From the Prez

Welcome to Spring! VSEP is blossoming with your help. More and more people are turning to a vegan lifestyle as they learn about the contributions of animal agriculture to climate change, how animals across the global are declining because of human impacts to habitat, and how their own physical and mental health can benefit from a plant-based diet.

More than 100 VSEP members and friends attended our Winter Dinner featuring Dr. Will Tuttle. Will and his wife Madeleine have devoted their life to teaching compassion living to people across the globe. It was a pleasure hosting their visit and learning more about the interconnections of compassion, social justice, and how these can lead to large scale cultural changes. This was Will and Madeleine’s third visit to El Paso, and hopefully not their last!

In early February, VSEP collaborated with the El Paso Community College Culinary Institute to provide our third training the chefs workshop. More than 20 student chefs learned how to cook with tofu. See the write-up and some great pictures from the event in our newsletter. Special thanks to Chefs Patrick Rosser and Darnell from EPCC and VSEP members Jennifer Wright, Patricia Medici, Hal Marcus, and Sukie Sargent for facilitating this training – it was a great success!

Do you have ideas for celebrating the Great American Meat-out in March, Earth Day in April, or how to reach out to youth or other groups, or for updating our webpage?

We would love to have more frequent and diverse events but we need your ideas, leadership, and participation.

In May, we are looking forward to hosting Seth Tibbott, founder of Turtle Island Foods, the producers of the even popular Tofurky products. All of the company’s products are vegan, non-GMO, and most are kosher-certified. Seth started out making tempeh for family and friends after going vegetarian in college. Seth will tell us his story of why he founded his company and how it has grown to be one of the largest and most successful companies offering meat and dairy alternatives. And we will have the chance to thank him from saving us well-meaning relatives that have no idea (think stuffed squash, bell peppers, and salad) what to serve a vegan! And most of all to thank him for saving all the animals that would have suffered in the hands of animal agriculture if people continued to be tempted to eat meat.

If so, we welcome you join us at our board meetings. We have many openings for leadership opportunities and welcome your ideas and suggestions. Our Board meetings are being held at a variety of local restaurants that feature vegan items.  Check out our calendar of events at for details on these meetings and all of our upcoming events.

Once again, thanks to all of you for helping VSEP a successful organization – we can’t do it without you! Please join us at our monthly board meetings, volunteer, host a potluck, or attend one of our events. New ideas are always welcome and the more you participate, the more we can do to promote a more healthy and compassionate vegan lifestyle.

Liz Walsh

VSEP President

P.S. Have some extra time this winter, volunteer with VSEP! See our open positions by going to and clicking on the VSEP leadership link.