Central Florida Veg Fest features several great speakers on a variety of veg-related topics!
Samadhi Artemisa, In Joy Healthcare
“Sustainable Nutrition for Vegans, Vegetarians and Raw Foodists” (4:00 p.m.)
Many people switching to a veggie diet will gravitate to soy burgers, salads, smoothies, and quick substitutes for the foods they are used to. There is more to a healthy plant-based diet than these first steps so keep going. In this inspiring presentation, Samadhi will teach how to avoid nutrient deficiencies by eating whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. In addition to these nutrition basics, topics covered will include GMOs, pesticides, packaged food, recycling, going beyond bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery store, the importance of growing your own food as well as how to select and prepare veggie foods to get the most health benefits. Our food choices effect our individual health and the health of our Earth. Come learn how to eat a balanced plant-based diet--balanced nutritionally and balanced with the environment.
Dr. Samadhi Artemisa, PhD, AP has her Doctorate in Holistic Nutrition. She is the owner of In Joy Healthcare, a holistic health center in Orlando. She teaches wellness classes on nutrition and healthy living and has a private practice as an iridologist, nutritionist, and acupuncture physician. She began working in a health food store 25 years ago and has been exploring a plant-based diet ever since. She is an avid gardener and supports local businesses, recycling, and living green. Through her work and teaching she shares her enthusiasm for nature, being a good steward of the environment, and her love of good quality food and right living.
Vicki Chelf, Vicki's Vegan Kitchen
“Veg for the Long Haul” (3:00 p.m.)
With forty years’ experience, first as a vegetarian, then a vegan, Vicki will share how she has been able to maintain her diet and health over the long haul. Learning how to decipher food fad from fact can make the vegan or vegetarian's life much easier. Meal planning, strategies for social activities, entertaining and traveling are also important. So is nutrition. Understanding what you need for a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential, but being able to put it into practice is even more so. You can become a walking advertising for your beliefs by being a vivacious example of health and happiness. You can also enjoy the most delicious foods this planet has to offer, and it is her goal to inspire as many people to do this as possible. Vicki will also answer questions about vegan nutrition and food preparation.
Vicki Chelf was born in Kentucky where she was raised on crispy cornbread, fluffy white biscuits, fried potatoes, pinto beans, greens, fried apple pies, and other delights that Southern country cooking is famous for. In 1971 she became a vegetarian and moved to the Laurentian Mountains in Quebec where she wrote La Grand Cuisine Vegetarienne, which stayed in print for over 20 years. Today, Vicki has 8 titles to her name including, Cooking with the Right Side of the Brain, The Arrowhead Mills Cookbook, and most recently Vicki’s Vegan Kitchen, with a forward by Dr. Neal Barnard. She is co-author of Cooking for Life and has assisted several other authors with their book projects. Vicki has been teaching vegetarian cooking since the mid 1970’s and vegan cooking since the 80’s. She has a B.S. in Holistic Nutrition and is a fine arts graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design. She hosted Sustainable Sarasota on WSLR 96.5 FM for 6 years.
Diana Ewald, Aromatherapy Living
"Nature's Natural Solutions to Everyday Dilemmas" (5:00 p.m.)
Discover the power of medical grade essential oils to restore vibrant health and wellness for you and your family! Imagine enjoying increased energy, exuberant physical strength, mental clarity, and emotional well-being. Rediscover how ancient civilizations used specific plants and their essential oils to promote health for both body and mind.
Formerly a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist with over 12 years of experience, Diana has specialized in spiritual/energetic modalities with a current focus on empowering everyone through the art of Aromatherapy, Raindrop Technique and Emotional Release, Spiritual Anointing and Neuro-Auricular Technique with Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. She has had additional training through the C.A.R.E. Association (Center for Aromatherapy Research and Education), as well as workshops with Gary Young. Diana is an Ordained Minister through Light Wing Center.
Jason Gillett, Jason and the Veganauts
“From Atkins to Vegan in a Heartbeat” (11:00 a.m.)
This presentation is designed with omnivores and the veggie-curious in mind. In addition to summarizing my successful transition from an Atkins dieter to compassionate vegan, Jason will share some of the lessons he learned about shedding 40 years of brain washing and embracing his new and honest herbivore life. It should open the door for people who are ready to try the vegan lifestyle but hesitate because of the perceived challenges. The goal is to make veganism more accessible to people who are getting sicker and sicker from eating the Standard American Diet (SAD). What might seem like an insurmountable task is far easier than most people would believe, and that is the main point of the presentation. Even addressing an enlightened veg-crowd, the presentation content will be relevant because it will try to explain where omnivores are coming from and offer suggestions on how to guide them to the healthy and compassionate vegan path.
