Veg Fest speakers promise to be awesome, once again

So every year, despite being a young, teeny tiny volunteer-run organization, the NCVA manages to line up some pretty sweet speakers for Veg Fest.

We’ve had vegan RD and multi book author Brenda Davis RD, the gregarious and informative Dr. Michael Greger, Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur, vegan locovore author Jae Steele, and Dr. Kerrie Saunders, to name a few.  These are some pretty big names in the vegan world.

This year is no exception.  The NCVA is pleased to introduce the speakers for Veg Fest 2012:  James McWilliams PhD, Jack Norris RD, and Jo-Anne McArthur. Read on for more info, and stay tuned for more extensive introductions as we draw closer to the big day, April 29.

James McWilliams, PhD

James E. McWilliams, PhD, the author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, is an associate professor of history at Texas State University.

In Just Food, McWilliams argues that there is one thing everyone can do to shrink the carbon footprint of their dinner: Take the meat off their plates.

He specializes in American history, and in the environmental history of the United States. He writes for the The Texas Observer and the History News Service, has a regular column in The Atlantic, and has published op-eds on food in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today.

McWilliams is a vegan.


Jack Norris, R.D.

Registered dieitician Jack Norris is the President and co-founder of Vegan Outreach, an American grassroots animal advocacy group working to promote veganism through the widespread distribution of printed informational booklets.

As of March 2010, more than 11 million hard copies of Vegan Outreach brochures had been handed out by members of Vegan Outreach around the world. Vegan Outreach’s Adopt a College program directly hands booklets to more than 500,000 students every semester.

Norris is a Registered Dietitian. Along with Ginny Messina, MS RD, he has written the upcoming book Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet.

Norris writes a nutrition blog at He is the author of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? and maintains In 2005, he was elected to the Animal Rights Hall of Fame.


Jo-Anne McArthur

Jo-Anne McArthur has worked as a documentary photographer since 2000, with her love of travel, curiosity about people, animals and different cultures leading her to more than 40 countries on all seven continents.

McArthur is the force behind We Animals, an ambitious project which documents, through photography, animals in the human environment. The premise of the project is that humans are as much animal as the sentient beings we use for food, clothing, research, experimentation, work, entertainment, slavery and companionship. The goal of the project is to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as sentient beings.

Since the project’s conception, stories and photographs for We Animals have been shot in more than 40 countries and the photos have contributed to dozens of worldwide campaigns to end the suffering of animals. McArthur is a vegan.

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