May 2015

After a long, hard winter, spring is here!Interest in vegan diet and way of life is soaring. We continue to do the best we can to provide information and support (as well as delicious food samples) for people adopting or moving towards a vegan diet.

MEETINGS: In February, we showed film clips of Dr. Michael Greger, and held a Q&A session afterwards with Dr. Greger via Skype. Dr. Greger keeps constant tabs on emerging nutritional information; his valuable website,, contains hundreds of short videos and can be searched by topic.

In March, Harold Brown of spoke on the topic “Be the Change.” Harold  grew up in a farming community and his journey away from animal agriculture has given him empathy for others who are on this path. Many stories were shared by the audience, and Harold gave many examples of how living the truth of reverence for all life can result in gradual but enduring change.

In April, we had our 22nd annual 2nd night seder, sharing the event with the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Thanks to Barry Swan for leading the service, and to Ellie Cherin and Barry for organizing the event. Also in April, our fund raiser dinner was held at the new vegan restaurant Vive Bistro and Bakery. At two seatings of 60 people each, everyone enjoyed an elegant dining experience. Thanks to all at Vive including Pam, Keith, Nick, and chef Mark Demara!

We look forward to our May program being given by Marty Davey, RD (a.k.a. LaDiva Dietitian). Marty will talk about staying healthy on a vegan diet for those over 50, but we are sure that those under 50 can benefit! In June we will have a panel discussion on fast, easy, healthful and delicious vegan cooking (with recipes). July and August bring picnics.

OUTREACH: In January and February of 2015, Ted Barnett, MD taught his plant-based nutrition course for the 7th time to more than 50 people, with 10 health care professionals (including 4 MD’s) taking the course for continuing education credit. More than 325 people have taken this course.

At Color Brighton Green’s showing of the film “Cowspiracy” on March 18, Carol Barnett and other RAVS members spoke  after the film, encouraging people to try a vegan lifestyle. See more about this film on page 6. On March 20, Carol Barnett staffed a table for RAVS at the U of R Great American Meatout celebration hosted by SAVVY, the student vegetarian group.

RAVS had a table at the Integrative Health Conference on March 21: thanks to Sue Brunsting, Norman Sacks, Charles Worl and Carol Barnett for staffing; and at the Nazareth Wellness Fair: thanks to Ken McBride, Yetta Panitch, and Carol Barnett. On March 28, Ted Barnett MD taught a 4-hour plant-based nutrition unit, with recipes and food samples by Carol Barnett, to those completing a teacher training program at Grounded By Yoga studio in Bloomfield.

Nazareth student Rebecca Silliman presented a Veganism Awareness Event at the Golisano Academic Center on April 7. Olivia Fontana moderated a panel made up of Rebecca, Alexa Laubscher, Claire LaDelia, and Dr. Jill Brooks. The event was well attended, and everyone enjoyed vegan food samples provided by The Red Fern, Vive, and Voula’s, as well as goodies like Amy’s brand vegan pizza and cake.

Ted Barnett, MD gave a talk on vegan nutrition on April 11 as part of Lori’s Natural Foods Spring into Health program. About 25 people attended, and Lori’s provided delicious vegan food samples. Phyllis Fleischman and Kimber Gorall staffed a table at an Earth Day event hosted by U of R’s environmental group Grassroots. And Carol Barnett staffed a table at SUNY Brockport MetroCenter’s Wellness Fair.

Looking forward:  Ted Barnett, MD will be teaching a Diabetes Workshop at the New Bethel CME Church on May 2. RAVS has been invited to staff tables at the Office of Parent Engagement’s Family Fair on May 30 and at Ginna’s Health Fair on July 24.


Ted Barnett, MD went on Evan Dawson’s midday WXXI talk show “Connections” on January 20 and talked about vegan diet. This was the day of the first Plant-Based Diet class and drew a few extra enrollees! Then in February, in the aftermath of the new DGAC guidelines (see p. 4), Evan Dawson hosted a show on cardiac care and recommendations. When a caller mentioned a study showing that obese children can improve their cardiac risk factors by following a vegan diet (see p. 4), one of Dawson’s guests, a local cardiologist, agreed that a vegan diet can reduce cardiac risk, but stated that such a diet is just too hard to follow. Dawson got some pushback from local vegans, and soon thereafter, on February 23, he hosted a show with local vegans Aaron Frazier (attorney and president of the Rochester Black Bar Association); Pam Hathaway (owner of Vive Bistro and Bakery); Andrea Parros (owner of The Red Fern) and Ted Barnett, MD. All testified that they are healthy and abundantly satisfied on their vegan diet!

On April 13, Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary appeared on the Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, promoting his book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. Baur was wonderfully persuasive about the ease and joy of a vegan way of life. To view this segment, simply enter “Baur” and “Jon Stewart” on Youtube.


The new French-inspired restaurant Vive Bistro and Bakery was written up in the March 11 issue of City newspaper; The Red Fern  was written up in the March-April issue of (585) Magazine.

THANK YOU to Lyn Klement, who made a generous donation to RAVS in memory of her husband Ron Klement, who passed away in 2013. Lyn lives in Hammondsport; in the past, she and Ron attended RAVS meetings and were volunteers at Farm Sanctuary.

OUR CONDOLENCES to Carol and Bruce Manuel on the loss of Carol’s sister Laurie Greenberg, who died on March 26 at age 63 of metastatic breast cancer.  She was a great teacher, specializing in reading; and she had a beautiful coloratura voice, studying at the Eastman School for one year, and auditioning for the Metropolitan Opera. Laurie was a graduate of SUNY Geneseo and Syracuse University.

PLEASE VOTE for the RAVS Board of Directors. If you have internet access you will receive your ballot attached to an email. Those without internet access will find a paper ballot enclosed with this newsletter. No need to send a ballot by mail: you can vote by email or phone.

February 2015

Autumn and winter have been busy for the Rochester Area Vegan Society, with well-attended meetings, outreach events, and classes.

MEETINGS: In November we welcomed Milton Mills, M.D., who spoke to a filled room about the parallels between the civil rights movement and the vegan movement. In December, we had a discussion among ourselves about the psychological and practical challenges of engaging in vegan advocacy. And in January 2015 we had a showing of the Rochester-produced film “COMFORT ZONE, about the complexity of the climate change problem and the need for a change in consciousness if we are to address it.

In February we will view the most recent Nutrition Update video from Dr. Michael Greger. In March (in a different venue–see p.8) we will host Harold Brown, who will tell of his journey from dairy farming to advocating justice for animals and humans. In April we will have our traditional 2nd night seder, and later in the month, a fund raiser dinner at the newly opened Vive Bistro and Bakery.  For both of the April events, we ask that you reserve your spot and, in the case of the dinner, prepay to secure your reservation. Details on p. 8.

OUTREACH: In November, Ted and Carol Barnett taught a session on vegan diet, and provided vegan food samples, to yoga teacher trainees at the Grounded By Yoga studio in Bloomfield.

In December, RAVS had its usual booth at the Metro Justice Alternative Fair. Many thanks to staffers Carol Barnett, Ellie Cherin, Karen Evans, Carol Hope, Carol Manuel, Joy Vandling, and John Van Savage. Thanks to Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, and Karen Evans for providing delicious vegan baked goods to sell at the event. Later in December, Carol Barnett and Martha Sullivan staffed a table for RAVS at Human Rights Day.

RAVS’S TED BARNETT, MD    INTERNATIONAL CONSULTANT FOR PLANT-BASED DIET! In late October 2014, Dr. Barnett, along with Caroline Trapp, a nurse practitioner who is director of diabetes education for the Physicians Committee (PCRM), traveled to the Republic of Macedonia to explain how a plant-based diet could help reverse that country’s diabetes epidemic. For the full story, see “Fighting Diabetes in Macedonia” in the current issue of PCRM’s Good Medicine, Winter 2015.

CYCLING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH   On 11/24/14, RAVS member Scott Wagner was prominently featured in a front-page article on the growing popularity of cycling for transportation and ways to insure the safety of cyclists. Wagner’s photo appeared on page 10A as well as a photo of his reflected eyeball on page 1A!

OUR CONDOLENCES to Barbara Savedoff and sons Daniel and Eli, on the loss of their mother and grandmother, Roberta Savedoff, who died on October 4, 2014 after a brief illness. Roberta was a past president of Pittsford PTSA and a past co-chair of the Adult Education Committee of Temple Beth El, and had been active in the Pittsford Bikeways Committee.


A Plant-Based Diet: Eating for Happiness and Health is being given for the 7th time, this time on 6 Tuesdays from 1/20 through 2/24 at Unity Hospital Education Center. For information on current and upcoming sessions of this course, visit or contact with “Plant Based” in the subject line.

  Ivy League Vegan Conference is an all-day conference offered on Saturday February 21 on the Cornell campus. Free to the Cornell community, the conference, which includes breakfast and lunch, costs an astonishingly low $15. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Sherry Colb, J.D., and vegan artisan cheesemaker Miyoko Schinner are among the speakers. Contact RAVS if you are interested in carpooling.

Seeds of Change: Plant Based Low Fat Eating, Cooking & Meal Planning”  This  course is being offered at Unity Hospital on four Wednesdays starting on March 4 at a cost of $120 (and again in October starting Oct. 7). Call Joy Valvano at 368-4560 or register online at

“Cowspiracy”  This ground-breaking film on the connection between animal agriculture and climate change is being shown as part of the Color Brighton Green film series, on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 PM at Brighton Public Library. Free.

“The Art and Science of Integrative Medicine”  This all-day conference on Saturday, March 21 at Rochester General Hospital can be taken for continuing education credit by health professionals and is also open to the general public. Cost of $110 includes vegan breakfast, lunch and snacks with gluten-free option available; additional charge for education credits. Call Ginny Ruderman at (585) 473-7573 for a brochure or to register.

RAVS 2nd Night Seder on Saturday April 4: see calendar on p. 8 for details.

RAVS Fund Raiser Dinner on Sunday April 12: See p. 8 for details.

Rochester International Film Festival will be held on April 23, 24, & 25, 2015. Visit for details. Thanks to RAVS member Ellie Cherin for her involvement in this program.

  League of Humane Voters Rochester

A Rochester chapter of the League of Humane Voters (LOHVR) has been formed as another way to protect animals and their rights. The mission of LOHVR is to work to enact animal-friendly legislation and to elect candidates for public office who will use their votes and influence for animal protection. LOHVR intends to make animal protection a mainstream political issue by building support among citizens, activists, political parties, candidates and elected representatives. LOHVR is a non-partisan organization, and will endorse candidates strictly based on their expressed commitment to work with us to pass legislation to protect animals. Contact Jack Hurley at if you want information about LOHVR or would like to join.

Rochester Direct Action is a local branch of Direct Action Everywhere, which seeks to call public attention to the violence inherent in meat and dairy, and in the use of animals for any purpose. The group seeks new people to join and participate. Visit

Carol Barnett