VegFest London
Saturday, November 11th 2017

Festival Hours: 10 am - 6 pm
Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District
London, Ontario Canada
Free Parking. Admission $5.00 (Children 12 and under free)

Speakers 2017

Carrot Stage Speakers

Robert cheeke

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11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Plant Based Muscle: How to Build a Better Body on a Plant Based Diet: Use a plant based, whole foods diet to fuel a better body for better health. Learn how to eat to fuel your athletic interests, how to lose weight, gain muscle, lower stress and prevent injuries. Champion vegan bodybuilder and best-selling author Robert Cheeke shares the most important lessons to be learned in the process of building a better, healthier body.


Robert grew up on a farm in Oregon, where he adopted a vegan lifestyle at the age of 15. Today he is the best-selling author of the books Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and Shred It!.

As a two-time natural bodybuilding champion, Robert is considered one of VegNews Magazine's Most Influential Vegan Athletes. He tours all around the world giving talks about his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to a champion vegan bodybuilder.
Robert is the founder of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. He writes books, gives lectures, and maintains the popular website, He is a regular contributor to Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, a multi-sport athlete, and has followed a plant-based diet for 20 years.

tERESA ford

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12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Plant Based Nutrition: Eat to Thrive In this presentation, Teresa will provide practical tips and an engaging overview of the tremendous benefits of plant-based eating as they relate to health and nutrition.


Teresa Ford lives in London, has a Nutritional Science degree and has worked in the field of clinical research for many years. She was amazed when she learned of the large body of scientific evidence associating plant-based eating with wellness and longevity. In fact, many of the devastating diseases plaguing Canadians can be avoided and possibly reversed simply by our food choices. Through her company, Take Root, she inspires people to eat delicious and nutrient-packed plant-based food for maximal wellness by way of writing, speaking and coaching services. She applies best practices acquired through The Mayo Clinic Wellness Coach Training Program to help people make lasting improvements in their approach to eating. 







2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

A Vow of Silence for the Animals
James will take you on his inspiring and entertaining journey going from someone who didn’t like animals at all and felt nothing when seeing slaughterhouse footage, to being so inspired and passionate about helping animals that he took a 365 day vow of silence to raise awareness for them and spread the vegan message. Find out how he navigated through his voiceless year and why he believes his campaign was so successful in reaching millions of people all around the world.


James Aspey was diagnosed with leukemia and given 6 weeks to live when he was 17 years old. This lead to drug abuse and an eating disorder. After beating his demons, and continuing his efforts to better himself, James has become a famous name in the animal rights movement.

In 2014, James took a 365 day vow of silence to raise awareness for the voiceless victims of this planet: the animals. He cycled 5000km’s across Australia and ended his vow of silence in a TV interview seen by millions.

In 2016, James was tattooed for 24 hours in a campaign to raise money for charity. He travels the world doing street activism and has given over 200 free speeches. One of his speeches has reached over 12 million views and is described as one of the most influential animal rights speeches of all time.


3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Animal Rights Activism Panel
Featured panelists:

Jason King, Animal Liberation Alliance
James Aspey
Ananda Elora, The Save Movement
Mariah Noelle, The Save Movement
Tom Tkach, Direct Action Everywhere Toronto
Scott James, Former slaughterhouse employee & activist

Panel facilitated and moderated by: Marty Menard

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life
Based on advice from his bestselling novel, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, Gene discusses the cathartic experience of connecting our beliefs with our actions. The presentation explores how individuals can be effective forces of change and compassion wherever they are on their personal journeys.


Gene Baur is co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, and has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine. He was a pioneer in undercover investigations and instrumental in passing the first U.S. laws to ban inhumane factory farming practices. Beginning in 1986, he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of animal agriculture and our cheap food system.  Gene’s latest book, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, was published by Rodale in April 2015. He has a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, and is a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Chef yoda olinyk

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11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Easy Ways to Eat More Plants (and Get Your Kids' to as Well!) - Food Demo:
We will explore various easy ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, whether you are a vegan, just learning or you have picky kids! Chef Yoda will demonstrate stock making, preparing easy vegan food for your pets, how to utilize what some people consider compost and how to get your kids' (or non veg loving family) excited about vegetables.


