Ahimsa lights the way
AVS honors the following speakers for their ability to deliver a great vegan speech and their expertise on a specific topic. The knowledge, actions, and opinions expressed by the speakers represent individual views, not necessarily those of American Vegan Society.
Nutrition & Philosophy
Sample Talks: Eat Better, Feel Better, Live Better: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet; Eating for Cancer Survival; Eating for Bone Vitality and Osteoporosis Prevention; Raising Vegan Children; Eating in Alignment with Our Values; screenings and discussions on documentaries.
Maribeth Abrams is a certified holistic health practitioner, media spokesperson for the North American Vegetarian Society, author of two vegan cookbooks, and mother of two children in their mid-20s who have been vegan since birth. Known for her lively and approachable demeanor, her presentations offer a blend of motivation and education. She has been vegan for nearly 30 years. MaribethAbrams.com
Contact: via website MaribethAbrams.com
Finance & Cooking
Transitioning to Being Vegan and Staying Vegan; Wise Financial Decisions for People with a Healthy Lifestyle (by a financial professional who is passionate about eating plants)
Star Alfriend works in the financial services sector. She has been vegan since 2013; her husband became vegan with her, and he lost 65 pounds. Star is also a proud mom of two girls. Becoming vegan saved her life as she was diagnosed pre-diabetic. After one year of eating vegan, her health turned around. Star’s goal is to help people obtain wealth and live a healthier lifestyle to enjoy life when older. Star has a YouTube channel called Vegan Groupie where she shows you how to cook vegan meals. She is also working on her first cookbook.
Sample Talks: Plant-Based Nutrition Basics; Plant-Based Diets for the Treatment of Chronic Diseases Such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular, etc.; Transitioning to a Vegan Diet; Be Healthy and Happy on a Vegan Diet
Rebecca Aslam is a registered dietitian working to educate both patients and employees at a teaching hospital in MA. She is a nutrition advisor to the American Vegan Society, a lifelong vegan, and fourth-generation vegetarian. She loves experimenting with vegan cooking and enjoys working with individuals or speaking to groups of all sizes.
Sample Talks: What a Fish Knows; The Inner Lives of Animals; The Inner Lives of Birds; Bats: Myth and Reality
Jonathan Balcombe, PhD, is a biologist with expertise in animal behavior. He has written several books on the inner lives of animals, including the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows. Jonathan also performs professional editing and consultations with established and aspiring authors. He teaches an online course in Animal Sentience for the Viridis Graduate Institute and serves as an associate editor for the journal Animal Sentience. Balcombe lectures widely, having appeared on six continents (the penguins eagerly await him in Antarctica).
Sample Talks: The Humane Hoax: Labels and Lies; Sentience in the Sea: The Emotional Lives of Fish; Chickens: Exploitation of the Innocent; Eco-Eating: A Cool Diet for a Hot Planet; Vegan Living Made Easy (and Joyful!)
Hope has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over twenty-five years and published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is host of the Hope for the Animals Podcast, projects manager for United Poultry Concerns, and executive director of Compassionate Living, a vegan advocacy organization. Hope organizes UPC’s annual Conscious Eating Conference at UC Berkeley and the Sonoma County VegFest.
Law and Animal Rights
Sample Talks: Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? How to Respond to the Confrontational Questions People Ask Vegans; Do Vegans Experience Stereotype Threat?; Should Animal Rights Start With Dogs?
Sherry Colb is a Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School. She received her A.B. from Columbia College (valedictorian) and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She publishes a bi-weekly column on Verdict.Justia.com which often takes up issues of veganism and animal rights. She is the author of Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans and coauthor of Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights.
Sample Talks: Vegan Diets as Evidence-Based Practice; Lifestyle Medicine & the Future of Health Care; Debunking the Top Myths in Nutrition; Plant-Based Diets & Men’s Health; Health Information Literacy: How to Spot Bad Science
Anthony is a registered dietitian nutritionist, focusing on plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine. He works as a professor at Stockton University in the School of Health Sciences, and teaches courses on human nutrition, therapeutic nutrition, community and public health nutrition, health communication, health literacy, and the medical humanities. In addition, Anthony provides presentations and workshops on nutrition, health, and wellness for a number of different nonprofit organizations throughout NJ.
Sample Talks: My Parents “Forced” Veganism on Me; How the Orthodoxy Historically Gets it Wrong & Why a Vegan World is Coming; Effective Altruism & Vegan Advocacy; Individual Choice & How We CAN Change the World
Sarina Farb, a science educator and activist, was born and raised vegan in Kansas. She has published essays about growing up vegan and dealing with “pushback,” created YouTube videos, and founded grassroots vegan groups. She has organized documentary screenings, a lecture series, and vegan potlucks. Sarina earned a BA in biochemistry with a concentration in policy studies, and she is passionate about bringing holistic critical thinking and ethics into science curricula. bornvegan.org, youtube.com/c/bornvegan
Sample Talks: An Introduction to Animal Rights; Veganic Gardening; Whole-Food Plant-Based Eating
Dilip Barman is a certified PCRM Food for Life instructor and has led Triangle Vegetarian Society for over twenty years, including hosting the country’s largest vegan Thanksgiving. He is the North American representative for International Vegetarian Union and is executive producer of code blue documentary. He enjoys blogging about his daily dining creations (dilipdinner.blogspot.com) and is proud to have never repeated a dinner for his wife in all the time he’s known her since 2004. He also teaches vegan cooking classes in addition to Food for Life, and classes in photography and math through area schools and colleges. Dilip is the director of nutrition education at Central Park School for Children, an affiliate of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and is on the advisory committee of the Plant-Based Network.
