Sunday, August 26, 2012

NYC Veggie Pride Parade 2012

When I found out the dates of our NYC trip, I looked on an event calendar to see if anything fun was going on. We were just in luck! The Veggie Pride Parade was taking place the Sunday after our Saturday night arrival. I read that costumes were welcome - and might be rewarded! So an hour before we were leaving for the train station in Little Rock, I was hot gluing felt together for my costume.

I had given my 7 year old a few costume ideas, and he picked a baking/chef theme for the three of us.  

He was a Vegan Chef...

and Baby Brother was his little Sous Chef.

I was a Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie.

One side of our sign: 
Eat vegan cookies and help save the world!

The other side: 
VEGAN COOKIE - one small step for mankind!

I'm not impressed with my sign making abilities here, but we were in such a rush. And I just never have pretty sign handwriting! We arrived at the parade site early, thinking surely there would be a store nearby to buy poster board. It was not that easy. (Why is it easier in small town Arkansas to locate poster board than in Manhattan?) We asked cops, we asked everyone, and finally had to hop a cab to hit the nearest Staples.

Scenes from the parade:



This was a really great experience for my son because I know he feels isolated at times as a vegan. None of his friends are vegan, and it causes him to want to experience and participate in what his friends are participating in, ya know? But he looked around in amazement, "Do you think all of these people are vegan?!" With all of the chanting and cheering, I think it felt rather spectacular to him.

Sometime after the parade, which culminated at Union Square, everyone in costume was called up on stage. 

From the beginning, I did not know how my son was going to react to all of this. You'd have to know the little fella. He's so self-conscious. And he's way "too cool" for a lot of things in life. (For example, we were on a field trip to the post office the other day, and his older brother raised his hand a few times to ask questions. He was mortified by this and kept hissing at him to stop asking questions, even though they asked if anyone had any questions.)

But he was taking his role here so seriously! He had the Veggie Pride! :) I was giggling inside, watching him. I loved it.

I think everyone who was in costume won some sort of prize.

There are more pictures of us and everyone else on this flickr page.

We earned the 4th prize: a $50 gift certificate to Peacefood Cafe! I was ecstatic!

After the parade, we bought cold drinks and ducked into Barnes and Noble for a bit to read books and cool off while we were waiting for the costume competition. Once back outside, we mingled around all of the tables and listened to some speakers.

When we were ready to head back to our hotel, I promised him ice cream. We stopped into the Whole Foods at Union Square and were disappointed there weren't any individual ice cream bars for sale. We asked a very nice employee if they had any, and he was so sweet that he came out of the back with two wrapped bars from an opened box that couldn't be sold. My son was thrilled.

Fun day! Thank you to everyone who organized the parade (especially Pamela Rice, author of 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian) and to Peacefood Cafe (review to come) for our yummy meal. Whether anyone in NYC was drawn into the veggie lifestyle that day, you helped open the eyes of a sweet little guy from Arkansas.

30 comments:

  1. Wow! Super fun for you guys ! I am so impressed by your willingness to dress up! I tend to be a party pooper when it comes to this part of parenting. I also feel so happy for Dash to have been surrounded by people celebrating what he finds to be a source of isolation at times. That had to be exciting! It is hard enough to just say no to all the junk people try to feed your kids when you are not vegan, so two thumbs up and many praises to you for choosing continually what is best for your kids!

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    1. Pam, thanks for saying all of that. It's nice to hear. He definitely has trouble saying no to the junk food, too, and he doesn't always. But he's aware, and it's actually getting easier in some aspects as he gets older - and we can talk about it more. I love that you used his blog name because you are such a loyal reader. :)

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  2. how fun to get your kids involved! love the costumes!

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  3. How serendipitous that you made it to NY just in time for the parade! I've only ever caught the tail end of it at Union Square but it's a lot of fun to see the costumes.
    Sounds like yr son really got a lot out of the event (and not just the ice cream) so that's great. Were there any other kids marching?

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    1. It was meant to be! They really want people to dress up, and it's nice the effort is rewarded with such great prizes. Now that you're becoming so social :) I'm sure I'm going to see you dressing up for the parade next year. Right?! Other kids...hmmm...a few perhaps, and I've seen them dressed up in pictures of years past - but there weren't a lot. I would have figured more.

