Columbus, OH — In an effort to help protect animals and the planet, seven local eateries have collaborated with the Ohio-founded animal advocacy organization, Mercy For Animals, to offer exciting, new vegan options in celebration of World Go Vegan Week in October.

Participating Eateries: Phat Wraps, 10 E. 12th Ave.
Knead, 505 N. High St.
Columbus Brewing Company, 525 Short St. (Monday – Thursday Only)
All Betty’s Family Restaurants:
Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace, 248 S. 4th St. (Thursday Only)
Surly Girl Saloon, 1126 N. High St. (Tuesday Only)
Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, 73 E. Gay St. (Monday Only)
Betty's Fine Food & Spirits, 680 N. High St. (Wednesday Only)

Dates: Sunday, October 24 – Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vegan Week is a worldwide, annual celebration of compassion and sustainability that takes place this year from October 24 through October 31. Presented by Mercy For Animals in Columbus, Vegan Week seeks to promote compassionate, sustainable and healthy eating.

Participating restaurants are dishing up veggie fare that will leave even the most die-hard meat-eaters begging for seconds. Phat Wraps will offer a vegan “ham & cheese” wrap. Columbus Brewing Company will serve vegan versions of classic dishes like chile rellenos and chili pot pie. Finally, Knead and all of the Betty's Family Restaurants will be cooking up special vegan options, including Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace that will offer a classic Columbus hot dog with all the fixings.

Why vegan? On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds, wire cages, gestation crates and other cruel confinement systems. These animals will never root in the soil, build nests or do anything that is natural to them. They won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter. Animals on factory farms have little to no legal protection. Cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats, such as neglect, mutilation, transport through all weather extremes, and gruesome and violent slaughter, is commonplace in animal agribusiness. Yet farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as companions.

In June, the United Nations announced that a global shift away from animal-based foods is necessary to save the world from the most devastating impacts of climate change, stating that meat, dairy and egg production is responsible for more deadly greenhouse gases than all of the cars, trucks, planes, trains, ships and other forms of transportation in the world combined.

“These amazing and adventurous Columbus restaurants have developed an exciting array of great tasting vegan meals that are not only good for you, they’re wonderful for the planet and kind to animals,” says Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals. “Each time we sit down to eat we can choose kindness over cruelty by adopting a meatless diet, and a growing number of restaurants are showing we can still enjoy our favorite foods, without the cruelty.”

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