November 2013

The summer and early autumn have been remarkably busy for the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society, as community interest in a vegan diet just keeps on growing.

At our August picnic at the home of Ted and Carol Barnett, the weather gods  bestowed favor (as they had in July). Also in August, RAVS co-sponsored with Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY a showing of the film “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” and we were fortunate to have Harold Brown of FarmKind speak to us afterwards. This was a moving event for all who attended.

More than 90 people attended our September meeting to hear Melanie Joy, Ph.D.’s riveting talk on “Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat.” In October,  we welcomed John Pierre and about 100 people heard him speak on “The Pillars of Health,” also the title of his new book.   The pillars are vegan nutrition, exercise, cognitive fitness, and compassion. We provided the vegan nutrition, and Pierre spoke about all four pillars!

We have some great programs to look forward to: a talk by teachers from the Rochester T’ai Chi Ch’uan Center; a holiday party in December; and in January a talk by Sherry Colb, J.D., author of Mind If I Eat the Cheeseburger?

OUTREACH  In September, at the 3rd annual Greentopia Festival, we had a great spot and lots of activity at our booth. Thanks to staffers: Carol Barnett,  Ted Barnett, Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, David Daunce, Joan Entwistle, Kimber Gorall, Carol Hope, Leena Isac, Yetta Panitch, Paul Phillips, Sue Taylor, and John Van Savage. Thanks also to scheduled staffer Darren Mrak, who had a bicycle accident en route as he swerved to avoid a young bicyclist about to cross his path. (Darren suffered a broken finger, but amazingly nothing more.) Thanks to Walter Bowen and Ken McBride for help with set-up and breakdown. And thanks to our sponsor VegFund, which paid for our soy- and almond-milk tasting and supported us in many other ways.

We spread the vegan message at a number of other recent events. Staffers are listed in parentheses.

Ginna Employee Health Fair (Carol Barnett)

Vegan Nutrition Class at Grounded by Yoga Studio (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett)

Farm Sanctuary Walk for the Animals (organizer Kristin Smith; talk by Ted Barnett)

Vegan Nutrition Class at Canandaigua Wood Library (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett)

Plant-Based Nutrition Course at JCC   (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett) [This 6-week course is being given for the 4th time; it is now eligible for continuing educa-tion credit for health professionals.]

Hope and Health Expo/American Cancer Society Fair (Carol Barnett, Beth Garver Beha, Kimber Gorall, Nancy Hallowell, Carol Hope, Darren Mrak, and Yetta Panitch)

Penfield Wellness Fair (Carol Barnett)

University of Rochester Veg Challenge, Oct. 24-Nov. 17 (organizers Simone Arnold and Melody Jaros; staffing by Carol Barnett & Charles Worl, talk on 11/15 by Ted Barnett)

Pittsford Employee Health Fair (Carol Barnett)

Thanks to all RAVS members and friends for their support, and we urge you to keep embracing and promoting a vegan way of eating and living.

WELCOME to new RAVS Board of Directors members Beth Garver Beha and Rhea McBride.

THANK YOU to Selma and Mike Berger for helping with set-up at RAVS meetings and to Rhea and Ken McBride  for helping with clean-up/breakdown.  Thanks to all others who help at meetings!

A REMINDER to please take modest/small portions at RAVS meetings, so we can avoid waste and have enough food for all.

THANKS to civic-minded members: Rabbi Simeon Kolko, son of Dvorah and Myron Kolko, named on the brief of the Greece prayer case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also to recent writers of  letters to the editor: Joel Freedman (pesticides on lawns), Nancy Hallowell (Syria), and Scott Wagner (against undue partisanship in politics).

VEGAN ARTIST and RAVS Member Tina Kolberg was profiled in the Fall 2013 issue of American Vegan magazine. Tina can create a portrait of  an animal you love: see samples of her work at

PLEASE ATTEND the MetroJustice Alternative Fair at the First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14610 on Friday Dec. 6, 5PM-9PM and Sat. Dec. 7, 10AM-2PM. This event features fair trade, earth-friendly, and/or locally produced goods that support a just and sustainable world. For affordable holiday gifts, you’ll find clothing, toys, non-competitive games, pottery, jewelry, books, and more. Door prizes, vegan food for sale (Fri. dinner and Sat. brunch), music, and information tables staffed by local progressive groups including RAVS! $3 suggested donation for ages 12 and older; free child care.

