About the
Springfield Vegetarian Association

Who We Are

The Springfield Vegetarian Association (SVA), founded in June of 1995, serves the Springfield, Illinois, area by providing education and support for those interested in vegetarianism and related issues. We publish Springfield Vegetarian, our bimonthly newsletter, which contains the SVA calendar of events and articles on health, the environment, animal rights/welfare, cooking and recipes. Each month, with the usual exception of July and August, we have a program such as a speaker or video. These programs are often preceded by a potluck.

Why We Are

What we eat and how that food is produced has a significant impact on our health, the environment, the lives of animals, consumption and destruction of natural resources, world hunger and poverty, politics, the economy and many other issues that affect the Earth and those who live on it. The production and consumption of animal products in particular has many harmful consequences. Many people are either unaware of these, or don’t realize the extent of the consequences, and would make different choices if they did. New information is always coming to light, so that even “knowledgeable people” have more to learn. With this in mind, one of our main focuses is education. We gather and disseminate information to our members and the public. We do this in large part through programs with speakers and videos, our newsletter, this website, and by staffing information tables at health fairs and other events.

Many people are interested in becoming vegetarian or vegan or perhaps just eating fewer animal products, but find this challenging. Some don’t quite know how to go about doing it. They may have questions about how to get the nutrients they need, or how to prepare food, or handle social situations. Others may change their diet, but do it badly, and then conclude (often erroneously) that being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t work for them. Because of this, we try to provide information to help people make changes to their diet, recipes, information about which eating patterns are actually healthier, and, perhaps most important of all, opportunities to meet and network with vegetarians, vegans, and others who share some of the same interests. For many, connecting with other vegetarians who may share some of the same values and face many of the same challenges can be the most important factor in their success with vegetarianism. These new contacts and friends can provide not only moral support, but the more experienced ones often have a wealth of information to share.

Because food is such an important part of life in our society, some vegetarians may feel isolated if they don’t know other people who share their interests and concerns. And some times it is just nice to be able to share a meal with someone who is eating the same food. To that end, we organize potlucks and dinner outings, and try to create opportunities for those interested in vegetarianism to meet and network with each other.

Join Us!

We welcome anyone who has an interest in vegetarianism or related issues or learning more about these. You don’t have to be vegetarian to attend our events or become a member. Because our mission is service oriented, and we want to reach as many people as possible, most of our activities are free and open to the public.