Sample Talks: Exposing the Humane Myth; Living a Morally Consistent Life; Activism: Communicating Effectively for the Planet, the Animals, and Us; Food Justice?; All You Need Is Love; Trusting Our Hearts and Living with Joy
Harold Brown is in the documentary Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home and spent half of his life in agriculture. Growing up on a beef farm in Michigan and later working in the dairy industry, Harold has been involved in the behind-the-scenes operations of food production that uses animals. Today Harold is an activist advocating for sustainable food production, social and environmental justice, animal liberation, and peace through nonviolence.
Sample Talks: Creating Successful Vegan Cooking Classes; Yes You Can Eat Healthfully and Eat Dessert Too; Setting up Your Vegan Pantry; The Basics and Beyond of Modern Vegan Desserts
Fran Costigan is a chef, cookbook author, and director of vegan baking and pastry at Rouxbe online cooking school. Fran is internationally renowned as the authority on vegan desserts. Professionally trained, Fran was a chef in both traditional and vegan pastry kitchens before moving into teaching in 1993. Her unapologetically luscious confections lack nothing — except dairy, eggs, white sugar, and cholesterol. Fran’s cookbooks are: Vegan Chocolate, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and Great Good Desserts Naturally. francostigan.com
Sample Talks: How Activists Create Change; Winning by Losing and Winning by Winning; Animal Rights and Legal Rights; Speaking Up for Vegan Kids
Michael C. Dorf is Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is the author of four books and numerous articles on law and its relation to social change. As a vegan activist, he applies the lessons he has learned from studying other justice movements.
Sample Talks: Leave Fish Off Your Dish: Health Hazards of Fish Consumption; Fishes: Why They Deserve Our Respect and Compassion; Fishing & Fish Farming: Earth’s Aquatic Apocalypse
Mary is president and founder of Fish Feel, and she chairs the Save the Cownose Rays Coalition. She is a longtime animal rights activist with a BS in Animal Science and has worked with various animal protection organizations, primarily focusing on farmed animals. She was the producer of Farmed Animal Watch, a weekly online news digest sponsored by numerous animal protection organizations. Mary also co-wrote a chapter of In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave and has assisted with research for several books.
Sample Talks: The History of Dietary Recommendations and Multiple Diseases Including Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Cancer, etc.
Ted Barnett, MD is board certified in diagnostic imaging as well as vascular and interventional radiology and has practiced in the Rochester area since 1986. Dr. Barnett teaches a six-week plant-based nutrition course which is accredited for twelve professional CME. He is the founder, CEO, and medical director of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, PLLC, a medical group created to teach plant-based nutrition to thousands of people in the Rochester area and to turn back the tide of obesity and chronic disease. He, his wife, and three children have thrived on an exclusively plant-based diet since 1991. He has been the co-coordinator of Rochester Area Vegan Society since 1995. RochesterVeg.org
Sample Talks: Compassion Begins on Our Plates; Living a Compassionate Lifestyle at Any Age; You are Never Too Young or Too Old to Be an Animal Rights Activist; Healing the Planet One Meal at a Time.
Genesis Butler went vegan at six years old after learning her meals were a product of animal exploitation. She founded her nonprofit organization, Genesis for Animals, which raises funds for sanctuaries around the world. Genesis has won several awards including the 2018 Lisa Shapiro Youth Animal Activist of the Year. She became the youngest TEDx speaker for her speech “A 10-Year-Old’s Vision for Healing the Planet.” She’s also been featured in several documentaries including The Invisible Vegan, Vegan: Everyday Stories, and Corky, and in Cesar Chavez Respect for All where she learns about the activism of her great uncle, Cesar Chavez.
Recipes & Fitness
Sample Talks: Dynamic Harmlessness for Today’s World; Four Secrets to Healthy Recipes Everyone Loves; Cross-training for Anyone Anywhere; Vegan Cuisine Activism
Anne Dinshah is vice president of American Vegan Society, a rowing coach, lifelong vegan, third-generation vegetarian, mom to vegan son Clint, and author of Dating Vegans and Healthy Hearty Helpings. She coauthored a kids’ cookbook with her mother Freya Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake and coauthored Powerful Vegan Messages, with her late father Jay. Anne credits Freya for instilling in her a love of cooking and Jay for a love of speaking to large audiences.americanvegan.org
Poetry & Ahimsa
Sample Talks: How I Became a Vegan; Ahimsa and Societal Behavior; How Veganism Impacts the Environment and Sensibilities
Barata El is a lifelong resident of South Jersey; he became vegan July 1 1991. As a law enforcement officer in the NJ Department of Corrections for twenty-five years, he only met two other vegans in his line of work. Barata has a B.A. in theater arts from Rowan University. He married a beautiful native Jamaican woman in 1988 who is not vegan. They have four children and two grandchildren. Since age fourteen, Barata has been writing universal poetry—poems with which anyone from any culture can identify.