Yoda's Kitchen is a small (but mighty!) plant powered catering company specializing in environmentally conscious, health oriented events and parties, cooking classes and more.

You may remember Chef Yoda from "Yoda's Private Catering" or the popular vegan hot spot, "Glassroots" restaurant. She is currently focusing on the relaunch of Yoda's Kitchen, writing a cookbook, becoming more involved in kids vegetable education and animal welfare. Here she will talk about one of the most important things they don't cover in chef school - how to reduce your waste and eat more vegetables!



12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Presentation: The Humane Myth


Harold Brown is a former beef farmer and founder of FarmKind. He is also a subject of the documentary film Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home.

I was born on an independent family cattle farm in south central Michigan, and I have spent over half of my life in agriculture. I started out as any farm kid does who has grown up around animals. There was an indoctrination involved as to how I should relate to farm animals. My indoctrination started with my parents, then family, then community, our church, 4-H, FFA, a land-grant college, and finally, the reinforcement of advertising on TV and elsewhere that portrayed meat, dairy, and eggs as essential to human wants and nutrition. With these influences, I hardly thought twice about the things I had to do on the farm: driving cattle, castrations, dehorning, and I did my fair share of butchering too. I also worked in the dairy industry for three years. All of these life experiences have been part of a journey that has taken me from thinking about farm animals in the context of animal husbandry and as commodities, to thinking about them as something more.





2:15 pm - 3:15 pm

Fuss Free Vegan Cooking Food Demo: Join Sam in her energetic kitchen while she demonstrates how to make vegan cooking quick, EASY, and totally scrumptious. Recipes every vegan, soon-to-be-vegan, thinking-about-becoming-vegan, and non-vegan need in their lives!


Sam Turnbull is the creative voice and vision behind the popular blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. Growing up in a family of chefs, foodies, butchers, and hunters, (yep, it’s true), Sam was determined to prove that vegan cooking didn't have to be all kale, and quinoa. Her easy, comforting, satisfying, and totally non-scary recipes struck a chord with vegans, vegetarians, and even carnivores everywhere. Sam recently finished her first cookbook Fuss-Free Vegan published by Appetite by Random House. She also won the #LoveLentils competition and had the honour of filming a cooking show with Chef Michael Smith.


Dr. Linda Plowright

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3:45 pm - 4:45 pm

Food For Thought: The Importance of Nutrition for Mental Health
“Most of us are aware that what we eat is important for the health of our bodies and the prevention of disease; but we may not be aware that nutrition is also an important factor in the health of our minds and the prevention/treatment of mental illness. In this updated talk, Dr. Plowright will explore the scientific evidence which demonstrates a connection between our food choices and our mental wellness and will teach us how to eat for a healthy brain.”


Dr. Linda Plowright is a psychiatrist working in London. She has a fellowship in Integrative Medicine through the University of Arizona College of Medicine and she is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Western University. She is on staff at the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in the Dual Diagnosis Program and at Parkwood Institute in the Operational Stress Injury Clinic. Her professional interests include Integrative Medicine (including nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management), mindfulness, clinical hypnosis, trauma and cross-cultural health.

glenN whitehead - FESTIVAL EMCEE

Glenn Whitehead is the owner of Plant Matter Kitchen, Plant Matter Bistro and festival sponsor Kre'adiv House. In 2015 Glenn first attended VegFest London and it left him inspired, "I was at VegFest (London) last November and I was blown away by the thousands of people that were there and the hundreds of booths that were all vegan and vegetarian. It’s an exciting time to be a vegan and it’s a much easier time to be a vegan. You’re starting to see this trend of amazing quality food.” In opening Plant Matter Kitchen, Glenn wanted to bring his love of plant-based, compassionate, homestyle cuisine and his passion for supporting local business under one roof, creating a community-building space that not only serves great vegan food, but also spreads awareness about the importance of putting good food first for health, for the environment, and for animal welfare.

JENNA GOODHAND - Festival Emcee

Jenna Goodhand is Executive Director and Kitchenista for Saving Lives with Forks and Knives, a program and membership community committed to helping educate people on the personal and global benefits of a plant based diet. Through online self-guided modules, live webinars, cooking videos and supportive coaching members realize that eating healthy, sustainably and consciously can be quick, easy and most importantly fun!