Vegetarian. vegan groups to raise funds at concert Monday

By Jerene-Elise Nall

Musicians Aaron Yarmel and Heather Zinninger will hold a benefit concert for the NIU Vegetarian Education Group and Justice for Animals.

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the newly-renovated Cole Hall auditorium. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to donate for the benefit of the two organizations.

Yarmel said both organizations will have informational booths set up outside the concert.

“We’re going to have a collection where people can give donations, and then [the two organizations] are going to have someone who’s not affiliated with either group divide the money equally between the groups,” Yarmel said.

Both Yarmel and Zinninger hold degrees with the Eastman School of Music as well as a variety of awards and distinctions.

“These are really two incredibly talented musicians,” said Mylan Engel, NIU VEG faculty advisor. “[Yarmel] is an accomplished violinist, and [Zinninger] is the principal flutist for the New Orleans Philharmonic and they’re putting on this benefit concert.”

Both musicians involved strongly support veganism and are proud to play a show to benefit organizations like NIU VEG and Justice for Animals, groups that share a mission to shed light on the topics of veganism and vegetarianism.

While Yarmel described a number of benefits to his veganism, including health and environmental benefits, his main motivation is of an ethical nature.

“I had a dog growing up,” Yarmel said. “If you look at the cognitive capabilities of your dog, and you compare them to the capabilities of that of a cow, or a pig, and then try to base some sort of way of treating these animals that allows you to commit acts of cruelty based on their cognitive abilities, you’re not going to be able to do that.”