Sample Talks: What is a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet and Why You Should Care; Guide to Healthy Cooking; The Protein Myth; 10 Reasons to Ditch Dairy; Plant-Based Meals in 5 Minutes or Less; Ways to Make Tofu Not Suck
Sherry Gilkin is an adjunct graduate professor of public health and teaches vegan cooking classes. Sherry became a vegetarian in 1993 after being assigned the topic of vivisection by an ethics professor her first semester of college. Her path to veganism followed in 2006 when she enrolled in a vegan cooking class led by AVS’s own Carol Githens. Sherry obtained her master’s degree of education through the Institute of Humane Education and has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies through eCornell University.
Nutrition & Health
Sample Talks: A Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Arthritis, a Natural Approach; How to Overcome Diabetes; Defensive Medicine; Comparing the Nutrition in Popular Diets; Healthy Hearts: How Not to Get a Heart Attack
Dr. Blake is a doctor of science specializing in nutritional biochemistry. He is director of nutritional neuroscience at the Maui Memory Clinic; a clinical research scientist, MH, RH, (AHG); lead advisor and author for the Macmillan Reference, 2019 Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine; and research director of the Neuroscience Nutrition Foundation.
drsteveblake.com, neurosciencenutrition.org, My YouTube Channel
Sample Talks: Something Better to Chew On; Democratizing Health for All People; Decolorization of Veganism; Vegan Soulful Cooking
Chef Chew has been a vegan food inventor/restaurateur for over 15 years. His mission is to change lives one chew at a time and to bring holistic solutions to urban communities. He developed and manufactures his own line of plant protein, Better Chew. Chef Chew founded The Veg Hub restaurant in Oakland CA, a social enterprise that provides affordable vegan food and free cooking classes to the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a TV Show, Chew’s Challenge.
History & Recipes
Sample Talks: Discovering Veganism; Vegan Fine Dining; Quality Time—Cooking with Kids; Vegan Cuisine Activism
Freya Dinshah is coauthor of the book Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook. She has been a key organizer for local and national events to encourage compassionate, healthful living. Freya has taught cooking classes to people of all ages for over fifty years. She is a lifetime vegetarian, and vegan since 1960. She serves as nutrition educator and teaches basic cooking skills to children ages three to eighteen at afterschool programs in southern NJ. She is president of AVS, editor of American Vegan, and author of The Vegan Kitchen–the first U.S. cookbook with vegan in its title. americanvegan.org.
Contact: 856-694-2887 |
Gluten-Free & Sustainability
Sample Talks: What Really Matters; From Pharmaceutical Rep to Vegan Activist; Raising Healthy Compassionate Children; Why Gluten is Important for Vegans to Understand; How to Go Vegan
JoAnn Farb is the author of two books, Compassionate Souls: Raising the Next Generation to Change the World and Get Off Gluten. She is a former microbiologist with a large pharmaceutical corporation, who now teaches cooking classes and nutrition education in Kansas. Her keynote presentation, What Really Matters, is a mind and heart-opening journey for all audiences, designed to connect social justice and environmental sustainability with health. CompassionateSouls.com and Getoffgluten.blogspot.com
Philosophy & History
Sample Talks: The Vegan Lifestyle (covering many aspects of the topic); Then and Now: Personal Reflections on the Evolution of Vegetarianism and Veganism over the Last Fifty Years
Emanuel Goldman has been vegan since 1992 (and vegetarian since 1964) with an ethical basis, but Emanuel is also glad about the health and environmental benefits. He is Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at NJ Medical School of Rutgers University in Newark. He has written on food poisoning and animal agriculture and done veg film reviews as “The Vegetarian Cinophile.” Emanuel has played cocktail lounge-style piano to entertain at a number of veg events through the years.
Sample Talks: Reversing Autoimmune Disease with Supermarket Foods; Reversing Chronic Disease with Supermarket Foods; How I Became Lupus Free; How to Overcome Self Sabotage & Addiction to Unhealthy Eating; Healthy or Unhealthy? The Truth About Fats
Dr. Goldner is a board-certified medical doctor and the author of three best-selling books. She is a regular contributor to the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is featured in the Journal of Disease Reversal reversing lupus in herself, as well as multiple case studies in reversing end-stage lupus nephritis (kidney failure) with her hyper-nourishing nutrition protocol. Brooke is the founder of VeganMedicalDoctor.com, GoodbyeLupus.com and creator of the Hyper-nourishing Protocol for Lupus Recovery.
Sample Talks: Let the Myths Stop Here; Ten Tenets to Optimal Health; Plant-Based Nutrition: The Future of Healthcare; Winning the Weight-Loss War; and Plant-Based Sports Nutrition
Julieanna is a registered dietitian, the host of the wellness talk-show series What Would Julieanna Do? on Z Living Network, author of the books The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and the nutrition columnist for VegNews magazine. She counsels a variety of clients throughout the world from her Los Angeles-based private practice including elite athletes, adults, and children with various nutritional and/or medical concerns. Julieanna received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and master’s of science in nutrition at California State University, Northridge. PlantBasedDietitian.com
Sample Talks: The Basics of Vegan Baking; The Basics of Eating Vegan—Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Sherimane Johnson is a vegan baker who shares the good news and health benefits of eating a plant-based diet. She utilizes fruits and vegetables to make her desserts sweet and delicious, instead of loaded with sugar. Sherimane shares her personal experience with diabetes, the disease that took her beloved grandmother, and how adopting a vegan way of eating has improved her own health. Sherimane is the mother of two young adults. Known for her lively and approachable demeanor, her presentations offer a blend of motivation and education, making a difference one cupcake at a time. NaturallySweetDesserts.com
Contact: via website NaturallySweetDesserts.com
Sample Talks: Holding the Light for Animals; Animals, My Greatest Teachers: Lessons Learned; The Truth Behind Meat, Dairy, and Egg Industries.