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  4. OMG how fun! You guys are so adorable, I loved your costumes! I'm with Maud, it seems like your son experienced a lot of growth in just this one event, it's so great to see him show his pride! ;)

    That's really sweet of the Whole Foods employee too. It's nice to see that some places still value customer service! Makes me have a little hope in the world :)

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    1. I think I need to make sure I attend more veggie events for their sakes. It's definitely good. I remember when I was young feeling almost apologetic to others for the fact that I was vegetarian - like it was my fault for being weird and different. This was pre-internet so I didn't know any better.

      It was very nice of them! I always have great experiences at WF.

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  5. Replies
    1. It was - but HOT! :) Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Oh, that's wonderful! I'm so glad you had an opportunity to participate in that. We are an activist family, and my children have been involved in animal abuse protests and the anti-war movement. It's so important to show them it's okay to stand up for what's right. And a parade is just so much fun. What a great prize you guys got!

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    1. I didn't know this about you! I'm glad you told me. It was a GREAT prize. Definitely helped with the trip budget.

      Thanks!

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  7. Is anyone else wondering about that 'lady' in the purple dress?

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    1. Shen, she's Honey LaBronx, vegan drag queen extraordinaire! She's at BOTH pride parades every year (Veggie and Gay Pride): http://honeylabronx.com/

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    2. Thanks so for much for the explanation. She definitely has a certain shall we say 'charisma' that caught my eye.

      Otherwise, very nice post. Methinks The 7-Year-Old has had enough quality one-on-one time for a while. Time for a post on the girl child.

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    3. Sis will get her time in the spotlight soon. She is my little shadow all day long so she's not hurting for quality time. And I can write more about how much she likes to put ketchup on everything.

      Thank you!

      I actually recognized Honey (though I didn't know her name) from seeing her in pictures online. So I felt like I had spotted a celebrity!

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  8. what a cool event! wish there were more of these. it's perfect for a kid to get involved with. so many animal rights things are a bit heavy for kids and can get too serious with crowd interactions; this looks very positive and lighthearted. love your costumes. haha i've been in that dilemma with the ice cream bars too but usually i just eat twice the usual portion. ;-)

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    1. Thanks! Yes, I should have said that the crowd and bystanders were all really pleasant. There was no jeering or disagreement. And there were people watching the parade the entire route.

      Yeah, we're usually okay with the boxes when it's our whole family. And if it is an 80 calorie fudge pop, I have definitely been known to eat more than one!

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  9. Woo hoo! Nice work on the win, and the chef, sous chef combo is too cute! What fun you all had, I didn't even know these kinds of awesome events happened. I'll have to look around Denver to see if we do that.

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    1. I know I've seen that Chicago has a veggie pride parade, not sure about every city.

      Thank you! I appreciate it!

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  10. I had no idea there was such a thing as Veggie Pride Day, but it's definitely an idea whose time has come. Vegans unite! I hope you had a yummy dinner on your gift card.

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    1. We did have a great dinner! I think it was so nice of all of the places to donate such generous prizes.

      It was a fun day.

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  11. I had so much fun reading your post — especially since it reminded me so much of my son and his "attitude." Your son seems to have really enjoyed himself in spite of his occasional need to be cool. I took my son to an animal rights march and I thought he might just die of embarrassment. All the marchers were kind of extreme (in his eyes) and chanting slogans. He survived but I never could get him to another vegan event.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. I always enjoy hearing about your experiences as a mother and other examples of raising different degrees of veggie kids. "Occasional need to be cool" - that's right. How old was he when he was mortified at the event?

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    2. He was a young teen, I think.

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  12. What an awesome trip! Your sons are vegan superheroes!

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    1. Cassie! Good to hear from you! Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. that's awesome that you guys were able to be in nyc when this was going on. what a great experience for your son, to see that there are so many others who share his diet and beliefs. it looks so fun! and you all look so cute! the little sous chef, oh my goodness! too adorable! i am not at all surprised that you won a prize :)

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    1. Awww, thanks so much. You're very sweet! I hope we can do it again one day.

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