Jason Gillett is a teacher, husband and father of three. He started his journey from carnivore to herbivore in the middle of October, 2011. After eating an almost all animal-product, Atkins style diet, the switch to a 100% plant-based diet was an exciting lifestyle change and one that was necessary for him to continue living long enough to see his children reach adulthood. The transformation from plant-based dieter to compassionate vegan was such a small step by comparison, he took that as well... and he hasn't looked back since. You can read all about him in Jason and the Veganauts, the blog that he uses to chronicles his journey. You can also read his vegan column in the eMagazine, One Green Planet.
Melanie Joy, Carnism Awareness and Action Network
“Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism” (12:00 p.m.)
This captivating presentation, based on the award-winning book of the same name, is presented by internationally acclaimed speaker Dr. Melanie Joy. In “Why We Love Dogs”, Joy, a social psychologist, explains carnism, the invisible belief system that shapes our perceptions of the meat (and eggs/dairy) we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. Joy describes how carnism, like other isms (sexism, racism, etc.), is most harmful when it is unrecognized; and it is sustained by complex social and psychological mechanisms. Using powerful imagery, thought-provoking analyses, and a compelling narrative, Joy explains the ways in which carnism conditions us to unknowingly act against our core values, our own interests, and the interests of others. By illuminating the invisible mechanisms of carnism, Joy helps viewers become more informed consumers and empowered citizens.
Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M. is the founder and president of CAAN. Dr. Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, celebrated speaker, and the author of the award-winning primer on carnism Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. She has written a number of articles on psychology, animal protection, and social justice and she has been featured on programs including the BBC, National Public Radio, PBS, ABC Australia, and Good Morning Croatia, and in Slovenia's Jana, the Austrian Der Standard and the Italian Le Scienze. Dr. Joy has given her critically acclaimed carnism presentation across the United States as well as internationally. Dr. Joy is also the author of Strategic Action for Animals.
Victoria Moran, Main Street Vegan
“Main Street Vegan: Healthy Eating and Compassionate Living as the New Normal” (2:00 p.m.)
Taking a leap to a new way of living can be challenging, and people may have many questions. Whether you are an aspiring vegetarian, or considering the vegan life, or you’re vegan already and wish everybody were, this funny, inspiring, and content-packed presentation will answer your questions and cheer you on. Victoria can speak to the Main Street majority who aren’t veg, and show that making the change isn’t nearly as hard as it seems. This presentation will help you go veg, stay veg, and inspire others to feel compassion and live vibrantly. It will also help you know without a doubt that you are a vital part of ushering in a “new normal” of respect for all beings that you can share with family, friends, and coworkers simply by the way you live your life.
Victoria Moran is a certified holistic health counselor, and the author of eleven books, including the best-selling, “Creating a Charmed Life” and the new “Main Street Vegan”, which filmmaker Michael Moore says, “isn’t preaching to the vegan choir, but to the people in the pews and the ones who can’t fit in those pews.” She became a vegan in 1983 while living in the Midwest. Now a New Yorker, Victoria is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training Vegan Lifestyle coaches.
Lee Sackett, CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm
“7½ Things In-Need Animals Want Ewe To Do!” (1:00 p.m.)
Lee will share several ways that both new animal advocates and seasoned proponents can really help the billions of animals suffering from abuse, abandonment and neglect. Throughout his presentation, he will sprinkle in lessons learned over his three decades of animal advocacy and rescue work, dispel myths and misinformation advocates may be bombarded with from non-compassionate individuals and industries, and share several interesting facts about many of extraordinary farm species he spends time with on a daily basis.
As "Lead Mare" of CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm, Lee Sackett works to reduce animal suffering by managing the non-profit organization's efforts to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce in-need farm animals, while promoting compassionate consumption and responsible animal stewardship. He co-founded the charity with his wife, Jennifer, in 1997 and has grown it into one of the top sanctuaries for abused, abandoned, and neglected farm animals in the nation. For nearly 30 years, Lee has helped both four-hoofed and two-winged domesticated animals throughout the country. Currently, CJ Acres Animal Rescue Farm has about 80 residents, with animals from as far north as Canada and as far west as Arizona. When not directly assisting animals, he also spends quite a bit of time "retraining" humans on topics including compassionate consumption, creature stewardship and animal advocacy. His educational efforts include leading on-site tours, overseeing volunteer sessions and speaking at events.