NEW YORK – The International Vegetarian Convention, known as Vegetarian Vision, celebrated its silver jubilee this year at Penn Plaza Pavilion, in Manhattan, on September 9 and 10.
The two-day convention featured 38 lecturers from around the nation and seven chefs along with attracting hundreds of vegetarians to about 25 booths offering different solutions to living a healthy lifestyle.
One booth was offering copperware, encouraging visitors to drink two cups of water from a copper mug, cup or water bottle, every morning to boost your immunity.
Another booth was offering a taste test of a gluten free energy drink while a third booth was advertising healthy granola bars.
A Chinese booth was giving $60 massages and the booth next to News India Times was having everyone sample golden cardamom.
Chickpea restaurant was also present with two full trays of falafel, three big bowls of hummus and a medley of different colorful vegetables.
Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary was a chief guest and one of the judges for the Mr. and Ms. Vegetarian Beauty Pageant which was won by Humaira Alan and Majeet Vadhu.
“I am one of those people who’s been blessed to be born in a vegetarian home so I’ve never had to struggle giving up non-vegetarian,” said Chaudhary, who made sure that her daughter also be vegetarian as her ex-husband was Bengali and insisted their daughter eat fish to “develop her brains.”
She also mentioned that back in the day, warriors were also vegetarian like Rani Lakshmibai formerly known as ‘Jhansi Ki Rani’ and even body builders today are all vegetarian.
“It makes you more aggressive I’ve heard,” she said about eating meat. “Because when you are just about to chop the animal, they have the fighting instinct to survive, and the fear and all those emotions; they make you secrete certain hormones that come into the bloodstream and it’s there in the flesh when you have it, you get that in your system and you have a lot more aggression, a lot more heat, a lot more fire,” she added.
H.K. Shah, founder and chairman of Vegetarian Vision, said that he was stepping down from the seat as he told the audience at the pageant that “25 years is a long time” and knew that it was time to retire. In fact, he was very pleased with what Chaudhary had to say about vegetarianism that he joked about making her the next president of Vegetarian Vision.
A vegan himself, Shah has been extremely passionate about promoting vegetarianism and encouraging the younger generation to save animals as well as the planet.
Dr. Sudhir Parikh, a Padma Shri recipient, and founder and publisher of Parikh Worldwide Media, was honored at the meet, for his support of the organization since its inception. Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY 3rd District) was one of those on stage who honored Dr. Parikh.
In its 25 years, Vegetarian Vision has been promoting vegetarianism and the vegetarian way of life to hospitals, airlines, schools, educational institutions and the community through personal participation, programs, food festivals, Thanksgiving dinners, Yoga and health events, motivational speakers, fun cruises for youth and youth talent contests like the Mr. and Ms. Vegetarian Pageant, among others.