A free website aimed at helping vegans and veggies find events near them has information about more than 3,000 veg-friendly gatherings across the US and Canada.
Must Love Veg was set up by Jason Schramm in a bid to offer support to those transitioning to plant-based living.
Jason tells PBN: "It is basically a free vegan and vegetarian event calendar and social network.
"We pull in events across the U.S. and Canada each week from Meetup groups, Facebook pages, Eventbrite hosts, and a few other places. And then we make the events easily searchable by location and keywords.
"That way, people can find vegan and vegetarian events near them without having to individually search for all of the groups that host events.
"This is great for when traveling too. And they can also sign up for a free account to connect with other people near them.
"Our goal is to help people find the support they need on their journey to save animals and their health. Currently, there are over 3,000 events on the site from over 600 groups, and it's constantly growing as we find more groups hosting veg events."
According to Schramm, he was inspired to set up the group when he needed support from other vegans, after making the transition to the lifestyle a few years ago.
He says: "I hunted for all of the Meetup groups, Facebook pages, Facebook groups, and Eventbrite users that hosted vegan events in the Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC areas.
"I started going to every event I could find and meeting great people.
"Then I very quickly would run into people who didn't know about some of the events I had found, or any of them at all. I had found all these great groups helping animals and people, and was plugged in to what was going on, but so many people didn't know about the great events going on right near them.
"And that was just in the Maryland area.
"I saw a need for a website that could gather the events from all of the various groups doing great work and let people find their vegan and vegetarian events easily wherever they are in the world."
So far, the reaction to the site has been enthusiastic, according to Schramm, who says people are often shocked to find out it's free to access all the information.
He adds: "We've been tabling at VegFests in the Maryland area and we just had a great experience at the Vegan Soulfest in Baltimore. Many of the people said it was just what they needed and were excited to check it out, and we definitely saw an increase in visitors.
"We're also more active on Facebook and Twitter now, so that helps reach more people.
"We built this great resource, and now people need to find out about it."
Schramm plans to keep building the site - adding information about more events, as well as spreading the word that the site exists.
"We're also working on adding support for people to signup for free accounts from outside of the U.S.," he says.
"And we have some ideas for things to add to the site, but we only want to build something if it doesn't exist already or we think we can do it better.
"We're always on the lookout for more groups that run vegan or vegetarian events.
Maria is a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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