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Helen Bennett Harvey promises that no animals were harmed in the making of this blog. Vegging Out is a recipe for a new way of life. Or at least a new way of eating. Pull up a chair. Contact me at:

Friday, October 3, 2008

Can we all have a helping to help?

Ah, I said to myself, if only I would have a reason to blog about Paul Newman, the wonderful actor we lost this past week, the man who brought us everything from “Cool Hand Luke” to the coolest of Newman’s Own Lemonade.

However, I told myself, this is a vegetarian blog and as such should focus only on ways to keep meat out of our diets and veggies in, not on ways to celebrate the life of a man I never knew. (Forcing my then-reporter Phil Helsel to cover a Fairfield Country political race two years ago, where he met and interviewed Newman does not count toward me being any closer to the Academy Award winning heartthrob, even in a six-degrees-of-separation delusion)

Yet, given this utterly public platform with which to express thought, I thought: Newman and his company, Newman’s Own, especially Newman’s Own Organics, had a lot to do with healthy eating. Among their specialties are items that are vegetarian – they even have vegan treats for dogs. My dog, shown here, is a lover of vegetables – she eats mostly meat, of course, but happily scarfs down carrots and broccoli too

Even better than the vegetarian offerings, however, is that the proceeds from the Newman’s companies are used for philanthropic endeavors, one of them the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut for gravely ill children. I received an e-mail this week from the people that run the camp, it was a copy of the piece that was published in the New Haven Register this week as they sought to come to grips with their grief, pay homage to their fearless leader and pay tribute to the incredible work Newman has done to help others. The piece is a poignant one; from people who were feeling acute loss of a man they knew and loved, but also a reminder that doing good is still good.

Ah, it seems I have blogged about Paul Newman. See, talking about being a vegetarian can be a topic that lends itself well to branching out. My advice in this case? Eat, drink and be merry – “Raise a little hell,” as Newman told his Hole in the Wall Gang staff. It won’t hurt if some of that eating is done by buying Newman’s Own products – and it just might help someone else.


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