I am attaching a press release for the London Vegan Pledge as two of your local residents are participating in this month long event to improve health, reduce their carbon footprint and save animals - beginning 19th May.

I hope you manage to fit this into your paper.

Thank you.

Kingston upon Thames residents pledge to go vegan for one month Cristiana De Lia and Daniel Heffron from Harrow will be going vegan (eliminating meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and honey) for one month from 19th May to 16th June as part of a London-wide initiative organised by London Vegan Campaigns.

Cristiana De Lia: “I have been vegetarian for few years now and thought that this would be the right opportunity for me to contribute to a better protection of our environment and the creatures who live on it.”

Daniel Heffron: “I currently eat meat and when I heard about this pledge through my girlfriend, I decided it that I wanted to be apart of it; I wanted to feel as if I wasn't harming this planet through what I eat: It's one of the only things that's in our control!

We are really looking forward to learn how to be vegan, and to make our lifestyles more sustainable! For us and for others!”

Pledgers are invited to two free events at a venue in central London at the beginning and end of their vegan month. These two inspiring days will include cookery demos, nutrition talks, a film, basic health advice by a vegan GP and delicious vegan food samples. Ongoing support throughout the month will also be provided. And it’s all completely free!

A Vegan Campaigns spokesperson mentioned just five of the many reasons for going vegan: • Male calves born on dairy farms are regarded as waste by-products. Just a day old, they are torn from their mothers and either shot in the head or sent on punishing journeys to European veal farms.

• Studies have linked regular consumption of dairy products with breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

• The majority of egg-laying hens are confined in barren cages inside windowless sheds.

• Each year, millions of male chicks are shredded alive or gassed because they cannot lay eggs.

• Almost all cows suffer from laminitis.“To understand the pain of laminitis imagine crushing your finger nails in the door then standing on your fingertips.” Professor John Webster, Department of Animal Husbandry, Bristol University.

This will be the fifth pledge run by Vegan Campaigns. In 2011 nearly 70 Londoners took the Vegan Pledge, the majority of whom were vegetarian already. The motivating factor for most participants was awareness of animal suffering, the environment and improving their health. At the end of the month, seventy per cent felt so enthusiastic about their new lifestyle, they decided to remain vegan, with the rest of the group committing to increasing their consumption of vegan food. A pledger commented: “I loved the pledge, it was very motivating and inspiring. My confidence in being vegan is much greater. I have no reason or desire to eat any other way now.”

One of the Pledge organisers, Kelly Slade, says: ‘If you have been thinking about going vegan, or would like to find out more about eating ethically, the Vegan Pledge is the perfect opportunity to give it a try. It provides the extra motivation and support that some might need, in a relaxed and friendly environment.’ Members of the public who would like to register for the Vegan Pledge or find out more information can visit www.vegancampaigns.org.uk, email info@vegancampaigns.org.uk or call 07890 136663.

ENDS Notes to editors: • For more information about The Pledge contact Kelly Slade on 07890 136663 or email info@vegancampaigns.org.uk • Photographs of previous events are available upon request.

• Past participants are available for interview.

• Vegan Campaigns was formed in 2005 to promote the vegan diet in and around London and encourage people to become vegan. The group is run entirely by volunteers and receives no funding.

• Vegans, like vegetarians, do not eat the flesh of animals or fish. However, vegans also avoid eating food that contains eggs, milk and honey. A vegan diet is 100% plant-based and free from all animal products.

Based on information supplied by Vicky Alhadeff.