Instead of kicking people who run puppy mills in the crotch or setting the boats that run over manatees on fire, Dr. Andrew Kirschner is inviting anyone who has a soft spot in his or her heart for abused animals to the March Against Cruelty at noon Saturday at Huizenga Plaza.
The march is 1.7 miles long, and all that stomping and sign-waving will burn calories. No need to fear, for there will be plenty of plant-based foods available that don't incorporate any animal products and certainly do not support any iteration of animal cruelty.
For some animal lovers, it may be the first time they've connected their animal empathy to diet choice. After looking at posters of caged, debeaked chickens, no one will be craving a chicken quesadilla anyway.
"All food that will be offered at the march will be vegan," Kirshner explains. "I really insisted on it. I'm a vegan myself."
Assuming it's vegan, Kirshner is not charging anyone to sell food and samples at the march. Brad's Raw Foods has donated boxes of kale chips, and a vegan cookie company in New Jersey has donated some boxes too.
"One on of the purposes is to introduce people to plant-based foods," Kirshner says. "These people might really love their dog or really hate aquariums after watching Blackfish but not everyone that is pitted against animal cruelty is vegetarian. Many people have not made the connection."
There also be vegan food trucks there like Veggie Xpress. Owner and dietician Laurie Kupferman has been a vegan for three years. She opened her foodtruck Veggie Xpress just over a year ago and serves an entirely vegan menu.
"The biggest misconception [about veganism] is that you don't get enough protein," Kupferman says. "That's not true! there is so much you can do. It's wild and you definitely get enough protein you just need to care you're getting the right amount that you need."
She points out that you can be an unhealthy vegan that solely eats oreos, but she hopes that her foodtruck will make access to tasty, plant-based food easier.
"I have chefs that work with me and tell me that's not going to taste good," Kupferman says. "We have no added sugars and salts, no preservatives. Everything is fresh, handmade, and natural. You got to get crearive especially when you don't use salt!"
For seasoned meat-eaters she dares them to try the Burrito Burger.
"People just love it," Kupferman touts. "Husky men that are meat eaters can't believe what they're eating is actually vegan and are like 'I'm eating what?"
The march begins at 12 p.m. sharp on Saturday November 16th at Huizenga Plaza at 32 E Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The march will last approximately 30 to 40 minutes as it heads east from the plaza along the historic riverfront and behind the Broward Center and then wrap around back at 7th Avenue. There is no registration needed. Free. Visit marchagainstcrueltytoanimals.org.
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