VegFest London 2018
Speakers & Presentations
View full festival schedule here
Carrot Stage Speakers
Emcee: marty menard
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Living a Compassionate Life and Advocating for Animals at any Age:
Genesis will share her vegan journey that began at the age of 3 and will provide insight she has learned along the way that will inspire others to live a compassionate life and advocate for animals whether you are 3 or 93!
Genesis Butler is an 11 year old animal rights advocate who went vegan on her own when she was 5. Genesis has attended numerous demos to protest against animal testing and entertainment venues that exploit animals. At the age of 10, Genesis presented a TEDx talk on animal agriculture and its destruction of the planet. She is featured in Vegan Everyday Stories and The Invisible Vegan. In 2018, Genesis established her non-profit organization, Genesis for Animals, to raise funds for animal sanctuaries around the world. She also speaks regularly at various vegan and non-vegan events discussing the benefits of veganism.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
The Role of Farm Animal Sanctuaries
Sanctuaries are not just about rescue, since with over 56 billion land animals slaughtered worldwide annually we cannot rescue our way out of this problem. But what we can do is tell the stories of the victims of animals in food production and pull them out of those billions and show their individuality.
Susie Coston is the National Shelter Director of Farm Sanctuary and has been working with animals used in food production for over 23 years. Besides overseeing the caregiving team at all of the Farm Sanctuary’s shelters, Susie has worked to advance individualized medical care and treatment and made tremendous strides in the field of farm animal medicine. She shares her wealth of knowledge with other farm animals advocates acting as a mentor to many peers who have started their own sanctuaries. Susie strives to create a world where animals are seen as the complex individuals they are.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Animal Law 101: How We Can All Be Legal Advocates for Animals
Most people are outraged by stories about animal abuse, yet paradoxically, Canada has the worst animal protection laws in the western world. But with animal issues currently grabbing news headlines, it has become impossible for the legal system to ignore their suffering. This talk will explore the legal status of animals in Canada, how each of us can play a role in improving the laws protecting them.
Camille Labchuk is a leading animal rights lawyer, and executive director of Animal Justice - Canada’s only animal law advocacy organization. Under her leadership, Animal Justice fights legal cases in courtrooms across the country, works to pass tough new animal protection legislation, and ensures laws already on the books are being enforced. Camille’s work includes filing false advertising complaints against companies making misleading humane claims, like Canada Goose; documenting Canada’s commercial seal slaughter; and exposing hidden suffering on farms and zoos through undercover investigations. Camille is a frequent lecturer on animal law, and her work has been featured in countless media stories.
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Food Choices we make that can either Poison or Promote Life
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1977, John grew up in St. Louis, MO. At a young age of 13 John found himself at 315 pounds, but through hard work and dedication he lost the weight and excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years in Mc Cluer Senior High in the heart of Ferguson, Mo. and Harris-Stowe State College respectively. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. John’s education in business, coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture. John’s love for his community brought forth the brainchild of “VeganSmart”, a plant based protein shake company with a foundation whose mission is to prevent obesity through education, physical activity and plant based nutrition. He is really excited about his upcoming documentary “Hungry For Justice” in which he is teaming up with the makers of Cowspiracy and What The Health which focused on the negative impacts of raising animals for food on the environment and people's health. The goal with their new documentary film is to speak about food injustice through the lens of Hip Hop & Urban Culture.
5:00 - 6:00 PM
BEET STAGE SPEAKERS
Emcees: Ben Le Roi & Kevin Lahey
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Eating to be kinder to the Earth
Why eating a whole-food plant-based diet is kind for our planet, in comparison to our current, industrialized, animal-based food system.
Caterina Lindman is a retired actuary, with over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. Caterina is recognized as a leading actuary in Canada and internationally in the area of climate change research and sustainable healthcare through whole-food plant-based nutrition. She led the volunteer committee that helped develop the Actuaries Climate Index. She is also involved with Actuaries for Sustainable Healthcare, a group that educates actuaries about the benefits of whole-food plant based nutrition as a way to prevent and reverse chronic disease. Eating plants is also a key way to mitigate carbon emissions, sequester carbon and preserve biodiversity.
12:00PM - 1:00 PM
Eating Plant Based On A Budget
TONI OKAMOTO is the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, the popular website, food blog, and meal plan that shows you how to save dough by eating veggies. She’s also author of The Super Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook. Plant-Based on a Budget has been featured in Reader’s Digest, US News and World Report, and more. Toni is also a regular presence on the FOX affiliate in Sacramento, where she teaches viewers how to break their meat habit without breaking their budget, and was featured in the popular documentary What the Health. Toni is a burrito enthusiast, and spends her free time swing dancing across the county.
Chef Yoda Olinyk
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Aquafaba... the new miracle egg replacer!!
Chef Yoda will be talking about aquafaba - the magical bean water than you can use to replace eggs in a variety of recipes. Aquafaba is a relatively new discovery, and is hard to believe how it works until you see it with your own eyes. Come learn how to use it as a replacement for eggs in sweet & savoury applications, and watch as Yoda turns chickpea water into beautiful meringues!
Yoda is the chef and owner of Yoda’s Kitchen - the small but mighty plant based catering company! She’s been cooking in London and area for 11 years, and took her love of vegetables and compassion for animals to the next level when she decided to launch one of South Western Ontario’s first plant based catering companies. She loves spending her spare time writing, reading and playing with her dog. You may remember her from VegFests in the past, or from her vegan restaurant, Glassroots. Right now, Yoda is catering up a storm focusing on plant based weddings and healthy corporate events. She’s also working on a Cookbook Memoir which will be out this fall and is focusing on travelling, family and her compassion for animals.
3:00pm - 4:00 pm
101 REASONS TO GO VEGAN
A humorous and honest look at diet and culture that highlights the benefits of a plant-based diet for our health, the environment, and the welfare of animals. The presentation is an ethical examination of our food choices designed to empower people to live a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle. A 10 minute version of the presentation was recently posted on Facebook and has generated over 40 MILLION views. Come see the presentation that has changed thousands of people's lives.
James Wildman is the Humane Educator for the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. Since 2007, James has given over a thousand presentations at over a hundred different schools and universities in South Florida, teaching respect and compassion for animals and the environments we share. These presentations have reached over a hundred thousand people, empowering youth and adults to live a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle. His "101 Reasons to Go Vegan" video has been translated into 18 languages and has over 4 MILLION views total on YouTube. James was also featured in the 2017 documentary Food ReLOVution. He has worked with youth for 20 years, and, in 2006, he obtained a master's degree in Humane Education.
Ben Le Roi & Kevin Lahey
The Livegan Podcast is dedicated to learning from inspirational guests and discussing how to be a more effective activist within the growing animal rights movement. Kevin and Ben firmly believe every individual is capable of making a significant difference with their own unique skill set. Their guests originate from various backgrounds, professions, and possess different approaches, all with the same goal in mind; how to save as many animals as possible and create a vegan world.
Kevin Lahey is an ex undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals And Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth. Collectively, he has more than 3 years of undercover investigative experience, including working in Korea’s dog meat industry and USA’s hog, dairy, and poultry industries. He was the 2016 recipient of the Mercy for Animals award and is working on an upcoming book. He has a Master’s in Philosophy focused on veganism. He resides in Toronto with his wife and daughter.