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