Thousands of people are joining a growing list of celebrities who have taken the compassionate pledge to eat a plant-based diet from April 19 to April 25  during this year’s annual VegWeek.

Hosted in honor of Earth Day by nonprofit Animal Outlook, the event aims to educate the public about the benefits of eating plant-based foods.

This year’s celebrity endorsements include Olympic medalist Dotsie Bausch, vegan author and nutritionist Tracye McQuirter, athlete and best-selling author Robert Cheeke, actor and model Richie Kul, elite powerlifter and champion boxer Vanessa Espinoza, and filmmaker, former race car driver and climate activist Leilani Munter.

VegWeek started in 2009 with inspiration from U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, who encouraged the public to go plant-based for at least one week every year as a way to protect the planet. Now in its 12th year, VegWeek continues to encourage more people to “make kinder, greener, and healthier food choices.”

This year’s event, coming in the midst of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, serves as a sober reminder of the public health risks of  animal agriculture farming, eating animals and the devastating effects of zoonotic diseases, which spread when pathogens “make the jump” from non-human animals to humans.

Everyone who takes the pledge will be eligible to win prizes from cruelty-free brands including Miyoko’s Creamery, Treeline, Hurraw! Lip Balm, Eat Figs Not Pigs, Bada Bean Bada Boom, and more.

Lady Freethinker encourages everyone to take the VegPledge in support of human health, the health of other beings, and the environment.