It has been a fruitful late summer and autumn for the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society. First, an omission from the last newsletter to correct: we thank Bob Zimmermann for the delightful slide show on composting, accompanied by his own music, at the June meeting.

In August we were graced by a visit from Will Tuttle, Ph.D. and his wife, artist Madeleine Tuttle. Will delivered a provocative lecture on “The World Peace Diet” at our August meeting, and the next evening, Will gave a piano concert accompanied by Madeleine’s paintings at the First Unitarian Church. At our September meeting, Jenny Brown, Co-Founder and President of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and author of the new book The Lucky Ones, gave a moving and impassioned talk on the lives of farmed animals and how we can help them, most powerfully by eating vegan. Then, in October, Amie Hamlin, Director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, updated us on her organization’s success in bringing vibrant vegan meals into New York schools, and gave us tips  on how to increase and improve plant-based offerings in area schools.

We have some great programs coming up! In November, Milton Mills, M.D. will talk about whether humans are hard-wired to be plant-eaters (see more on p. 7). In December we’ll have our potluck and traditional holiday party. And in January we’ll have movie night and popcorn. See the calendar on p. 8 for details.

In addition to our regular meetings,  we’ve had plenty to keep us busy. September brought the 2nd annual Greentopia Festival in the High Falls district, with RAVS staffing its own booth this year. We met hundreds of people and  offered them delicious vegan food samples along with literature to answer their questions. Many thanks to VegFund for sponsoring this event, to local Rochester company Northern Soy (SoyBoy brand) for donating Tofu-Lin marinated tofu, and to Wegmans for donating Wegmans O’s sandwich cookies. Thanks also to the RAVS members who tirelessly staffed this event: Shelley Adams, Carol Barnett, Ted Barnett, Beth Garver Beha, Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, Nancy Hallowell, Leena Isac, Carol Manuel, Ken McBride, Rhea McBride, Darren Mrak, Daryl Odhner, Maggie Odhner, Denise Speicher, and Sue Taylor. Thanks also to Tina Kolberg for donating her beautiful artwork, and help with set-up.

Here is a list of other RAVS outreach events in recent months, with credit given to those who staffed them:

-Latimer Funeral Home anniversary celebration and health fair (David Daunce, Yetta Panitch)

-Progressives in Action meeting, lecture on U.S Dietary Recommendations (Ted Barnett, M.D., food samples by Carol Barnett)

-Plant-Based Nutrition Course, Jewish Community Center (see below)

-SUNY Brockport Healthy Mondays (Carol Barnett)

-Heartbeats for Life September meeting (Ted Barnett, M.D. was on panel of vegan physicians)

-St. John Fisher Wellness Fair (Carol Barnett, Nancy Hallowell, Yetta Panitch)

-Integrative Health Conference,  Rochester General Hospital (Carol Barnett)

Thanks also to RAVS member Alexis Stubbe for organizing the highly successful Farm Sanctuary Walk for the Animals on September 22; and to University of Rochester student Melody Jaros for organizing a month-long Veg Challenge at U of R which included a showing of “Forks Over Knives.”

Enjoy the upcoming holidays, and keep spreading the word about the joy of a vegetarian way of eating and living.v

The PLANT-BASED NUTRITION course at the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave., taught by Ted Barnett, M.D. with food samples by Carol Barnett, ran for 6 weeks from Sept. 6 to Oct. 11, and was a success with almost 45 students. This course will be offered again in March 2013 at the JCC, and may be offered at other venues. If you are a RAVS member or on the RAVS email list you will be notified when the course is offered again. To receive notice, send an email to and put “Plant Based Nutrition Course” on the subject line.

A FOND FAREWELL to RAVS  members Debra Couch, Sanjog Misra, and their son Siddharth (Sid), who moved to the Los Angeles area over the summer so that Sanjog could join the faculty of the business school at UCLA. We miss them and hope they will come back to visit Rochester often!

Please attend the MetroJustice Alternative Fair at the First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14610 on Friday Nov. 30 from 5 to 9 PM and Sat. Dec. 1 from 10AM to 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. There will be 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.

Try the downtown vegetarian restaurant Voula’s at 439 Monroe Ave., 242-0935, open Tues.-Sun. 11AM – 7PM. Abundant vegan options include stuffed peppers on Wednesdays; vegan spanikopita on Fridays; dolmades (stuffed grape leaves–order without the tzatziki yogurt garnish); vegan spreads with bread (hummus, eggplant dip, or skordalia, made with potatoes and blanched almonds); and horitaki, a Greek salad–ask to substitute hummus for the feta cheese. The daily soup, often with lentils or beans, is usually vegan. Assorted vegan cookies include coconut bites with fig or strawberry filling. Yum!

IDEAS WANTED for an all-vegan cafe in downtown Rochester which is in the planning phase. Any suggestions for location or menu items, call 234-8750 or email

REALLY? Thumbs down to the ad which uses a cartoon of a happy flying pig to advertise the BBQ pork at Mighty Taco; the same ad promotes a “Carne Alota” or “Meat Lovers Big Burrito.”

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT  Thumbs up to Bill Gray’s for frequently advertising its “Best in town!” Veggie Burgers (“Try one with Grilled Veggies!”) in a full page ad on the back of the RocWeekend section, along with a $1 off coupon.

Carol Barnett