Ellie Laks is the founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation and author of My Gentle Barn. Since Ellie was seven years old, she has rescued lost, abandoned, sick, or injured animals and brought them home to heal. In 1999, after majoring in psychology and special education, Ellie established The Gentle Barn as a sanctuary for severely abused and neglected animals. After the animals fully recover, healthy and happy, they help Ellie give hope and inspiration to at-risk, inner-city, and special-needs children who have similar stories of abuse and neglect. Through interaction, children learn kindness, compassion, confidence, and cultivate self-awareness and hope for the future. GentleBarn.org.
Nutrition & Cooking Demos
Sample Talks: Plant-Based Eating: What/Why/How’s; One Pot Meat-Free Meals; Reading Food Packaging Labels; Managing Stress via Healthy Food Choices; Plant-Based Eating on a Budget; Sustaining Plant-Based Eating: Navigating Family, Friends, and Social Situations.
Sally Lipsky PhD has a PhD in education and certificate in plant-based nutrition. She combines her expertise in the field of adult learning with her knowledge and zeal about plant-based nutrition to offer workshops, presentations, and cooking demonstrations that focus on practical steps for adopting and sustaining healthy vegan habits. Her face-to-face and video talks are interactive, informative, motivational, and fun. She’s the author of Beyond Cancer: The Powerful Effect of Plant-Based Eating and runs PlantBasedEatingHub.com.
Environment & Animal Rights
Sample Talks: Are Sustainable, Humane Animal Products for Real? For Humanity and Everybody Else: Be Conversant on Climate Change; Beyond a Government-the-Hunter Paradigm; Objections to Veganism: Respond and Represent!
Lee Hall holds a Master of Laws in environmental law with a focus on climate change and teaches at Widener University. Lee has appeared on Court TV, Gooseberry Productions’ Exploring Rights for Animals, Allegheny Front Environmental Radio, and It’s All About Food with Caryn Hartglass, and written for Growing Green International and American Vegan. A vegan since 1983, Lee’s books are On Their Own Terms about animals, freedom, and veganism and Capers in the Churchyard.
Blog is Veganplace.wordpress.com.
Sample Talks: How Cattle Ranching Harms Plants and Animals; The Politics of Public Lands Cattle Ranching in the U.S.; How Cattle Ranching Harms Avian Species; The Mythology of Cattle Ranching in the American West; An Exposé of Cattle-Based Regenerative Agriculture
Mike gives presentations throughout the U.S., educating the public about the production of beef and the environmental harms of ranching. He wrote a book related to these topics and produced a companion series of videos. Mike has been involved in the introduction of legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he has also led a successful campaign within the Sierra Club to strengthen its position against the raising of cattle on public lands.
Fitness & Food
Sample Talks: Eat Vegan/Stay Fit on a Budget, Vegan Mythbusting, Vegan Running, Senior Fitness.
Ellen is a personal trainer and nationally ranked sprint runner who also performs well in marathons. She is the author of many books including Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided, Vegan Sex, and Paleo Vegan. Ellen spent eighteen years as a two-time, Emmy-winning investigative reporter figuring out how to dodge genes that gave her mom, aunt, and both sisters breast cancer. A vegan runner for much of 40 years, she often gets “carded” at races and is featured as an example in The Ultimate Age-Defying Plan by Vegan Hall of Fame chef, Mark Reinfeld. VegCoach.com.
Relationships & Grief
Sample Talks: Steering Relationships with Nonvegans; Managing Life’s Emotional Challenges as a Vegan Activist; Compassion Fatigue: Support Group for Animal Caregivers & Advocates; Coping with Loss of an Animal Family Member.
April Lang is an LCSW, SEP psychotherapist in NYC. Part of her practice is devoted to working with animal advocates and people grieving the loss of their animal family members. April is also a humane educator, speaker, and writer. She writes a column, “The Relational Vegan” for the online magazine, La Fashionista Compassionista. She is author of Animal Persuasion: A Guide for Ethical Vegans and Animal Advocates in Managing Life’s Emotional Challenges.
Sample Talks: Why Be Vegan? Shoot Better Food Shots; Are You a Virgin Vegan? Why No Dairy? How the Great Chefs Cook Vegan!
Linda Long has had a lifelong relationship with food and hospitality and has been a committed vegan for more than half of her life. Trained as a home economist, she has had a varied career in the academic, corporate, and media communities, with an emphasis in fashion, food, and nutritional topics. She authored/photographed Great Chefs Cook Vegan and Virgin Vegan. She is host/NYC producer for Vegan Hotspot, web-based TV show by Delicious TV that spotlights vegan restaurants in New York City. Linda gave the first talk on a vegan subject at James Beard House. lindalong.com, virginvegan.com
Contact: 212-721-1113, 917-373-0399
Food, Mood, and Behavior: Keeping Kids Healthy, Focused, and Learning; Food & The Environment: Teaching Kids the Most Powerful Thing They Can Do to Save the Planet; Diet & Disease: How to Help Your Children Avoid the Most Common Diseases.