NEW VEGAN RESTAURANT IN ROCHESTER The Red Fern, 283 Oxford St. (at Park) (563-7633) is a healthy all-vegan restaurant with gluten-free options. The menu includes Avocado BLT, Curried Quinoa Salad, Seitan Steak Bomb, Chick’n Salad, Cheese Quesidilla, and a “Compost Plate.” (Any meat or dairy in menu items refers to vegan versions!) Breakfast is served all day, as well as fresh squeezed juices and smoothies. Beer and wine are available. Wholesale cakes and catering available on request. Visit

An enthusiastic review in City Newspaper on October 9 calls it a “warm, charming” place and explains that Chef Andrea Parros uses ingredients like tofu, tempeh, coconut milk and cashew cheese to replace animal products. Parros says: “I’d like people to eat our food and not even notice that anything’s missing.” Please indulge and visit The Red Fern! Hours are Tues.-Sun. 11AM  to 10PM.

Carol Barnett

August 2013

It has been a busy warm season for the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society. In May we welcomed John Morlino, founder of The ETHIC (, who spoke movingly of the ways in which life’s setbacks help us to develop our compassion for others. In June, a panel of RAVS cooks discussed vegan shopping, meal planning, and recipes. Many thanks to  Shelley Adams, Michael Hagelberg, Leena Isac, Darren Mrak, and Scott Wagner. In July, Kimber Gorall graciously hosted a picnic at her canal-side home, as we enjoyed a cool break in what had been a sweltering week. Clearly, the weather gods favor vegans.

During the first week of July, an all-time record number (24) of Rochesterians went to the North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, Pa. In attendance were: Carol, Ted, Rebecca, Elizabeth & Nathaniel Barnett, Handy Cowles, David Daunce & Yetta Panitch, Beth Garver Beha & daughter Tabetha Garver-Mosher, Jacki & Michael Hagelberg, Carol Hope, Dvorah & Myron Kolko, Rhea & Ken McBride, Lori Miller, Gerry & Tim Minerd, Ted Potter and daughters Meena & Annie Potter, and Charles Worl. The Barnett family contributed to the Summerfest program: Ted gave a talk on Green Birding, and one on the History of the USDA Food Groups; Ted and Carol sat on a panel about running a vegetarian society; the Barnett kids each provided entertainment before plenary sessions; and the entire family organized a Service for the Animals on Sunday morning.

We look forward to an all-star autumn. In August we host an important film premier (see notice this page). On the third weekend of September, we will again participate in the Greentopia Festival. Please note that this pushes our September meeting to the 4th Sunday! You won’t want to miss it, as our guest Melanie Joy, Ph.D. will be speaking on the concept of “Carnism.” And in October, John Pierre, a nutrition and fitness consultant, will talk to us about “The Pillars of Health.” 

OUTREACH: Our presence in the community continues to be strong. In June we staffed a table at Brighton Color Green’s Energy Fair (Tina Kolberg) and at the Rochester Jamaican Organization’s 3rd Annual Community Health Fair (Carol Barnett). In July we tabled at Greenovation, 1199 E. Main St. (Carol Barnett). This store, with loads of charm and “pre-owned” bargains, on the site of the old Vietnam Vets store, is open Tues.-Fri. 11AM-6PM and Sat. 9AM-4PM.

Upcoming outreach events, in addition to Greentopia, include classes at new venues (a yoga studio and a library). And again, for a 4th time, the Jewish Community Center will offer the Plant-Based Nutrition class taught by RAVS’s own Ted D. Barnett, M.D. with recipes and food samples by Carol Barnett. See details on p. 8; call 461-2000 to register.

“Making a Case for Vegan Eating: Healthy People, Healthy Planet”: This class taught by RAVS Coordinators Ted & Carol Barnett will be given at the Grounded By Yoga studio in Bloomfield, on Sun. August 25 from 3:30-6 PM. Cost is $15/$18 at the door. Details on p. 8.

“Making a Case for Vegan Eating” will also be given at the Canandaigua Wood Library on Tuesday, September 17 from 6-8:30 PM. The class is free but you must register by calling (585) 394-1381.

EATING OUT VEGAN The Democrat and Chronicle has recently focused on a number of eateries that offer vegan options. Small World Food, a cooperative that makes bread, desserts, granola, hot sauce, and fermented and pickled vegetable products from locally grown organic ingredients, was profiled on 5/31/13. Small World is located at 90 Canal St. but also sells its products at farmers markets, Abundance Coop, and selected stores. The Owl House, 75 Marshall St., which has vegan variations on most of its menu items, was written up on 6/7/13. On 6/25/13, an article titled “Veggies Front and Center” highlighted the veggie bar at Pittsford Wegmans,  and Wegmans Next Door Bar and Grill in Pittsford, and praised Restaurant 2Vine, 24 Winthrop St. for “bulking up its vegan options with rotating offerings such as roasted heirloom potatoes with rapini and tomato-braised chickpeas over quinoa and brown rice; a half-inch slab of cauliflower grilled like a steak with mushroom sauce; and a roasted-eggplant Mediterranean flatbread sandwich.” And the July 2013 issue of the D&C’s Rochester Magazine had a special feature on veggie burgers, including the Owl House’s vegan Gentle Lentil Burger, and the vegan Carrot-Chickpea Sliders with sweet pepper catsup at Lettuce B. Frank, Mobile Food Cart (locations at


Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York and RAVS will co-sponsor a showing of “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home,” a film by Tribe of Heart. Following the film,  Harold Brown of Farm Kind, who is featured in the film, will deliver brief remarks and lead a discussion. Free refreshments will be available after the film. This event is free and open to the public. See calendar on p. 8 for details.

MORE ABOUT THE FILM: “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” portrays the experience of five farmers, an animal rescuer, and a humane police officer as they engage in struggles of conscience regarding the role and treatment of animals in their lives; it includes rare footage providing insight into the emotional lives of animals. The 78-minute film premiered at the Moondance Festival in Boulder, Co., where it received the Best Documentary Award. It went on to receive the Best Documentary Award at Chicago’s Peace on Earth Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize at the Canada International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Environmental Film Festival at Yale, and the Best of Fest Audience Award at the Berkshire International Film Festival. For more information, visit

Carol Barnett

May 2013

Our vegetarian society keeps on growing in influence, as the advantages of a vegan diet become more apparent, and ever greater numbers join our group and attend our meetings, outreach events, and classes.

In February, Bill Labine of Airtight Services, an expert in all forms of green energy including conservation, talked to us about the advantages of super-insulating one’s home. At our March meeting, Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D. talked to us about animal sentience and emotion, and   showed us how recognizing what we share with the animal world can reinforce our vegan way of life. April brought two events: the 20th annual RAVS 2nd night vegan seder, shared with the Jewish humanist group and led by Barry Swan; and our annual fund raiser dinner at the Natural Oasis Restaurant, 288 Monroe Avenue, Rochester’s only vegan restaurant, where we made merry, enjoyed food prepared by chefs Nick Bovenzi  and Andrea Parros, and raised money by auctioning a number of goods and services. Items generously (and creatively) donated included an evening of sailing, a small business consult, a teaching game of “Go,” a massage, and a vegan chocolate cake.   Thank you to our gracious donors: Wizard of Clay Pottery, John Atwater, Mary Anne Banke, Carol & Ted Barnett, Marlene Caroselli, Johanna Connelly, Steve Foster, Kimber Gorall, Noel Nichols, Yetta Panitch, Mike Rudnick, and Jonathan Smelts of Wellness Massage Center.

In May we will welcome John Morlino of The E.T.H.I.C. as he talks about something we could all use more of: compassion. In June we will hear Dr. Michael Greger’s Nutrition Update, and a panel of RAVS members will share their vegan cooking secrets. And in July we will enjoy a summer picnic. See the calendar on p. 8 for details.

In addition to our meetings, RAVS has had a number of outreach events which gave us an opportunity to meet new people interested in the benefits of a vegan diet and way of life. Once again, for the third time, RAVS Coordinator Ted Barnett, M.D.  gave his course on “Plant-Based Nutrition” at the Jewish Community Center, with recipes and food samples provided by Carol Barnett. This brings to more than 150 the number of people who have been reached by this course.

Here is a list of other RAVS outreach events in the last three months, with the names of those who staffed them:

  • Showing of the film “Escape Fire” at the Little Theatre by the Monroe County Integrative Health Committee (Q&A afterwards by Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Mary Coan, M.D., Lesley James, M.D., and Julia Stein, M.D.)
  • Rochester Central School District Health Fair at East High School (Tina Kolberg)
  • Great American Meatout Event at Midtown Manor apartments  (Katherine DaCosta)
  • Nazareth College Health Fair (Carol Barnett, Honey Bloch, Nancy Hallowell, Ken McBride, and Yetta Panitch)
  • Great American Meatout event at Univ. of Rochester (Carol Barnett)
  • Green Initiatives Fair at Greenovation, new “green” store located at the site of the old Vietnam Vets building, 1199 East Main St. (Tina Kolberg)
  • Earth Day Fair, Univ. of Rochester Grassroots environmental group (Carol Barnett)
  • SUNY Brockport MetroCenter (St. Paul St.) Health Fair (Carol Barnett)
  • Sierra Club Environmental Forum at Monroe Community College (Carol Barnett and Martha Sullivan)

VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST The North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest will take place July 3- 7, 2013 (Wed. – Sun.) at the University of Pittsburgh’s campus in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A weekend package (Friday evening through Sunday) is also available. This conference/festival is an unforgettable experience, and we can’t recommend it more highly. Visit for more information.

NUTRITION AND THE BRAIN This international conference, co-sponsored by George Washington University School of Medicine and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. on July 19-20, 2013, is a continuing education event for health care professionals. For more information, visit

RAVS BOARD OF DIRECTORS BALLOT will be sent to all RAVS members by email. To save paper and postage, please vote for the Board by email,, or by phone, (585) 234-8750. RAVS members who do not have email access will receive a paper ballot with this newsletter.

IN MEMORIAM  On April 27, 2013, Bud Burdick, RAVS member and RAVS Board member since 2010, died. Bud was only 28 years old. He had been stricken by acute myeloid leukemia and, although his hospital treatments allowed him a brief remission from the disease, it finally claimed his life.

When we first met Bud, he was a student at Monroe Community College, and he went on to graduate from SUNY Brockport with a major in business and dance. Bud embraced a vegan diet once he heard the reasons for it, and he went on to persuade others to go vegan as well.

Bud was a practical guy who would have made his mark in the business world if he’d had the chance.  He took it upon himself to design and order RAVS T-shirts carrying the motto: “VEGAN: for life, for health, for the animals, for me.” The shirts sold like the proverbial hot cakes, and Bud donated the profits to RAVS.

Bud was a practitioner of capoeira, the vigorous dance-like Brazilian martial arts practice, and he performed with a group in all the places that he lived.

In recent years, Bud moved to Brooklyn to live with and help his aging grandmother. But he wanted to keep his connection with RAVS and he stayed on the Board, offering his support and advice long-distance.

We know many others in our group share memories of Bud; and most of all, we share sadness at a life ended too soon. Bud, we will never forget you.

Carol Barnett

February 2013

Our vegetarian society has been thriving of late, with record crowds at our meetings, and eager participation at our outreach events and classes.

Our Novembers meeting was a lively and fact-filled lecture on “The Biology of Disgust,” positing a natural human tendency towards plant-based diet, given by Milton Mills, M.D. In December, our yearly Winter Solstice celebration was warm and music-filled. And at our January meeting, a full house watched films from Movies on a Shoestring (now Rochester International Film Festival,, graciously brought to us by Ellie Cherin with popcorn by son David Cherelin.

We look forward to an environmentally-themed event in February; a program on animal sentience in March, as well as the annual RAVS seder; and our annual restaurant meal and fund raiser at the Natural Oasis in April. Look for more details on this page, and on the calendar on p. 8.

In addition to our meetings, RAVS has been extending its usual outreach to the community. In October, at the Integrative Health Conference (RAVS members Julia Stein, M.D. and Gail Weiser, L.S.W., P.A. were among the organizers), RAVS had a table staffed by Carol Barnett. And in December, RAVS had its usual table at the Metro Justice Alternative Fair. Thanks to staffers Shelley Adams, Carol Barnett, Handy Cowles, David Daunce, Nancy Hallowell, Tina Kolberg, Carol Manuel, Ken McBride, Walt McBurney, Canden Simmons, and Joy Vandling; and bakers Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, and Karen Evans. Thanks also to Tina Kolberg for featuring her lovely art work at our table and donating profits. RAVS also had a table at the First Unitarian Church’s “Benefits Boutique” in December, staffed by Carol Barnett and Tina Kolberg.

PLEASE ATTEND the March meeting of the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society to hear Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D. speak on “The Inner Lives of Animals: Lessons from a Vegan Biologist” Dr. Balcombe is the acclaimed author of Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good; Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals; and The Exultant Ark. He is Department Chair for Animal Studies, Humane Society University ( Don’t miss Dr. Balcombe’s captivating images and accounts of animal behavior.

RAVS SEDER The 20th annual RAVS vegan seder will be held on the 2nd night of Passover, Tuesday, March 26; see p. 8 for time and location. RULES FOR SEDER: Bring a dish that is vegan and also conforms to Passover tradition. No wheat is allowed (no pasta, bread, crackers, or cookies) except matzoh and matzoh products such as farfel and matzoh meal–but no egg matzoh because it is not vegan. Other grains such as rice are excluded. Beans and potatoes, veggies and fruits are fine.

RAVS FUND RAISER DINNER We are thrilled to be holding our dinner and fund raiser at Rochester’s only vegan restaurant, Natural Oasis at 288 Monroe Ave. We will gather between 5 and 6PM for a cash bar, and to browse the silent auction of donated goods and services, including items from Wizard of Clay. Dinner will be prepared by chef Nick Bovenzi with the assistance of Andrea Parros, who will be preparing desserts. Seating at the restaurant is limited, so reserve early. See p. 8 for further details.

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION COURSE will be offered again by RAVS’s own Ted D. Barnett, M.D. with recipes and food samples by Carol Barnett. The class will be on a series of six Tuesdays in April and May at the JCC. Details p. 8.

WE MOURN THE LOSS of RAVS member Craig Person. Please read the remembrance on p. 7.

GET WELL SOON to RAVS member John Jongen: see an account of his injury and recovery on p. 7.

BEST WISHES FOR CONTINUED HEALTH: RAVS member Ann McCulloch was recently fortunate to receive a kidney transplant, which has given her a new lease on life.

CORRECTION We welcome out-of-town members Alice Barletta & Donald Hayden, who were not both named in our last membership update.

BRAVO TO WEGMANS for its new line of vegan “meats,” charmingly named “Don’t Be Chicken,” “Don’t Have a Cow,” and “Don’t be Piggy.” Not all vegans use these products, but look for them if you do, and be sure to thank Wegmans for making them available.

AND TO TRADER JOE’S for offering a cornucopia of delicious foods for vegans and their own line of vegan “meats,” including a vegan stuffed “turkey” with gravy during the holidays.

THANKS TO MANN’S JEWELERS for the clever ad in their fall/winter 2012 bridal issue: “Providing a vegan option to your vegetarian option makes it a wedding; gold makes it a marriage.”

VEGAN TIDBITS IN THE D&C Our local newspaper put in a plug for Meatless Mondays (“RocBlog of the Day,” 8/13/12) and had an article on vegan (and gluten-free) beer on 11/16/12, directing the reader to for more information.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Thanks to RAVS member Alex Chernavsky for his letter published in the Democrat and Chronicle on 2/6/13, criticizing the Holley Fire Dept. for its squirrel-killing contest:

“Unlike some other animal-lovers, however, I don’t think the “Squirrel Slam” fundraiser is much worse than a chicken barbecue, pig roast, or spaghetti-and-meatball dinner.

Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry. Eating animal products is linked to numerous health problems. And billions of farm animals are killed each year for no better reason than because they taste good. Most of these farm animals live and die under appalling conditions that would be considered criminally cruel if they were applied to dogs or cats.

Fortunately, you do have a compassionate alternative: Go vegan for the Earth, for your health and for the animals.” Thank you, Alex!

Carol Barnett