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