Amie Hamlin has been executive director of the Coalition for Healthy School Food since its founding in 2004. She wrote a NY state legislative resolution for healthy plant-based entrees and nutrition education in schools which passed unanimously in 2004. The Coalition developed recipes and distributed to 25,000 schools nationwide, a middle school Family and Consumer Sciences Cooking Curriculum, a Pre K through second-grade curriculum Food UnEarthed: Uncovering the Truth About Food, and nutrition education resources. Amie consults with schools to help them implement healthy change.
Athlete & Young Adult
Sample Talks: Vegan 101: The What, Why, and How of Being a Vegan; Keepin’ It Smooth: Green Smoothie Demonstration; It Ain’t Always Easy Bein’ Green: Growing Up Vegan in a World That Isn’t
Connor Jacks is a lifelong vegetarian and five-year vegan. As a state finalist long-distance runner, Connor dispelled myths about vegans being less than stellar athletes. His work on stage and in film have honed his skills for public speaking. His high energy and friendly personality make him an effective speaker, especially for younger people or those new to veganism. Connor is enrolled in college and works at a vegan juice and sandwich shop.
Recipes & Philosophy
Sample Talks: Whole Foods as Medicine; Tips from a Thirty-Year Vegan; Preparing Vegan Cuisine for Friends or Family; The Science of Being Vegan
Brook Katz has dedicated his life to the sciences and maintains a logic-and-reason approach to life. He has training in emergency medicine and holistic medicines. Brook uses food as a healing tool and has become a gourmet chef in order to get the messages across. He authored several cookbooks including New Favorites and made videos. Brook feeds vegan food to thousands of people every year absolutely free-of-charge because he feels it’s one of the best and most dramatic ways of convincing people to listen to the rest of the truths.
Recipes & Health
Sample Talks: Vegan Resolutions: Get Healthy in the Kitchen; Healthy Cooking in a Hurry; Stocking Your Vegan Pantry; Planting a Chef’s Kitchen Garden; Cooking Vegan for Nonvegan Friends.
Mary Lawrence, a trustee for AVS, is executive chef and owner of Well on Wheels, Connecticut’s premier vegan personal chef service. She also runs Ahimsa Health & Harmony, a vegan wellness center. Mary’s culinary creations are on the blog, The Traveling Vegan Chef wellonwheels.blogspot.com. Her two recent cookbooks are Easy Peasy Vegan Eats (2014) and Eat Vegan with Me (2017). Mary earned a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Dr. T. Colin Campbell Foundation at eCornell University. She studied culinary arts at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City.
Philosophy & Environment
Sample Talks: Environmental Impact of Personal Food Choices; Widening Our Circle of Compassion to Include All Species; Ethical Components of Choosing a Vegan Lifestyle; Making the Change to Vegan Eating; What the Buddha Really Taught about Eating Meat.
Dale Lugenbehl is a writer and has taught college philosophy classes for more than thirty years. He has also served as co-director of Ahimsa Acres Educational Center since 1995. Dale’s areas of interest include the ethics of personal food choices, voluntary simplicity/low-consumption living, environmentally-conscious home-food production, understanding the processes of personal and societal change, and engaged Buddhism. ahimsaacres.org
Sample Talks: Learn to Love Food That Loves You Back; The Cancer Diagnosis: Taking Charge of Your Health and Healing
Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, combines science with practical knowledge educating about the healing benefits of a plant-based diet. She is co-founder of Responsible Eating And Living (REAL), co-director of nutrition programs at the Food Revolution Network, and editor of the Food Revolution Family Cookbook. She hosts the weekly It’s All About Food show. An ovarian cancer survivor, she’s a contributor to the book 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope.
Lifestyle Educator/Cooking Instructor
Sample Talks: Vegan 101; Joy of Soy; Ole’ Mexican Cuisine; Nutrition to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. PCRM Classes: Weight Management; Diabetes; Cancer; Corporate Wellness; Kids’ Health
Sharon Jacks has been a vegan educator and activist for over 25 years. She raised two healthy sons on a vegetarian diet. Sharon is a certified PCRM Food for Life instructor and through her company, Studio Veg, she conducts programs on weight management, disease prevention, and more. Sharon specializes in helping families and individuals transition to a vegan lifestyle.
Sample Talks: Nutritional Health and Healing; From the Operating Room to the Dining Room; Eating as If the Earth Mattered; Avoiding Pitfalls in Vegan Nutrition; Smart Food Choices for the 21st Century; Food for the Spiritual Journey.
Michael Klaper, MD is a practicing physician and consultant with over forty years of experience in general practice and acute-care medicine. He is trained in surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and obstetrics. Dr. Klaper believes strongly that proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health. He is the author of several books and videos on vegan nutrition and serves on the staff of True North Health Center, Santa Rosa CA. doctorklaper.com
Humor & History
Sample Talks: New-Vegan Answers to Others’ Common Questions; Drawing Out Your Inner Vegan (Drawalong); The Vegan Answer to Climate Change; To Buy or Not To Buy? Targeting Your Vegan Dollars.
Vance Lehmkuhl (PA) is the vegan columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, writing the food column V for Veg (since 2011) and the philly.com blog V for Vegan (since 2013). He’s known for his audience-participation cartoon “Drawalong” and for his eco-conscious pop band Green Beings. He is the creator and host of Vegcast (vegcast.com), one of the first vegan podcasts, with more than a hundred interviews still free online. Philly.com/vforveg
Health & Fitness
Sample Talks: How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Lifestyle. Customized topics that may be covered include plant-based eating, goal setting, weight loss, nutrition, exercise, meditation, forgiveness, and happiness.
