Can vegans drink beer?

Well, the short answer is yes, they have the capacity to drink beer, and yes, they do drink beer, but I guess the real question is:

Is beer vegan?

And more generally…

Does my liquor have animal in it?

It may be somewhat painful for the vegan beer-drinking enthusiast to ask the question, but most vegans are in essence truth-seekers, and as such we like to know what exactly is impacted by the choices we make, particularly the food and drink choices. For example, some vegans do not eat cane sugar (of your standard white variety), since it may have been processed with charcoal made from animal bones (a.k.a. “bone char”). It would be logical to assume then that these vegans would also not be ok with drinking beer that contains dairy or honey, or is filtered using fish or eggs. Here are two examples of animal-derived products that are used to filter beers:

  • Isinglass is a common additive to beer used for filtering the yeast from certain beer so that it doesn’t look cloudy. It is made from fish bladders.
  • Glycerol monostearate (animal-derived) may be used by brewers to form foam (“head”) on a beer after being poured.

The good news is, there are veg alternatives to using many of the animal-unfriendly filtering methods, and there is a wide selection of beers that do not add honey or dairy or use animal products in their filtering methods. Not surprisingly however, finding out whether your beer has beast is not straightforward. Most companies do not advertise the animal or animal-derived products on their ingredients label and even if a beer is vegetarian, it is rare that it is touted as such. So avoiding animal products at bars and pubs becomes even more tricky. Thankfully, there are websites dedicated to helping you determine if your drink is truly vegan (e.g., Barnivore). If this concerns you, you may want to consider learning a sublist of vegan beers before a night out on the town with friends. It is highly not recommended to ask your bartender or server if the beer on tap is vegetarian. You will get blank stares from the staff and perhaps some mocking remark from a companion. (We haven’t gotten to that level of understanding just yet!)

In anticipation of our very exciting pub night coming up this Thursday, March 24 from 6:30pm-9:30pm at the Lieutenant’s Pump (361 Elgin St.)–dont you dare miss it–I have provided a selection below of beers offered at the Pump that are claimed to be vegan and others that clearly are not. This way, we will all feel comfortable on Thursday (and any future day) to drink, be merry, and most importantly, be veg!

Veg*n:

  • Heineken
  • Tankhouse
  • Mill St. Organic
  • Alexander Keith’s
  • Coors Light
  • Creemore
  • St. Ambroise
  • Molson Canadian
  • Labatt Blue
  • Corona
  • Carlsberg (Canada)
  • Stella Artois
  • Steam Whistle

NOT Veg*n:

  • Guiness
  • Smithwicks
  • Strongbow

I think if you get a domestic beer, you’re probably safe. It’s the imported beers (especially from Britain) that tend to be iffy.

Similar to the beer-making process, wine is clarified sometimes using animal products (like isinglass, gelatin, or egg albumen). Likewise, some liquors may have animal ingredients in them or be produced by using animal products for processing or filtration. Thankfully for liquor, it seems to be less common (e.g., compared to wine or beer).

Being vegan doesn’t have to be a challenge

By Kim

Oprah.

A couple of weeks ago Oprah aired an episode about she and her staff taking a one week challenge to be vegan. Great! I am happy that such a respected and well-watched celebrity would do something like that, and bring veganism to a wide audience. I missed most of the show and only caught the ending so I went to her website so check out some clips and see what she had up. It was great, for the most part, but I do have a few critiques.

Firstly it is presented as a challenge, which reinforces the misconception that eating a vegan diet is difficult. I recently had some colleagues ask me about what kind of meals they should start with or where they can take their reluctant spouse out to eat to show them that animal-less food really can be delicious. While it can be a steep learning curve, there are tonnes of resources out there and it gets easier with practice. The NCVA has a very thorough business directory, for example:

Sometimes, I ask them to think about what they ate for their past few meals. Then, I asked them to eat that without meat/cheese/eggs. Sometimes you can’t just remove the animal product, but you need to replace it with something. Kathy Freston, author of The Veganist and the driving force behind Oprah’s challenge, had some good substitutes on Oprah’s Web site.  The NCVA also has a thorough listing of substitutions, including ratings and where to buy them. The hard work has already been done for you!

The grocery list on Oprah’s site is a bit ridiculous. How many of us have the funds to support such a crazy grocery bill? You don’t need to buy organic to be vegan. Although, it is sometimes healthier for you and the planet (only if the food doesn’t travel 2000-km to get to you), it’s a little unreasonable of Oprah to mostly include organic brand names on her shopping list. The last time I checked, normal Heinz Ketchup or even No-Name is just as vegan as Annie’s Natural Organic Ketchup!

