthy veg foods.
I started to run one lap around the park in about twenty minutes. (One lap equals two miles or 3.170 meters.). Now I do three laps (10K) in about 50 minutes, twice a week. I am improving!

To show that I am powered by tofu I wear a “Vegan Runners” t shirt. My son follows me on his bicycle.

My goal is to invite other recreational Thai joggers or runners and run together, and after running eat a vegan meal together. Doesn’t that sounds like fun?

That is the concept of VEGAN RUNNERS @ MEAT FREE MONDAY; to invite non veg Thai people, run together and eat a vegan  meal together.

This month I did write an 8 page brochure about running, health benefits of a vegan diet, etc, and currently it is being translated in Thai language.

By now many Thai people in Prajak Park already know me. From next month I will be able to give these people a nice brochure in Thai language about vegan running, health benefits of vegan foods, etc.

One practical limitation for popularizing and promoting vegan foods in Thailand, is that there is hardly any quality information available online in Thai language.

While there is a wealth of quality and life changing (read that again; “LIFE CHANGING”) information with regards to health and nutrition available in English language from professional sources like the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, there is hardly if any such information available in Thai language.

The vegan info available onine in Thai mostly are emo videos and graphic images of animal cruelty accompanied by Peta style slogans and emo text (as opposed to educational rational text.)
Many non veg people simply don’t watch these in your face images and simply are not influenced by it.

All the great info online that we English speaking people are able to read an did fundamentally change our lives, simply is not available for Thai people.

Part of the vegan Runners @ Meat Free Monday project will be to make information available in Thai language. A modest start is made with making a brochure in Thai language, and uploading educational videos about the vegan lifestyle, global warming, etc with Thai subtitles on the Vegan Runners blog.

What Vegan Runners in the future would like to translate are online articles from the PCRM, and some inspiring interviews with vegan athletes like Scott Jurek.

Translating has to be done by a professional service and costs money. Feel free to contact Vegan Runners and financially sponsor some of the costs, and so make information available that has proven to change many people in the west (like you and me!!) and make that precious life changing information available to Thai people.

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