David M. Madow, DDS (MD) is an author with a passion for helping people live their healthiest possible lives. Now in his sixties, he stays active running marathons, backpacking, skiing, and climbing mountains. Formerly a practicing dentist, Dr. Dave combines comedy, music, and fun in talks, and is a member of The National Speakers Association. His weekly podcast, The David Madow Lifestyle Show, has over 275,000 listeners. DavidMadow.com
Wildlife & Philosophy
Sample Talks: Saving the Keystone Species: Elephants and Rhinos; Why Africa’s Wildlife Matter to Americans; Can Guns and Ahimsa Be Used Symbiotically?
Damien Mander, aka the “Vegan Sniper”, is the founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF.org). He liquidated 100% of his personal assets to create IAPF to target wildlife crime. The organization changed to a
Sample Talks: Race, Class, Species: Dismantling injustice by embracing veganism and animal rights; Queering Animal Liberation: On queer bullying and animal violence, American gay male hypermasculinity, and gender presentation in nonhumans
Christopher-Sebastian McJetters is a longtime vegan and social commenter who divides his time between London and NYC. A copyeditor by profession, Sebastian is a staff writer at Vegan Publishers, part-time lecturer on speciesism at Columbia University, and board member of Peace Advocacy Network. He explains why veganism is a useful tool for deconstructing multiple systemic
Sample Talks: Extending Compassion to All Beings; Compassion Is a Journey–Not a Destination; Putting Animal Rights Back into the Animal Rights Movement
John Morlino is a former social worker who founded The ETHIC (The Essence of True Humanity Is Compassion) the-ethic.org, to help create a world where all beings live free from violence and oppression. John’s presentations are heartfelt and compelling with a commitment to nonviolence and compassion. He also presents on animal rights, universal peace, gun violence, and genocide.
Contact: via website the-ethic.org
Nutrition & Children
Sample Talks: Basics of Vegan Nutrition; The Anti-Aging Diet; Diabetes and the Vegan Diet; Bringing Plant-foods to the Workplace; Raising Vegan Children; Animals Rights and the Vegan Diet; Balancing Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Myriam Parham RD, CDE is a registered dietitian, a certified diabetes educator, and a CHIP-certified instructor. She coordinates and teaches multiple programs which promote a plant-based lifestyle at Florida Hospital Zephyrhills. Myriam also coordinates and teaches at the Diabetes Education program and is president and co-founder of Florida Voices for Animals, Inc. She has presented vegan nutrition lectures for Publix, worked on the GEICO research program, and has been a frequent speaker at the North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegan Summerfest. She is the mother of a healthy, active, and thriving teenager who was raised vegan.
Politics & Economics
Sample Talks: Vegolitics: Veganism and Politics; Veganism and the Environment; Human Health and Emotional Wealth; Veganism and Economic Transition; Compassionate Intelligence
Clifton Roberts has been vegan since his birthday Sept
Sample Talks: The Compassion Revolution: How and Why Veganism Has Taken Israel by Storm; What You Eat Can Change the World; Culinary Activism; Mediterranean-Israeli cooking demo
Ori Shavit is a food writer and critic, media person, a leading promoter of the Israeli vegan cuisine and vegan culture, and an activist for animal liberation and green lifestyle. Ori organizes and hosts cooking workshops and dinners, offers culinary counseling, and owns the urban vegetable restaurant, Miss Kaplan, in Tel Aviv. She publishes recipes and info on her website Vegansontop.com and on the food channel of YNET, one of the most popular Israeli news and content websites. Shavit cooked for the first vegan dinner in the Israeli Parliament on the Knesset’s Animal Rights Day. Ori speaks fluent English and Hebrew and tours in the U.S.
Sample Talks: Why Vegan? (It’s Easier Than You Think!); Plant-Based and Loving It; Vegan Recipes for the Holidays; Cooking with a Rainbow of Colors; Living Vegan in an Omnivore’s World
Laura Theodore is a Taste award-winning PBS vegan chef and multi award-winning cookbook author. She hosts the Jazzy Vegetarian vegan cooking series on public television, and has authored five cookbooks: Laura Theodore’s Vegan-Ease, Deliciously Vegan, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, Jazzy Vegetarian and her March 2020 release, Vegan For Everyone. She has been featured in The New York Times, VegNews, Family Circle, and Reader’s Digest and on Netflix, in the documentary film, Food Choices. LauraTheodore.com JazzyVegetarian.com.
Sample Talks: The Vegan Runner; Using Nutrition to Enhance Student Performance; The Athlete and the Doctor
Mark Wendt, MS, LPC, (MN) is a college counselor and coach with expertise in health and sports psychology. Mark developed DINOCARDS, the How You Do That career education series, and coauthored Get Graduated. Mark’s focus on health began in 2000 when he and other members of his family were suffering from obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes
Sample Talks: Vystopia: Turning the Anguish of Being Vegan into Powerful Action for Change; Myths of Choice; Thriving as a Vegan: Mental Health and Communication; What to Say When You Don’t Know Everything about Veganism
Clare is a vegan psychologist, existential psychotherapist, author, and communications trainer. She runs a private vegan psychology practice in Sydney, as well as works with vegans all over the world via Skype/Facetime. She is the author of numerous books. Clare co-founded the Vegan Voices smartphone app and is co-contributor to the Sydney Vegan Club 30-Day Vegan Challenge. As an animal rights campaigner, she provides skills training to help vegans and animal advocates communicate effectively, and animal protection organizations collaborate for increased effectiveness.
