VegBoone is a group for Boone’s vegans, vegetarians and ‘veg-curious’

Joshua Farmer

Jeanne and Larry Kaiser moved to Boone from Ann Arbor, Mich., about two years ago and found there was something missing.

When the couple moved to Boone, there was not a group for vegans, vegetarians and “veg-curious” community members to meet up with, Jeanne Kaiser said.

The group now has 265 members “so there seems to have been a need for a group,” Jeanne Kaiser said.

When the couple started VegBoone, they only thought they would have a small amount of members. However, they have been “floored” by the interest the community, Jeanne Kaiser said.

VegBoone holds events such as restaurant dinners, potlucks and movies. The couple has also been to local food events on and off campus promoting the group.

Many members of the group are from Appalachian State University.

“We are kind of a partnership,” Kaiser said.

The university has sponsored and helped VegBoone put together events such as having Melanie Joy, author of “Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows,” come and speak at the library this past November.

Jeanne Kaiser said one student told her it was nice to have a place to go where there are likeminded people.

Nutrition graduate student Liz Di Russo said she found VegBoone through, a website dedicated to connecting people in an area to local groups.

“Everyone is very friendly, warm and welcoming,” Di Russo said. “It’s like a big family. It’s always great to meet like-minded individuals who share my values and have a similar outlook on life.”

Jeanne Kaiser said VegBoone is important as a support group as well as a resource for people with questions about eating a plant-based diet.

“It’s been pretty much, from the start students, have come to our events,” Larry Kaiser said. “From the beginning, students have shown an interest.”

Junior sustainable development major Matthew Gawthrop said there are many different reasons members of VegBoone choose a plant-based diet. Some members do so diet for health, animal rights, or moral reasons.

Senior Meaghan Phillips said she has attended many potlucks with VegBoone.

“There is always such a variety of good food, and I get lots of compliments for the dishes I bring,” Phillips, a social work major, said. “The other dishes often inspire me to try new ideas with the meals I create.”

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter