November 2014

The newly-renamed Rochester Area Vegan Society (formerly the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society) is celebrating  its 25th anniversary this year with activities that are reaching an ever-greater number of people in the Rochester community.

Meetings: Our August meeting was a delightful picnic at the home of Kimber Gorall in Pittsford on the Erie Canal. In September, we welcomed law professor Gary Francione, who spoke about the future of veganism to a large crowd. And in October, on almost the exact 25th anniversary of the very first meeting of our group, John Morlino of The ETHIC spoke about “Vegan Values” and the legacy of Stan and Rhoda Sapon, the founders of RAVS. See more about the history of RAVS and the vegan values set forth by Stan Sapon on p. 6 of this newsletter.

In November, our speaker will be African-American physician Milton Mills, who will speak on parallels between the civil rights movement and the vegan movement. In December, we will have a holiday gathering and also a discussion among ourselves about the challenges of being an activist. And in January 2015, we’ll have a showing of “COMFORT ZONE,” an environmental film by local filmmakers.

Outreach: In early August, RAVS had a table at the first-ever Buffalo area Vegfest. Several RAVS members attended: Maggie and Daryl Odhner had excellent times in the Tofurky Trot race, and Darren Mrak won the prize for the best costume, as a vegan guerrilla fighter armed with carrots.

In September, Kristin Corser Smith was the organizer of the local Farm Sanctuary Walk for the Animals, and Ted Barnett was the speaker. That same day, RAVS did a vegan tasting at the Rochester Public Market featuring roasted veggies, scrambled tofu, and Gypsy Soup. Thanks to David and Jenn Cherelin, Ellie Cherin, Scott Wagner, and to Darren Mrak who baked carrot and lemon-blueberry cupcakes.

Later in September, RAVS had a table at the 4th annual Greentopia Festival in the High Falls district of Rochester. Despite battling cold and rain for part of the day, the event was a big success. Thanks to staffers Carol Barnett, Ted Barnett, Beth Garver Beha, Sue Brunsting, Nancy Hallowell, Carol Hope, Carol Manuel, and Sue Taylor. Thanks also to VegFund for sponsoring our vegan tasting, and to Jenny Johnson for providing delicious vegan cupcakes.

Other outreach events this late summer and fall were health fairs at the Millard Latimer funeral home, the longest established African-American business in Rochester, staffed by Carol Barnett and Kimber Gorall; health fairs in Penfield and in Pittsford for town employees; and a University of Rochester Veg Challenge kick-off, in which students pledged to go vegetarian or vegan for a period of time (all staffed by Carol Barnett).

For the 6th time, Ted Barnett, M.D. gave the course on Plant-Based Diet at the JCC, with Carol Barnett assisting with recipes and food samples. About 45 people took the course, including 5 physicians  and other health professionals who signed up for continuing education credit. The course has now been taken by approximately 300 people.

WE MOURN the passing of RAVS member Alan Kusler, who died on July 15, 2014. Our condolences to his sister and to his longtime partner, Bill Cox.

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the Lake Affect magazine vegan recipe contest. First and second prizes went to RAVS members Selma Berger and  David Cherelin; best dessert went to Plant-Based Diet graduate Mary Buckley.

THANK YOU to The Red Fern restaurant and Vive Bistro and Bakery for providing delicious samples of their fare at our meetings in September and October.

NEW VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT! Thanks to Carol Manuel for alerting us to Hettie’s Delites, a cafe in The Shops on West Ridge (3200 W. Ridge Rd. in Greece). Owner Heather Paola has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free offerings, and does catering as well. Visit, or call 748-9866.

PAST RAVS NEWSLETTERS AVAILABLE In celebrating our 25th anniversary, we have put together binders of the posters,  photos, and newsletters that we have generated over our history thus far. If anyone is interested in a set of newsletters, contact A modest donation to RAVS would be appreciated. Set of VegNews also available.

RAVS IN THE NEWS (and RAVS Coordinators Getting More than their 15 Minutes of Fame!)

On Tuesday September 9, the Democrat and Chronicle ran an article by Karen Miltner about RAVS celebrating its 25th anniversary and changing its name, which included an interview with RAVS Coordinators Ted and Carol Barnett.

Also in early September, through the generous support of an anonymous donor, RAVS was able to launch an advertising campaign with WXXI radio, so you may have heard radio spots identifying RAVS as a sponsor (and you will hear more in 2015). As part of this campaign, RAVS had an information table at the live “Political Junkie” event on September 28, at which our name and logo were also projected on the screen behind the speakers.

On September 20, Ted Barnett was interviewed about vegan diet by Michael Warren Thomas on his show “For Love of Food” (Ted called in from San Diego, where he was attending a national medical conference on plant-based nutrition.) And on Wednesday, October 1, he was a call-in contributor to the Evan Dawson show “Connections” on the topic of going vegan.

The fall 2014 issue of the American Vegan Society publication American Vegan  has an article on the Rochester Area Vegan Society, the first of a series on local veg societies, with photos of the Barnetts as well as one of Sandy Baker, and it’s written by Rebecca Barnett, who is an Assistant Editor of the magazine.

Ted Barnett was profiled on the back cover of the Summer 2104 issue of Good Medicine, published by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Since then, from 10/26 to 11/3, Ted traveled on behalf of PCRM to the Republic of Macedonia (at the request of the Macedonian government and at their expense), along with another PCRM representative, to consult with public health and medical officials and to promote a plant-based diet. The Health Minister is interested in having Ted and his colleague return to Macedonia in spring of 2015!

Carol Barnett

August 2014

RAVS continues its high level of involvement in the community; our meetings are well attended and our outreach opportunities just keep growing. We plan to carry this energy and enthusiasm into the autumn, when we celebrate our 25th anniversary.

At our May meeting, we had a talk by Susie Coston, the National Shelter Director of Farm Sanctuary, about farm animal sentience. Susie’s heartwarming images and stories reminded us that each farmed animal is an individual who experiences pain and seeks pleasure and affection. In June, our program was a panel discussion by experienced vegan cooks from our own group. Thanks to Handy Cowles, Meg Hurley, Deb Kiba, and Carol Manuel for sharing their recipes and tips (and their stories of how they came to be vegan). 

In July, the following RAVS members    were in attendance at the Vegetarian Summerfest: Ted, Carol, Rebecca and Elizabeth Barnett, Jennifer, David, Pahz and Tia Cherelin; Ellie Cherin, Handy Cowles, Jacki and Michael Hagelberg, Lori Miller, and Canden and Elijah Simmons. See the full report on Summerfest on page 4. Our July RAVS meeting was a picnic at the Barnett home.

Our late summer and fall will be a cornucopia of wonderful speakers and events, in keeping with our anniversary celebration. In August we’ll be at the Buffalo area VegFest, and Will Tuttle, Ph.D., who will be speaking at VegFest, will also come to Rochester to speak to RAVS (not on 3rd Sunday–see calendar p. 8). Our August picnic will be at the home of Kimber Gorall. On Saturday, Sept. 6, RAVS will be the guest chef at the Rochester Public Market.

In September, RAVS will again have a table at the Greentopia Festival, where we’ll seek to persuade people that the single most powerful thing they can do to protect the environment is to go vegan (plus they can save their health and the animals, and they can make the change  overnight, without any capital expenditure).

At our RAVS autumn meetings, we will have an all-star lineup of speakers: Gary Francione, J.D. in September; John Morlino, M.S.W. in October; and Milton Mills, M.D. in November. Please continue reading this page and consult the calendar on page 8, for full information on all these events and speakers.

OUTREACH: RAVS continues to spread the word about vegan diet wherever we can. In June, Ted Barnett, M.D. spoke to members of the New Bethel CME    church; Carol Barnett tabled at a Latino Family Fair; and Katherine DaCosta, Sara Gale, Kimber Gorall, and Charles Worl staffed a health fair at Inner Faith Gospel Church. In July, Carol Barnett tabled at the family health and safety fair at Ginna nuclear power plant.


VEGFEST WNY is a first-time-ever veg festival in the Buffalo area, but within striking distance of the Rochester area (RAVS will have a table there). This FREE event will take place on Sunday August 3rd from 11 AM to 6 PM, and will feature guest speakers including Victoria Moran, Seth Tibbott, and Will Tuttle; live music; a fun children’s program; rescue animals for adoption; many exhibitors; and delicious vegan food. Location is Delaware Park in Buffalo. The festival will kick off with a Tofurky Trot cross-country 5K run/walk at 11AM (registration 10AM) with prizes (including best costume prize) and a dog-friendly course. Visit and

FLAVORS AT THE MARKET is a demonstration series at the Rochester Public Market from 10AM to noon on summer Saturdays. On Sept. 6, RAVS will be the guest chef and will be preparing a vegan dish to sample.

A PLANT-BASED DIET: EATING FOR HAPPINESS AND HEALTH will be offered again at the JCC with instruction by Ted D. Barnett, M.D and recipes and food samples by Carol Barnett. The course will be offered on six  Mondays in a row, September 22 to October 27, from 6:45-9:00 PM. This course is open to the general public, and is also available for continuing education credit for physicians, dietitians and other health professionals. Call the JCC at 461-2000 to register. v

OUR CONDOLENCES to Nancy Hallowell, whose mother, Virginia Fox Maier, died on March 12 at the age of 97.

OUR CONDOLENCES also to Martha Sullivan, whose husband Edward Sullivan died on June 27; and whose mother, Jean Krebs, died on July 12.

THANKS to Margie Campaigne  for helping to guide, during his stay, a young environmental activist, Charles Orgbon III, who was brought to town by the local Sierra Club chapter and who spoke at five local schools as part of Earth Day Week. Democrat and Chronicle (D&C) 4/22/14

THANKS to Meg Hurley for responding to an online editorial on the D&C website which asserted that “vegetarians are depressed because they can’t eat bacon.” See details on page 4.

THANKS to Gloria Foster for her part in the protest against oil trains which took place in Fairport on July 6. A color photo of Gloria appeared in the D&C on 7/7/14.

CONGRATULATIONS to RAVS Co-Coordinator Ted D. Barnett, M.D., whose profile (with photo!) appears on the back cover of the current (Summer 2014) issue of PCRM’s Good Medicine.

THE RED FERN restaurant received a glowing review in City Newspaper, 5/28/14 (“Vegan, Served with a Smile”). The reviewer, Laura Kenyon, singled out the Compost Plate, a “winking take on the Rochester staple [Garbage Plate],” the Kale Chips, and the French Toast for special praise, and said “The Red Fern is worthy of attention from vegans, carnivores, celiacs, carb-lovers, and eaters in between.” Kenyon also loved the restaurant’s “light and airy” decor. Owner and operator Andrea Parros named The Red Fern after a novel by Wilson Rawls, in which the plant symbolizes eternal love and peace–an ethos that Parros wants to see reflected in her restaurant.

The Red Fern also received a glowing review in the D&C on 7/4/14, in which the  author, Amanda Antinore, reported on her “fulfilling, and perhaps surprising, meal that dispelled any stereotypes tied to the term vegan.”

Carol Barnett

May 2014

The Rochester Area Vegetarian Society has been active and thriving during one of the toughest winters in memory and now, one of the most welcome springs.

In February, we hosted a panel discussion by local organic farmers. Thanks to Cindy Christ and daughter Elizabeth Christ-Faulks of  B&C Christ Farms; Kurt Forman of Clearview Farm; Erik Fellenz and Jenny Lane of Fellenz Family Farms; Chris Phillips of  Fiacre Gardens Microfarm; Jonny Wiedel of Mud Creek Farm; Greg Palmer of Peacework Organic Farm and CSA; and Claire Burdick of Wickham Farms. Special thanks to Erik Fellenz for organizing the Powerpoint presentation!

In March, RAVS’s own Ted D. Barnett, M.D. gave a talk about the testimony before a committee of the Food and Drug Administration, where the message about the health benefits of a vegan diet is starting to be heard. In April, we had a lovely fundraiser dinner at The King and I restaurant, attended by about 80 people; and a 2nd night Passover seder shared with the Jewish humanist group and led by Barry Swan, attended by almost 50 people.

We look forward in May to a talk by Susie Coston of Farm Sanctuary about farm animal sentience; and to a presentation in June by a panel of experienced vegan cooks. In July and August, RAVS members will host picnics at their homes. See the calendar on page 8 for details.

OUTREACH: RAVS has been busy with outreach to the community. In the past several months we’ve done the following (names of staffers in boldface):

-Plant-Based Diet Course at JCC, 3/4-4/8/14, taught by Ted D. Barnett, M.D., recipes by Carol Barnett; those interested in taking the course in future, contact

-Women’s Health Conference,3/22/14, given by Monroe County Integrative Health Committee (Carol Barnett, Ted Barnett, Kimber Gorall, Barbara Savedoff, Canden Simmons; organizing by Lesley James, Julia Stein, and Gail Weiser) 

-Health Fair, Rochester City School District, 3/22/14 (Tina Kolberg)

-Health Fair, Nazareth College, 3/25/14 (Carol Barnett, Handy Cowles, David Daunce, Yetta Panitch)

-Health Fair, SUNY Brockport MetroCenter, 4/16/14 (Carol Barnett)

-Sierra Club Environmental Forum, 4/17/14 (Carol Barnett)

-Discussion on dairy, 1st Universalist Church, 4/20/14 (Shelley Adams)

-Earth Day Fair, Victor Schools PTSA, 4/22/14 (Carol Barnett) v

VEGAN RECIPE CONTEST: Michelle Cardulla, publisher of Lake Affect Magazine, is conducting a vegan recipe contest. Initial submission of recipe(s) should be made to Michelle at by May 7. Finalists will be asked to present their dishes for a tasting at the Rochester Public Market on May 24th; winning recipes will be published in the 20th anniversary issue of the  magazine, and there is a cash prize.

“BLACKFISH BRIGADE” See and hear the animal lovers and former Sea World trainers behind the award-winning documentary “Blackfish,” as well as the  “Walrus Whisperer.” Sat. May 3, 7-9 PM at Kodak Center for Performing Arts (formerly Theater on the Ridge), 200 West Ridge Rd. Admission is FREE; Walk-in charge of $15 for meet-and-greet either before (5:30-6:30) or after (9-10) the show. Please don’t miss this opportunity!

VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST The North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest will take place July 2-6, 2014 (Wed.-Sun.) at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown, Pa. campus. Weekend package (Friday evening through Sunday) is available. This conference and festival rolled into one is not to be missed! Visit vegetarian for more information.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DIABETES to be given by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, July 18-19. Available for continuing medical education credit, but also open to the general public. Visit, go to HEALTH AND NUTRITION and click on “Diabetes Conference.”

TRANSITIONS:  We mourn the loss of Myron (Mike) Kolko, who died on 11/26/13, and extend our sympathy to his wife Dvorah Kolko, their four sons and their families. Our sympathy to Nancy Hallowell on the loss of her mother. We are also saddened by the loss of Lucinda Sangree on 2/23/14. Her obituary calls her a “lover of nature, people and peace”; she was also a vegetarian.

CONGRATULATIONS to Lisa Emerald and Dan VerWeire on the birth of their son Kael Lawrence VerWeire on 3/17/14.


THANKS to Pam Hathaway for bringing vegan food samples to our March meeting. Pam plans to open a French-influenced vegan restaurant called Vive Bistro and Bakery in the Rochester area.

Pudgy Girl Bakery is an all-vegan bakery doing wholesale, catering, and special orders. Pudgy Girl offers cheesecakes, truffles, gluten-free items and more! Visit; contact or call (585) 678-1603.

Taste of Ethiopia, at 155 State St. across from the federal courthouse, is recommended by RAVS member Noel Nichols. He writes: “The delightful decor makes you feel like you are visiting a foreign land. Vegan dishes include: pureed lentils simmered in berbere sauce (Yemisir Wat), yellow split peas with onion, herbs and spices (Kik Alitcha) and sliced cabbage, carrots and potatoes cooked in a mild sauce or with fresh string beans (Atkilt). We enjoyed the Shirro Wat (milled chick peas) simmered with mild spicy sauce. We also had a house salad and Sambusa appetizer (stuffed shells) of lentil, green chili and herbs, deep fried in vegetable oil. The 5 portion mixed sampler is just $12.”

Carol Barnett

February 2014

The Rochester Area Vegetarian Society has been active and thriving this autumn and winter, as more and more people seem eager to hear about the benefits, and how-to, of a vegan diet.

At our November meeting, we welcomed John Wagner and Kathy Gill of the Rochester T’ai Chi Ch’uan Center, who discussed the benefits of T’ai Chi and gave a brief demonstration. Anyone interested should contact the center, which has a free open house before the beginning of each 10-week cycle of classes. Our December meeting was a delightful Winter Solstice Party with music and other merry-making. And in January, 85 people turned out in the cold and snow to hear Sherry Colb, J.D., Professor of Law at Cornell University and author of Mind If I Eat the Cheeseburger? talk about the social challenges and opportunities of being vegan in a meat-eating world.

We will hear from a panel of organic farmers and other sustainable farming entrepreneurs in February, and in March,  our own Ted D. Barnett, M.D. will report on his testimony before a nutrition committee in Washington, D.C. Please read the schedule carefully for April and May events, as we will not be meeting on our usual 3rd Sunday in those months. In April we will have our fund raiser dinner at The King and I restaurant, and our traditional 2nd night seder on April 15; in May we will welcome Susie Coston, Director of the Farm Sanctuary’s Watkins Glen, New York Shelter.

OUTREACH:  In December, RAVS had its usual table at Metro Justice’s Alternative Fair. Thanks to staffers Carol Barnett, Handy Cowles, Joan Entwistle, Carol Hope, Tina Kolberg, Ken McBride, Rhea McBride, Barbara Savedoff, Sue Taylor, Joy Vandling, and John Van Savage. Thanks also to Ellie Cherin, Handy Cowles, Katherine DaCosta, and Darren Mrak for providing delicious vegan baked goods; and to Tina Kolberg for selling her art work and sharing the profits with RAVS. Tina’s nature- and animal-themed work may be viewed at; Tina will do paintings on commission.

Also in December, RAVS had a table at the First Unitarian Church’s Benefits Boutique. Thanks to Carol Barnett, Tina Kolberg, and Martha Sullivan for staffing the event, and again thanks to Tina Kolberg for sharing her beautiful art work.

A PLANT-BASED DIET: EATING FOR HAPPINESS AND HEALTH will be offered again at the JCC for the 5th time by our own Ted D. Barnett, M.D. with recipes and food samples by Carol Barnett. Already, 190 people have taken this six-week course which will be offered on six Tuesdays in a row, from March 4 to April 8, from 6:45 – 9:00 PM. For further details see p. 8 and visit and click on “Course Resources.”

The INTEGRATIVE HEALTH CONFERENCE, on the topic of Women’s Health, will be held at Rochester General Hospital on Saturday, March 22. The general public is most welcome; call Ginny Ruderman at (585) 473-7573 for a registration brochure.

RAVS FUND RAISER DINNER will be a vegan banquet at The King and I restaurant on Sunday April 6, with cash bar followed by dinner at 6:00 PM. This year we will not be having a silent auction at the event. The chef at King and I has agreed to cook the dishes with no added oil, though a couple of the curry dishes may contain some coconut milk. We hope this will please those of you on Esselstyn-type and low-fat diets. Please join us!

RAVS SEDER  The 21st annual RAVS vegan seder will be held on the 2nd night of Passover, Tuesday, April 15; see p. 8 for time and location. RULES FOR THE SEDER: Bring a dish that is vegan and also conforms to the 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. This tradition is a reminder that the Israelites had time only to prepare unleavened bread (represented by the matzoh) when they fled Egypt. Beans, potatoes, veggies and fruits are fine to bring for this meal. You don’t need to be Jewish to come and enjoy this very beautiful commemoration of freedom and liberation from oppression in all of its forms.

OFFERED TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER:  Ellie Cherin has kindly donated to RAVS her collection of VegNews magazine from its beginnings through 2013 (About 50 magazines). Each issue contains dozens of cutting-edge vegan recipes as well as great articles. Starting bid is $25.


Chef Nick Bovenzi of Natural Oasis Restaurant at 288 Monroe Avenue  was profiled by City Newspaper as one of the “Rochester 10” (for Food, of course) in its 1/1/14 issue. For dinner, Bovenzi offers a rotating 13-item all-vegan menu with fresh ingredients, French technique, and each item costing only $4. Chef Bovenzi can easily accommodate gluten-free.

Don’t forget Rochester’s other all-vegan restaurant, The Red Fern at 283 Oxford Street (at Park), run by Chef Andrea Parros. It’s a vegan paradise: any mention of meat or dairy in the menu refers to vegan versions!

Cipolla Romaine is a new catering and event planning company which includes the Lettuce B. Frank food truck offering vegan carrot sliders. Cipolla Romaine will be catering the vegan lunch at the Women’s Health Conference (see p. 8). Visit or contact

Pudgy Girl Bakery is an all-vegan bakery offering cheesecakes, truffles, gluten-free items and more! Visit; you can also contact or call (585) 678-1603.

Carol Barnett