Sample Talks: Update on Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Food Nutrition; Veg. Nutrition for Superb Health; Staying Healthy: Plant-based Diets to Protect against Chronic Disease; Raw Food Diets; Surviving and Thriving Despite Food Allergies
Vesanto Melina, MS, RD is
Nutrition & Health
Sample Talks: The Patient with Multiple Risk Factors; Household Nutrition; Plant-Food Literacy; What It Means to Live Vegan
Ana M. Negrón, M.D., was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Dr. Negrón is a board-certified family physician who has made cooking with patients integral to her practice. She helps people transition to a whole-plant diet, thereby reducing the inflammation which is at the root of most chronic medical conditions. Dr. Negrón volunteers at a clinic for the uninsured and teaches family doctors the role of food in medicine. Her book, Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health: The Positive Science of Food published by Sunstone Press, is an antidote to our reliance on pharmaceuticals.
Contact: 610-525-6246 x4
Nutrition & Fitness
Sample Talks: Fine-tuning the Vegan Diet; The Power of a Plant-Based Diet; Veganism−More than a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle
John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant, famous as a personal trainer to celebrities, rock stars, and Fortune 500 CEOs. His book, The Pillars of Health: Your Foundations for Lifelong Wellness, explains four principles: real food,
Health & Social Justice
Sample Talks: Making the Connection: Veganism and Social Justice; Why the World Can’t Wait for You to Go Vegan; Veganism: A Diet, Philosophy or Ethical Choice?
Brenda Sanders serves as one of the directors of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization for which she organizes a vegan education program, animal rights demonstrations, and family-friendly events promoting the vegan lifestyle including Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore. She’s also the executive director of Better Health, Better Life, a community-health organization for which she conducts lectures, workshops, healthy-living classes, and food demos.
Sample Talks: Human Billboards; Vegan Is NOT a Diet; Despair Repair; Under One Roof; Clever Cows and Einstein Squid; Joyfully Vegucating Your Community
Rae Sikora has been vegan and a full-time spokesperson for other species for over thirty years. She is cofounder of Plant Peace Daily, Vegfund, and the Institute for Humane Education. Rae leads compassionate living and ethical consumerism programs for diverse audiences ranging from schools and prisons to businesses and universities. Her work takes her from the U.S. to the Middle East and Central America. plantpeacedaily.org
Sample Talks: From Average Joe to Joe Vegan: If I Can Do It, You Can Too; It’s All in the Family: Keeping the Peace when Everyone in the Family is Not Aboard the Vegan Train
Blake Tumbleson completely changed his diet and his unhealthy life, primarily through a vegetarian—and later a vegan diet—and lost over 50 pounds. Today Blake is a runner, hiker, meditator, and evolving master of his life. He enjoys sharing his story, hoping to motivate others, and delivers inspiration and practical suggestions. His approach is light, informative, and nonjudgmental.
Sample Talks: Raising Veg Kids; Empowering Kids to Make a Difference; How a Vegan Diet Can Help Kids Better Focus & Function; Being More Effective Vegans; The Ten Commandments to Better Health; Veganism: A Jewish Ideal.
Health & Nutrition
Sample Talks: Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?; Chemistry for Understanding Nutrition; How Dietary Fiber Affects Our Health, Physiology, and Psychology; Flowers and the Human Intellect
Milton Mills, MD is a Stanford University School of Medicine graduate and a practicing critical-care physician. His encompassing worldview has led him to apply his knowledge about preventative healthcare toward the unique challenges of those who are underserved by the mainstream medical model: minority and less-affluent populations. Dr. Mills has served as Associate Director of Preventative Medicine for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and coauthored published articles on the Racial Bias in Federal Nutrition Policy. Dr. Mills is a powerful public speaker and an empathetic healthcare ally.
Sample Talks: Starting A Vegan Business; Grow Up and Go Vegan; Onwards and Upwards: Expansions in Reality
Eric Nyman owns and operates Wildflower Vegan Café in Millville NJ, one of the longest-running all-vegan eateries in the state. A longtime vegan and second- generation vegetarian, he enthusiastically advises start-up vegan businesses and seeks to create environments conducive to enlightenment. Eric minored in history and holds a BA in philosophy from Montclair State University and enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and woodworking. He wishes his vegan son would eat vegetables and all exploitation would end, but isn’t sure which will happen first.
Sample Talks: Health Is Not the Luck of the Draw; Let Food Be Thy Medicine; The Care and Feeding of Your Breasts; The Heart of the Matter; Aging Gracefully; Eating as Though All Life Matters
Christina Pirello’s love affair with food began at a young age. She would put her cooking skills to the test when she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Meeting (her now husband) Robert Pirello would change her life forever; he helped her adopt a healthier lifestyle and diet, and she overcame the odds of her diagnosis and developed an expertise in cooking with whole-natural foods. She is an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, acupuncture, macrobiotics, and has a Masters Degree in Nutrition. She teaches vegan/macrobiotic cooking, has authored eight cookbooks and is the hostess of the Emmy Award-winning TV show Christina Cooks.