If we want everyone to consider a vegan lifestyle, we should include things that everyone has access to. How many of us have regular access to a Whole Foods? No, most of us shop at the local Food Basics and pick up the specialties at Market Organics, Herb and Spice, or Rainbow Foods. While many vegans make an effort to buy organic, it is not accurate to imply that eating vegan requires buying only expensive organic specialty products.

So, I suggest doing your research as to what you can afford and what you want to spend on food. Something that I always tell people is that it’s much cheaper to buy dried beans and rehydrate them yourself than to buy the canned stuff. It is also healthier because there is less sodium.  Organic tofu is cheaper than almost any meat out there.  And lentils are very cheap, but a nutritional powerhouse.

For more info speak to a vegan friend, colleague, or an NCVA volunteer. We can steer you in the right direction.  Just email us at ncva.avcn@gmail.com.

Mark your calendars: Veg Fest is coming on May 1

Yes, that’s right, planning for Veg Fest III is well underway! In fact, we’ve nearly sold out our exhibitor space already.

Many people have commented on the amazingly positive energy at Veg Fest.

If you haven’t been to Veg Fest yet, it’s a can’t-miss event not only for vegetarians and vegans, but for anyone leaning towards a more kind and healthy lifestyle. If you’ve already been, you probably don’t need to be convinced to come again!

The NCVA has brought a number of high profile speakers to Veg Fest, providing an important educational component to the event. To listen to the lectures from Veg Fest I and Veg Fest II, you can click here.

We’ve moved Veg Fest up a month this year, from the end of May to the beginning of May, to avoid conflicting with the multitude of other major Ottawa events occurring then. It will once again be at the beautiful Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue, just one block west of Bank Street, and will feature a silent auction with proceeds supporting the NCVA. Veg Fest is Sunday, May 1, and will run from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is once again generously title sponsored by The Table Vegetarian Restaurant. Silver level sponsors include ZenKitchen, Rainbow Foods, Market Organics and Green Earth Vegetarian Restaurant.

For more details and a growing exhibitor list, visit our Web site.

Auntie Loo: A local cupcake legend.

NEW THIS YEAR! Stay tuned for more details about a cupcake contest, for which final judging will occur at Veg Fest, and don’t miss out on your chance to enter! Plans are in the works, and NCVA volunteers have teamed up with the legendary Auntie Loo, as well as Capital Cupcake Camp’s Ian Capstick to create an event intended to showcase the unparalleled deliciousness of vegan cupcakes.

Mmmm, cupcakes.

We’ll also need plenty of volunteers, so if you want to be a part of something great be sure to get in touch with us at ottawavegfest@gmail.com .

http://www.facebook.com/v/228439240296

Click on the link above to see NCVA president Pamela promote Veg Fest I on A Channel Morning.

Leave us a comment: What is your best Veg Fest memory?

On community and good corporate citizenship

I moved to Ottawa more than 11 years ago from a small town. While Ottawans like to think of Ottawa as being similar to a small town, to me it was a big and impersonal city where I was just another face in the crowd. It was a difficult adjustment, and it took many years for me to feel like Ottawa was my home. The girl who worked at the little bagel shop I used to frequent back home (this was in my pre-gan days) would see my car coming down the street, and start my order. It was always ready by the time I walked into the cafe. Now that’s customer service!

Back to Ottawa, I think it has helped to be part of a subculture. There are a limited number of businesses catering specifically to vegetarians and vegans, but it also presents the opportunity to develop relationships with many of the business owners and staff of the places which I patronize. Partly as a result of my work with the NCVA I am on a first name basis with many of the owners of veg-oriented business in Ottawa, which is a great feeling. It helps me to feel good about many of my consumer choices, because I know where my money is going; it’s often supporting the very community of businesses and people who support me as a vegan.

While it’s very difficult to follow the money trail for every purchase we make, I do try to support companies and organizations that are good to their workers, make an effort to operate and source ethically, and which give back to the community. I want to give a shout out to one in particular which is supportive of the veg community, and without their support, we may not have been able to put on two Veg Fests.

Veg Fest 2010, sponsored by The Table
Veg Fest 2010, sponsored by The Table

For many Ottawa residents—vegetarian or otherwise—their first encounter with plant-based cuisine occurs at The Table Vegetarian Restaurant. In fact, The Table serves some 400 people each and every day! But what diners and the public may not know is that not only is The Table a great place to eat, but its owner, Simon Saab, is an outstanding corporate citizen.

“From day one, my philosophy has been to give back to the community that we operate within. Sponsoring is a way of letting the people who come in, who enjoy the restaurant and the food we serve, know that I really appreciate their support of my business,” Simon says. “I do believe that if you give, you receive so much back.”

The Table is the NCVA’s biggest corporate supporter, including as the title sponsor for both Ottawa Veg Fests. When the NCVA first considered holding a festival, Simon was the first business owner to sign on. It’s largely thanks to The Table’s sponsorship that Veg Fest has succeeded, and remains a free event.

The Table has also sponsored other local events and publications, including the SimplyRaw festival. Simon says from a business point of view, sponsoring events like Veg Fest is a good way of keeping the restaurant’s name recognition up. “And from a personal standpoint, I really enjoy what I do.”

Simon’s family has a long history in the restaurant business, and he’s been a part of the industry for some 35 years. Ten years ago he decided to combine his interest in restaurants with his interest in a healthy vegetarian lifestyle.

“Vegetarian and organic have always been personal interests of mine, for more than 30 years. Since I opened the restaurant my commitment to the veg lifestyle has been very strong,” he says. Indeed, everything served at the restaurant’s buffet-style set up is vegetarian, and most selections are vegan. Some choices are raw, and/or gluten free. In the past few years the restaurant has focused even more on purchasing produce from local farmers.

“People are so much more aware of illnesses and what to do and eat to help themselves, a lot more than they were 15 or 20 years ago,” Simon says.

He says the recent addition of several new vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the Ottawa area has been complementary to his own business, and shows the high level of demand for plant-based alternatives in Ottawa.

The Table is one of the veterans: on July 24, it celebrated 10 years in business.

The NCVA is grateful to all of the businesses that have supported us, from sponsoring Veg Fest, to offering our members discounts, to buying advertising in Capital Veg News, to making product donations, and more. Without their support it would be an uphill battle!


The Table Vegetarian Restaurant
230 Wellington Street West, Ottawa
(613) 729-5973
thetablerestaurant.com

It makes perfect sense not to serve animals at a fundraiser intended to help animals

The NCVA has sent a Letter to the Editor to the Ottawa Citizen regarding the Ottawa Humane Society’s meat-laden menu for its annual Fur Ball.

From what we understand, there is not even a vegan meal offered for those attendees who do not wish to consume animal-sourced foods, which is a shame since vegans are often the most vocal advocates of adopting animals from shelters and rescues, spaying and neutering, etc.

We do not approach this issue with any combativeness; Many NCVA volunteers and members support the OHS, either financially or through adoptions. It is the NCVA’s goal to normalize and encourage the choice to not eat animals and animal products, and we simply feel that an animal product-free Fur Ball would be a positive contribution to that goal. It’s a win for everyone!

This is the article that our letter responds to:


Ottawa Citizen story

This is our letter:

Re: Fur Ball ignores call to have meatless meal

The National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA) is disappointed to learn that the Ottawa Humane Society is unwilling to consider a vegan menu, for its annual Fur Ball event.

Having a plant-based menu for the Fur Ball would be a hugely progressive move for the well-being of animals and for human and environmental health, and one that would no doubt be welcomed and praised by animal lovers. The resounding success of award-winning Ottawa businesses like ZenKitchen and Auntie Loo’s bakery demonstrate that there is a strong demand for vegan cuisine in our region, and that it can be every bit as delicious and satisfying as animal-derived alternatives.

While we understand that keeping animals off the menu is not required by the OHS’ mandate, with its refusal the OHS misses an opportunity to send a consistent and overwhelmingly positive message. A plant-based menu unequivocally demonstrates that the well-being of all animals is a top priority for the OHS.

This isn’t about “caving in,” as the article puts it. There’s simply no compelling reason why OHS supporters would not thoroughly enjoy a gourmet meal that leaves animals off the menu, and many reasons why it would be a viable, progressive, and positive course of action.

Shaun Desjardins
National Capital Vegetarian Association
http://www.ncva.ca

Foie gras and the politics of privilege

By Kyle

There is some culinary controversy leading up to this year’s Winterlude. Celebrity chef Martin Picard was set to cook for the Taste of Winterlude event on February 4.  Picard is well known for his use of foie gras, an ingredient produced by force feeding a duck or goose. Due to the exceptional level of cruelty involved in the production of foie gras, the selection of Martin Picard as chef has been controversial.

After a number of people raised concerns, the National Capital Commision (NCC) asked Picard to take foie gras off the menu. Instead of preparing a meal sans foie gras, Picard decided to back out of the event entirely. Apparently, Mr. Picard is unable to prepare a meal without using his favourite ingredient.  The NCC announced that another celebrity chef, Michael Smith, has taken on the tremendously challenging task of creating a meal that doesn’t contain the fattened liver of a force fed bird.

On the heels of this decision, there have been complaints about self righteous “animal rights nuts” who are unfairly pushing their choices and opinions on everyone else. It is a common tactic to portray vegans and others concerned about animal rights as strident, unreasonable, and downright oppressive. I find it fascinating how the most privileged and powerful have an uncanny ability to paint themselves as a persecuted minority.

The myth of the confrontational vegan is not only overblown, it turns reality on its head. I’ve eaten meat in front of vegans and I’ve declined to eat meat in front of omnivores.  Vegans have sometimes given me flak for eating meat, but it’s nothing compared to the harassment I’ve received while choosing vegan options in front of omnivores.

When I turn down meat, I am often bombarded with questions. Usually these questions have a hostile tone and are asked by people who aren’t really interested in the answer. There are also the fun rants about how eating meat is natural, how it’s healthier, how humans are on top of some mythical food chain etc. These are all presented, unsolicited, as if they were clever and novel arguments. If I refuse meat in certain crowds, my masculinity is challenged. But easily my favourite tactic is when someone, who wouldn’t otherwise have done so, orders copious amounts of meat because they think they are making some sort of point.

In that fine tradition, Steve Mitton of the Murray Street Bistro has decided to put foie gras on the restaurant’s menu as a protest. Foie gras is not usually served at the restaurant, but in a breathtakingly obnoxious move, he has gone out of his way to add it. This is a good example of the way privileged people often react when they are asked to make the tiniest concession.

I think there are two reasons for these excessively negative reactions. One reason is that omnivores make up the vast majority of the population and as such are accustomed to being catered to and getting things their way. This is undeniably a privilege. When privileged people are asked to accommodate others, something they aren’t used to doing, they often view it as a deep injustice.

The other factor at play, I believe, is that deep down many people know that using animal products is problematic. When they are confronted with this reality, they often get defensive as a way to cope with the cognitive dissonance.

Clearly, not every omnivore behaves this way. Most are perfectly pleasant people. However, it is long past time we do away with the myth that those who are concerned with animal rights are the ones who push their views on everybody else. More often than not it’s the other way around. We live in an omnivore’s world and nobody is being oppressed when people are asked to make a small concession and refrain from eating foie gras at a large public event.

The author, Kyle, is neither a vegan nor a vegetarian.

My healthy Valentine

By Natasha Kyssa
http://www.simplyraw.ca

Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated as the day to express love and affection to our beloved ones in honor of Saint Valentine. Although the origins of Valentine’s Day are somewhat unclear, one popular legend is that Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest who lived under the rule of Emperor Claudius II. To strengthen his army, Emperor Claudius outlawed all marriages for young men believing that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. However, Valentine, a romantic priest at heart, continued to secretly perform marriages against Emperor Claudius II’s unjust law, and when his defiance was discovered, he was thrown into jail and sentenced to death on February 14. Before his death, Valentine wrote a letter to a woman he loved, signing it “Your Valentine.” Today, the expression is widely used and the tradition continues with exchanging of love notes in the form of “Valentines.”

Natasha Kyssa. Join SimplyRaw on Saturday February 5th from 2-4pm for aValentine’s Special raw food prep workshop. The class promises to be a fun, interactive way to learn how to make delicious foods that will tempt your palate & nourish your soul!

Although we may never know the true identity and story behind the man named St. Valentine, this much is for certain: Valentine’s Day is considered to be the most romantic time of the year where lovers express and reaffirm their love for one another. It also ranks the second largest card-sending holiday. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion mass produced valentine cards are sent each year!

While the emphasis is placed on romantic cards, hearts and love, the majority of people show their affection with edible gifts that are not so “heart-healthy.” Sugary, high-calorie chocolates, candy, and other cholesterol-laden desserts are commonly exchanged between lovers, friends and family members as tokens of their love and appreciation.

I find it ironic that we want our Valentines to be ours “forever” yet feed them harmful foods that play a role in heart disease, blood acidity, sugar spikes, candida, diabetes, and obesity. Shouldn’t we express our love with nurturing gifts that prolong – and not shorten – their lives? After all, how can anyone be happy if we don’t possess good health?

Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate and for many people, incomplete without indulging in something sinfully-rich. If you eat chocolate, why not choose one that is of better quality? One that is raw, dairy and sugar-free? Or better yet, use carob or raw cacao to create your own special mouth-watering treats made with love and healthy ingredients!

Love is definitely in the air during the month of February and if you’re like most people, you’ll be celebrating at a fabulous restaurant over an extravagant meal, rich in atmosphere – and for non-vegans, cholesterol. This year, why not skip the crowded restaurant and surprise your sweetheart with your own romantic, full-course dinner at home? Nothing says love like a delicious, home-prepared meal, especially when followed with a dazzling raw dessert. All it takes is a little creativity and plenty of candlelight. As an added bonus, you won’t be compromising your health – or waistline!

Greeting cards, edible treats and flowers aren’t the only gifts you can give. How about the gift of togetherness? It is, after all, the deep emotional connection between lovers and families that matter most on this day. Personally, I like to sneak off to the Gatineau Park to spend the afternoon snowshoeing with my husband Mark. For me, nothing comes close to warming up in the log cabin, and sharing a simple raw lunch after a good workout in the crisp, clean air.

No matter how we celebrate, Valentine’s Day is an occasion to express our affection to the special people in our lives. And, giving healthy gifts show them just how much we care about them. After all, don’t we want our sweethearts to be around for a very long time?

Happy Loving!
Natasha

Natasha Kyssa is the author of “The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual,” and owner of SimplyRaw. She facilitates a life-changing detox program, and teaches delicious “Life In the Kitchen” food classes. See http://www.simplyraw.ca or call /(613)234-0806 for dates.


Vegan pad thai made easy

Ottawa used to have a wonderful vegetarian Thai restaurant called Sacred Garden. Sacred Garden also happened to be about a 20 minute walk from my house, which made it both equal parts wonderful and dangerous. At Sacred Garden most dishes could be made vegan, and none contained the dreaded fish sauce that permeates Thai cuisine. They even stated right on the menu that they didn’t use it. Every trip to Sacred Garden guaranteed a fabulous mouth party. I usually stuck to the same entrees though: pad thai, panang curry, and pad ki mow. Their spring rolls brought me to tears, and induced fierce and uncontrollable cravings.

One of many visits to Sacred Garden.
I have many fond memories of Sacred Garden. I probably took just about every friend I have there at one time or another- omnivore or not. The little Thai lady who ran it knew me by name, and when I called in a take out order she always remembered, “no egg, no mushrooms” before I even had to say it. But I was out for a run in December of 2009, and when I ran past Sacred Garden I saw the sign that nobody wants to see on their favorite restaurant: CLOSED FOR BUSINESS.

I was pretty depressed for at least a week. But the repercussions have lasted long beyond that. I try not to think about Sacred Garden too often, because when I do I become despondent. We had such a good thing here… to have lost it seems beyond comprehension. Sacred Garden’s closing left a huge void in the Ottawa vegan food scene that has yet to be filled, although thank goodness for some of the fantastic eateries that we do have. I love each and every veg restaurant in this city, but none of them do Thai like Sacred Garden. Consequently, I’ve set about trying to emulate the delicious flavours that once left my mouth roaring with delight. Unfortunately, this effort has been a dismal failure.

However, there have been some good things. For one, I discovered Taste of Thai prepared pad thai sauce, and lo and behold… it’s vegan! Now, normally I prefer to make things from scratch, but I have tried, over and over, to make an adequate from-scratch pad thai and I have yet to make one that is as good as this one. It’s not perfect, it’s certainly not Sacred Garden calibre, but it gets the job done. I even made it for a co-worker and her husband, and she reported back that it was very similar to the “real” thing. Taste of Thai also makes a range of curry pastes and a spicy peanut sauce that I will blog about at a later date. They’re also not difficult to find: I’ve purchased them at Loblaws, Food Basics, and Metro.

So when I want pad thai here’s what I do (serves 3):

– Soak half a package of rice stick noodles in hot water
– In a frying pan, saute (just a bit) your choice of vegetables (lots of those). My stand-bys are red pepper, zucchini, and broccoli. I used julienned carrots and onions as well this time.
– If you’re feeling protein deficient (ha!) toss in some tofu cubes, or some sort of mock meat. I personally love it with Nelakee faux shrimp and President’s Choice meatless chicken breast.
– Add the noodles and the sauce packet. Toss to mix/warm. Serve.

