If you haven’t already gone over to the “veg side,” come on board with the over 4,800 people taking the seven-day “VegPledge.” Elected officials and celebrities, who are already going plant strong, are asking you to take the pledge and celebrate the United States’ VegWeek, happening April 21 to 27, 2014.

Kicking off on Meatless Monday, the week is a way to bring greater awareness to the benefits of a plant-based diet. Restaurants are offering special discounts on vegan and vegetarian fare, while events are being held throughout the nation to show how a plant-based diet can make a kinder and cleaner planet for all of us.

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Spurred by a love to share the wonderful benefits of going veg, Compassion Over Killing launched VegWeek as a local event in Takoma, Md., in 2009. With the support and help of Md. Sen. Jamie Raskin, the VegWeek movement has now become a national effort!

Check out some of the elected officials and celebrities who want you to take on the VegWeek pledge:

1. Esther the Wonder Pig

Esther the Wonder Pig/Facebook

 Who she is: Celebrities have also joined in on the fun, including “spokes-pig” – Esther the Wonder Pig. Esther became an Internet sensation after a Toronto couple adopted her as a “mini-pig.” Turns out, they were misled and Esther grew into a wonderful 300 pounds. Since then, this celebrity has shown the world over that pigs are “amazingly smart and emotional.”

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Why she rocks: She shows the world that pigs are incredibly smart and that they have unique personalities and traits of their own. Think about that the next time you decide to chow down on some bacon.

What she says about VegWeek: “I want to be rubbed like they do. I want to be loved like they do. I want to live like they do.”

2. Aaron Simpson

ESPN

 Who he is: Aaron Simpson is a vegan Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter.

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Why he rocks: Simpson is a long-time vegan and shows that you can be plant-based strong as a champion fighter!

What he says about VegWeek: “Please go meat-free for US VegWeek and practice true compassion for all animals!”

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3. David Carter Jr.

The Game Day

Who he is: David Carter, Jr., is the defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders in the NFL. Oh yeah, and he’s vegan!

Why he rocks: Carter shows the world that you can thrive and be strong enough for football on a plant-based diet!

What he says about VegWeek: “I’m excited to work with US VegWeek on our shared mission to save the world. Join us by taking the 7-Day VegPledge!”

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4. Cory Booker

Breaking Brown

 Who he is: Cory Booker is a U.S. Senator (D – New Jersey). He was the former Newark, N.J. mayor.

Why he rocks: Sen. Booker is a long-time vegetarian, going on two decades! Holy moly! He’s also part-time superhero and was named PETA’s “Hottest Vegetarian Senator” last year.

What he says about VegWeek: “I’m a vegetarian everyday and [US VegWeek] is my birthday week. You can bet your broccoli I’m in!”

5. Tulsi Gabbard

The  chic incumbent

 Who she is: Tulsi Gabbard is a U.S. Representative for Hawaii (D – Hawaii, District 2).

Why she rocks:  She grew up on the island of Hawaii, always had the “aloha spirt,” and is a lifelong vegetarian.

What she says about VegWeek: “As a life-long vegetarian, I am proud to support US VegWeek and encourage others to take on the 7-Day VegPledge. My vegetarian diet, yoga, and regular exercise routine give me strength, peace, and good health – all needed to energetically tackle the hectic pace of each day. Centering your diet around plant-based foods also has a positive impact on our environment and improving public health.”

Join the over 4,800 people and counting who have already taking the “VegPledge” and make a difference! Come on meat-eaters, that’s only one out of 52 weeks in a year. You got this. As Sen. Booker noted, VegWeek  is his birthday week, is ours, and hopefully, can be yours too. Join the party at the U.S. VegWeek website here.

Image Source: Martin Cathrae/Flickr