Founded in 1989, the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society, now the Rochester Area Vegan Society (RAVS), is a non-profit, tax-exempt, non-sectarian, all-volunteer educational organization dedicated to promoting human health, compassion for animals, and a sustainable planet, through the adoption of a vegan diet and lifestyle.
RAVS was founded in 1989 by Rhoda and Stan Sapon, two dedicated activists who worked hard to embody their vision of a non-violent world in a local community promoting vegan values: the idea that animals have a right to their own lives and do not exist to provide food or to be exploited by us in any way. RAVS is dedicated to promoting the joy, compassion, and life enhancing possibilities of a vegan way of life.
- educational resources for informing the public about the advantages of a vegan life-style.
- insight into the impact of animal-centered diets on human health, on the integrity of our environment, on world hunger, and on cruelty needlessly inflicted on billions of living, feeling, creatures every year.
- nutritional information, including recipes, that will support and facilitate the adoption and healthful enjoyment of a vegan diet.
- an opportunity for interested not-yet-vegans to learn at first-hand about the delights of good vegan cooking and to get to know and interact with experienced vegans.
- an opportunity for enriched understanding, mutual support and shared fellowship for our members and guests, at our monthly meetings
- opportunities for community outreach and community service in the interest of good health, environmental protection, and compassionate living.
- RAVS’s mission is to promote a vegan diet and lifestyle. All of our events, projects, publications, recipes, and recommendations are vegan.
- RAVS welcomes with open arms any people who are interested in our vegan message and support our goals. You do not have to be a vegan to be a member of our group. You do not have to be a vegan or a member to attend meetings; however, you have to pay a Guest Fee if you are not a member, and everyone has to observe the Vegan Rule (see below) at our meetings.
- RAVS meets once a month, usually on the third Sunday. A typical meeting consists of a Share-A-Dish Dinner of completely vegan foods, followed by a stimulating and informative program. Our programs have featured distinguished nutrition experts, health-care professionals, panels of creative vegan cooks, discussion forums on ethical issues, book reviews and films. Many nationally- and internationally-recognized speakers have given programs at RAVS meetings.
- RAVS publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Vegan Advocate. Each issue features information about the organization, news of recent and future RAVS events, a summary of vegan issues in the mainstream news, editorials, vegan recipes, and information on local vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and other businesses.
- RAVS encourages all who are interested to share in our group’s activities, and to support our mission.
All dishes must be completely vegan. They may not contain any meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey. Please watch out for gelatin (a meat by-product) and hidden milk products, such as whey in cookies, crackers, bread and margarine and casein or caseinate in so-called “non-dairy” soy cheese, coffee creamer and whipped topping. Be alert for eggs in baked goods, mayonnaise and salad dressings, and honey in breads, pastries and preserves.
This “vegan rule” embodies our mission of showing how abundant and delicious a vegan meal can be. It also means that members and guests who are vegan can freely partake of everything. If you mistakenly bring a dish that is non-vegan, you will be very welcome to stay for the meal, but we will not be able to serve your dish. Please understand that no offense is meant by this.
Please prepare a card with your name, the name of the dish, and a list of all ingredients. If possible, write the recipe on the back of the card and indicate where the recipe came from or if it was original. Prepare enough to serve a crowd. Please bring your own table setting as well as a serving utensil. If you are not able to cook, you may bring fruit, cider, tortilla chips and salsa, green salad, fruit salad, etc. Non-members, in addition to bringing a dish, must pay a $3 Guest Fee, which will be applied to your membership if you join that day.