Sample Talks: Using Food & Fitness to Fight Osteoporosis/Cancer/Diabetes; Diet as Disease Prevention; Cravings & Food Addiction; Lifestyle Medicine, Body Composition & Nutritional Excellence; The Transition Kitchen: Going from 0 to Veg in One Day
Kerrie Saunders, MS, LLP,
Entrepreneur/Food Truck/Cafe/Hip Hop
Sample Talks: Approaching Veganism Realistically; Embracing Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Vinnie Straub went vegan after taking a 30-day raw vegan challenge in January 2014. As a teen, Vinnie worked at the family’s seafood restaurant, then he received culinary training in the U.S. Army. By 2015, he knew he wanted to create his own reality while helping the planet and its inhabitants in any way he could. In June 2017, he walked away from a good paying 9-5 job and used the money he had saved to purchase his first food truck. He is co-owner of Self Love Café (and Vegan Food Truck) in Bridgeton NJ. In his spare time, Vinnie enjoys going on nature hikes, reading books, expanding his consciousness, and making hip-hop music.
Philosophy & Music
Sample Talks: Healing Our World: A Deeper Look at Food; The World Peace Diet; Creating a New Culture of Peace; Being Healthy & Saving the Planet; Heart Teachings on the Dharma Path; Keys to Effective Vegan Advocacy; Metaphysics of Food; Vegan Living & World Peace
Will Tuttle, PhD, is an author, educator, pianist, and composer. Author of The World Peace Diet, a former Zen monk, a dharma master in the Korean Zen tradition, and vegan since 1980, he is devoted to cultural healing and awakening and has seven CD albums of original piano music. worldpeacediet.org
Sample Talks: Plant-Based Cuisine; Setting Up Your Vegan Kitchen; Vegan Desserts; Farm to Table: Seasonal Farmers Market Cooking
Christina Martin is a plant-based chef educator, healthy-food advocate, and nutrition columnist. After graduating with a BS in Business Administration from Rowan University, and working in the accounting field, Christina embraced a career change. She now has her associates degree in culinary arts. She has worked in many kitchens of Philadelphia restaurants including Vedge. Christina was also featured in an article and on the cover of Independent Restaurateur magazine. She seeks to share her love for cooking through educating with a focus on teaching the basics of healthy, local, and sustainable plant-based cooking. Christina is now a high school culinary arts teacher and the founder of Cooking to Nourish
Health & Longevity
Sample Talks: Main Street Vegan: Eating Green & Loving Life in the Real World; The Look Great, Feel Amazing, Change the World Lifestyle; How I Learned to Bypass the Drive-thru and Fall in Love with Leafy Greens; and When I’m 64: Vegan Living for Slow-Motion Aging
Victoria Moran is the Oprah-featured author of thirteen books including Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World. Victoria has been vegan since 1983 and was voted “PETA’s Sexiest Vegan Over 50” in 2016. She hosts the weekly Main Street Vegan podcast and is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying vegan lifestyle coaches. mainstreetvegan.net
Contact: office: 212-289-1808
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Sample talks: Food Justice, Using Food as a Tool for Social Change; Running Effective Campaigns, Starting Organizations
Lauren Ornelas is the founder and executive director of Food Empowerment Project (FEP), a vegan food-justice nonprofit that promotes veganism, fights for farm workers, and works for access to healthy foods in communities of color. Lauren started the first high school animal rights group in San Antonio TX and also founded the group, Action for Animals, in college. As the leader of Viva!
Sample Talks: The Case of the Lapsed Vegan; Six Ways to Reduce Risk of Colds and Flu; Healthy Fats, Healthy Hearts; New Reasons to Go Dairy-Free; The Sustainable Diet Debate
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN, (MD) holds a master’s degree in health education from Towson University and is a registered dietitian. A vegan since 1986, he has been speaking on nutrition and food-related topics since 1997. Through group presentations and online services, he focuses on plant-based diets to prevent and treat chronic diseases and nutrient deficiencies. Unique topics and perspectives are
Cooking & Cheese
Sample Talks: How to Get Dairy Out of Your Diet; Get Flavor into Your Diet and Junk Food Out; Yes, You Can Have Your Cheese and Eat It Too!
Miyoko Schinner (CA) is a chef and entrepreneur promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for thirty years. She is the founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, a leading maker of artisan vegan cheese. She is
Ahimsa & Advocacy
Sample Talks: How to Best Help Nonhuman Animals; Mom, Dad, I’m Vegan: Understanding Your Vegan Family Member; Violence or Compassion in the Home and on the Farm
Casey Taft, PhD is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized clinical researcher in the area of violence prevention and has published over one hundred journal articles, book chapters, and scientific reports. He is also co-owner of Vegan Publishers, a vegan-themed publishing company, and sees the prevention of violence towards nonhuman animals as a natural extension of his interpersonal violence work. He is the author of Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy.
Sample Talks: Veganifying Your Nonvegan Recipes; Working with Local Restaurants to Add a Vegan Menu; Preparing Vegan Meals in an Omnivore Family; Vegan Meals Made Easy with Bulk Cooking; Writing a Vegan Blog; Plant-Based Eating with a Limited Budget; Setting up Your Vegan Kitchen
Linda is a Main Street Vegan Academy graduate, and founder of Veganification® and Verde Valley Vegans Meetup group. She earned her Certificate for Plant-Based Nutrition from the Center Studies at Cornell University. She loves to transform non-veg recipes into sumptuous vegan versions for vegans and omnivores alike. Linda offers culinary demos and writes a twice-monthly blog and quarterly e-newsletter.
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