Welcome Vegans and Vegetarians!

The Vegetarian Network of Austin is Austin's longest-serving family-friendly social and educational vegetarian group, active in promoting vegetarianism in Austin since 1996. We aim to make it easier for new people to find out about vegan and vegetarian resources, businesses and activities in Austin.

We have at least two meetings each month, a potluck dinner held at one of our members' homes, and a restaurant visit for lunch or dinner a local vegetarian or vegan establishment, or at least one with a vegetarian-friendly atmosphere and menu. We also sometimes have food classes, film presentations, and tabling efforts at local events.

We produce a newsletter for Austin's vegan/vegetarian community five times a year, Austin Vegetarian Living, that's mailed out to our directory and distributed around town at various eateries and shops. We also produce a podcast on roughly the same schedule.

If you're interested in helping support the VNA's efforts, we encourage you to consider joining us as a VNA Director. Directorships have different levels to fit your level of interest, and we offer Directors several benefits.

You don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to attend our events, but we ask that you bring a vegan dish to our potlucks and order vegetarian at our restaurant visits.

march 24 2013
Speciesism: The Movie—Austin Premiere this Thursday

Speciesism: The MovieThis Thursday, March 27th will be the Austin premiere of Speciesism: The Movie. This new film takes viewers on a sometimes funny, sometimes frightening adventure across the country, to expose the biggest secrets about modern factory farms, and to ask the biggest questions about the belief that our species is more important than the rest. You'll never look at animals the same way again. Especially humans.

It will be shown at Galaxy Highland 10, 6700 Middle Fiskville Rd, and runs from 7:00 to 9:30. Join director Mark Devries for the Austin premiere of this historic documentary, and ask him anything you'd like at the Q&A afterwards! Tickets are limited, and available only online, not at the box office. Buy tickets here.

march 13 2013
Chef Gary Schnack has passed away; his Celebration of Life is March 23rd

Chef Gary at Natural Epicurean We are very sad to inform everyone that Chef Gary Schnack, a longtime friend of the VNA, passed away unexpectedly this past Sunday from cancer.

We met Gary and his wife Kate at our restaurant visit at Tom's Tabooley in February of 2012. They started hosting third Friday potlucks of their own at the Natural Epicurean a couple of months later. Then they hosted them at their home in south Austin in 2013. He and Kate invited everyone in the VNA to come to his potlucks, and in turn they came to many of the VNA's potlucks and restaurant visits.

The Schnacks moved here from Iowa so that Gary could have his dream career of becoming a Chef. Since he followed a vegan diet, he came to study at the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts. After graduation, he worked at Casa de Luz baking cookies and other desserts. He also led the the Austin Progressive Vegetarians Meetup group when they competed at the 2012 Lone Star Veggie Chili Cook-Off.

Gary was very friendly and warm, and we always looked forward to him bringing his tasty main dishes in his favorite crockpot for our potlucks. He had an easy laugh and sense of humor, and had a lot of fun playing board games at his potlucks. And he was a great proponent for the vegan diet, which makes his passing especially difficult to think about.

Chef Gary's celebration of his life will be on Sunday, March 23rd at 3pm, at Unity Church of the Hills, 9905 Anderson Mill Road, in the Unity Oaks building. There will be a reception afterwards, and if you want to come to celebrate Gary's life, you may choose to bring some small easy-to-eat vegan desserts, such as cookies.

The Vegetarian Network of Austin is asking for anyone who would like to help Kate by taking her vegan food, or for those who prefer, by making a donation to purchase meal gift cards for her. We're hoping to arrange to take care of her meals for the next couple of weeks. Kate lives in south Austin, very near Zilker Park and the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
-If you'd like to donate food and cannot contact Kate directly, send an email to AustinVegLiving@gmail.com.
-If you'd rather help buy her gift cards for restaurant meals, please use PayPal to send your donation to vnacomm@gmail.com.
-If you don't use PayPal, send an email to communicate@vegnetaustin.org to make another arrangement.

Above all, please keep Gary, Kate and their families in your thoughts. We are already missing him.

march 6 2013
VNA March potluck this Saturday, along with our Annual Elections

For March, we'll be having our monthly potluck on Saturday the 8th, 6:30pm. at the home of Nancy Woolley. We'll also be having elections by the membership of the VNA. We don't often talk about the official business of The Vegetarian Network of Austin, so many of you may not be aware that the VNA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with a body of dues-paying Directors, and managed by an Executive Board of officers. The elections will be for two open officer positions; officer terms are always renewed (or new officers voted in) at the March meeting.

The officer positions that are open this year are Secretary, Membership Director, and Events Director. These positions are not difficult to handle despite their official titles. The Secretary has the easiest job, simply taking the minutes for our board meetings, one weeknight each month, and emailing them out after they've been formatted. The Events Director, along with the Board, plans our group's potlucks, restaurant visits and other activities. The Membership Director maintains the database of Directors, sends out renewal notices, and works on projects to increase our membership roles and perks. If you're interested in serving in either position, please send an email to our Communications Director.

The officers are nominated from, and elected by, our Body of Directors, made up of VNA members who have paid annual dues. If serving as a VNA officer isn't your thing, but you'd still like to help out the VNA, please consider joining as a Director. Now would be a great time to do so, as you'd get to vote in Saturday's election. To participate in the direction of the VNA and help support our future endeavors, join online at our Join the VNA page. And if you're already a dues-paying Director of the VNA, we highly encourage you to attend so that your vote can be counted!

The officer positions that are open this year are Secretary, Membership Director, and Events Director. These positions are not difficult to handle despite their official titles. The Secretary has the easiest job, simply taking the minutes for our board meetings, one weeknight each month, and emailing them out after they've been formatted. The Events Director, along with the Board, plans our group's potlucks, restaurant visits and other activities. The Membership Director maintains the database of Directors, sends out renewal notices, and works on projects to increase our membership roles and perks. If you're interested in serving in either position, please send an email to our Communications Director.

The officers are nominated from, and elected by, our Body of Directors, made up of VNA members who have paid annual dues. If serving as a VNA officer isn't your thing, but you'd still like to help out the VNA, please consider joining as a Director. Now would be a great time to do so, as you'd get to vote in Saturday's election. To participate in the direction of the VNA and help support our future endeavors, join online at our Join the VNA page. And if you're already a dues-paying Director of the VNA, we highly encourage you to attend so that your vote can be counted!