Here’s the final product:

Homemade Pad Thai with faux chicken and shrimp.

Veganity 101: The joys of Purse Food

by Jen Lahey

One of the greatest things about being a vegan is exploring all the delicious food available to you. Increasingly, there are options available in restaurants, at corner shops, and at farmers’ markets. But what about those days when you’re on the run, or you’re out for a pint at a less than vegan-friendly pub and you find yourself with a roaring case of the hungries?

Being a healthy, happy vegan, I am a high energy sort of person, the kind who has trouble sitting still for long periods of time. But as my partner and friends and family will attest, if I don’t get in enough foodies my energy and mood flatline and I turn into a non-reactive zombie woman (vegan zombie: “Graaaains, graaains!”).

This, my friends, is where Purse Food comes in (Murse Food for those gentlemen who carry a man bag). It’s become a running gag amongst my friends that I have a constant stash of snacks hidden away in the folds of my roomy Mat and Nat bag, always ready to go for when I find myself peckish in a situation with few vegan options. A tidy stock of Purse Food is one of the greatest tools in a vegan ninja’s arsenal of tricks.

Dried fruit and pre-wrapped vegan snacks (a.k.a. Purse or Murse Food) should always be kept nearby in case of a hunger emergency. This tiny purse is holding dried apples, Late July cookies, a PC Organics crispy brown rice bar, and a peanut butter Cocoa Camino snack bar.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not an advocate of going out with friends to places where the “vegan option” on the menu is an iceburg lettuce salad, and part the fun of strengthening your vegan values and lifestyle is choosing to support places that support us. And I am lucky to hang out with nice people who take into account my veganity and more often than not like to go to places where we can all find something good to eat. But it’s good to be armed for situations that are less than perfect, and being an easy-going, always-prepared person gets you far in the battle to show the world how relaxed and non-complicated being a vegan really is.

Stocking your bag with a selection of goodies means you never have to worry about what to do when you feel your energy dropping in the middle of a busy day at work, when you’re stuck in a meeting, or when you’re out running errands. It also means you can choose to have healthy things stashed, so you don’t have to settle for processed crap from the 7-11 or stale, questionable baked goods at conferences and meetings.

A good place to start your harvest of Purse Food is the local health food store. A few suggestions to get you going: Raid the bulk food section for goodies, such as tamari almonds, sesame sticks, and dried fruit (mango is my current fixation). There’s lots of other items to suit the cause; these are just a few of my stand-bys. Then meander over to the snack shelves and snag some Lara bars and vegan jerky. I also found my new favourite stash at the Hartman’s Your Independent grocery store on Somerset: wasabi cashews (WASABI CASHEWS! So. Good.)

Cut up veggies and fresh fruit can work, too, though they’re better for times when you know you’ll be eating them within a few hours (finding annihilated fruit in the bottom of your bag days later = fail). Then head on home, divvy your finds into small containers or resealable bags, and venture forth confidently to rock your own vegan world.

Did you miss Veg Fest guest speakers? Here’s your second chance.

We have been very fortunate to be able to anchor our two Veg Fests with top notch speakers on what we consider to be the key reasons to live a veg lifestyle: Health, Environment, and Animal Rights.

Unfortunately some of our volunteers were among those who were not able to see the speakers make their presentations (that includes Corrie and I, the event organizers). There were also many others who either couldn’t make it to the event, or couldn’t tear themselves away from the excitement happening upstairs.

But there’s good news: The NCVA now has each of the speaker’s presentations online! You can download or stream them here.

Just to recap…

In year one, 2009, we had the good fortune of welcoming Brenda Davis R.D., who is an author of seven books and one of the most well-known experts wordwide on vegan and vegetarian health. She gave two informative and compelling talks. Our presentations that year were rounded out by Montreal’s Yasmin Fudakowska Gow, a yogi and environmental activist who participated in a 2008 Climate Change awareness tour of 21 university campuses across Canada sponsored by the David Suzuki Foundation, and Jason Halvorson, an animal right activist whose activism has made waves from coast to coast.

In year two we had some real heavy heavy hitters: Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary, Dr. Michael Greger M.D., a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues including veganism, and Jae Steele, a Toronto-based registered holistic nutritionist living in Toronto and cookbook authour.

So be sure to listen to them, and share them with your friends and family! And stay tuned for news on Veg Fest ’11, which is being held May 1 at the Glebe Community Centre.