The summer and early autumn have been remarkably busy for the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society, as community interest in a vegan diet just keeps on growing.

At our August picnic at the home of Ted and Carol Barnett, the weather gods  bestowed favor (as they had in July). Also in August, RAVS co-sponsored with Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY a showing of the film “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” and we were fortunate to have Harold Brown of FarmKind speak to us afterwards. This was a moving event for all who attended.

More than 90 people attended our September meeting to hear Melanie Joy, Ph.D.’s riveting talk on “Carnism: The Psychology of Eating Meat.” In October,  we welcomed John Pierre and about 100 people heard him speak on “The Pillars of Health,” also the title of his new book.   The pillars are vegan nutrition, exercise, cognitive fitness, and compassion. We provided the vegan nutrition, and Pierre spoke about all four pillars!

We have some great programs to look forward to: a talk by teachers from the Rochester T’ai Chi Ch’uan Center; a holiday party in December; and in January a talk by Sherry Colb, J.D., author of Mind If I Eat the Cheeseburger?

OUTREACH  In September, at the 3rd annual Greentopia Festival, we had a great spot and lots of activity at our booth. Thanks to staffers: Carol Barnett,  Ted Barnett, Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, David Daunce, Joan Entwistle, Kimber Gorall, Carol Hope, Leena Isac, Yetta Panitch, Paul Phillips, Sue Taylor, and John Van Savage. Thanks also to scheduled staffer Darren Mrak, who had a bicycle accident en route as he swerved to avoid a young bicyclist about to cross his path. (Darren suffered a broken finger, but amazingly nothing more.) Thanks to Walter Bowen and Ken McBride for help with set-up and breakdown. And thanks to our sponsor VegFund, which paid for our soy- and almond-milk tasting and supported us in many other ways.

We spread the vegan message at a number of other recent events. Staffers are listed in parentheses.

Ginna Employee Health Fair (Carol Barnett)

Vegan Nutrition Class at Grounded by Yoga Studio (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett)

Farm Sanctuary Walk for the Animals (organizer Kristin Smith; talk by Ted Barnett)

Vegan Nutrition Class at Canandaigua Wood Library (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett)

Plant-Based Nutrition Course at JCC   (Ted D. Barnett, M.D., Carol Barnett) [This 6-week course is being given for the 4th time; it is now eligible for continuing educa-tion credit for health professionals.]

Hope and Health Expo/American Cancer Society Fair (Carol Barnett, Beth Garver Beha, Kimber Gorall, Nancy Hallowell, Carol Hope, Darren Mrak, and Yetta Panitch)

Penfield Wellness Fair (Carol Barnett)

University of Rochester Veg Challenge, Oct. 24-Nov. 17 (organizers Simone Arnold and Melody Jaros; staffing by Carol Barnett & Charles Worl, talk on 11/15 by Ted Barnett)

Pittsford Employee Health Fair (Carol Barnett)

Thanks to all RAVS members and friends for their support, and we urge you to keep embracing and promoting a vegan way of eating and living.

WELCOME to new RAVS Board of Directors members Beth Garver Beha and Rhea McBride.

THANK YOU to Selma and Mike Berger for helping with set-up at RAVS meetings and to Rhea and Ken McBride  for helping with clean-up/breakdown.  Thanks to all others who help at meetings!

A REMINDER to please take modest/small portions at RAVS meetings, so we can avoid waste and have enough food for all.

THANKS to civic-minded members: Rabbi Simeon Kolko, son of Dvorah and Myron Kolko, named on the brief of the Greece prayer case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Also to recent writers of  letters to the editor: Joel Freedman (pesticides on lawns), Nancy Hallowell (Syria), and Scott Wagner (against undue partisanship in politics).

VEGAN ARTIST and RAVS Member Tina Kolberg was profiled in the Fall 2013 issue of American Vegan magazine. Tina can create a portrait of  an animal you love: see samples of her work at

PLEASE ATTEND the MetroJustice Alternative Fair at the First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14610 on Friday Dec. 6, 5PM-9PM and Sat. Dec. 7, 10AM-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. 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.

NEW VEGAN RESTAURANT IN ROCHESTER The Red Fern, 283 Oxford St. (at Park) (563-7633) is a healthy all-vegan restaurant with gluten-free options. The menu includes Avocado BLT, Curried Quinoa Salad, Seitan Steak Bomb, Chick’n Salad, Cheese Quesidilla, and a “Compost Plate.” (Any meat or dairy in menu items refers to vegan versions!) Breakfast is served all day, as well as fresh squeezed juices and smoothies. Beer and wine are available. Wholesale cakes and catering available on request. Visit

An enthusiastic review in City Newspaper on October 9 calls it a “warm, charming” place and explains that Chef Andrea Parros uses ingredients like tofu, tempeh, coconut milk and cashew cheese to replace animal products. Parros says: “I’d like people to eat our food and not even notice that anything’s missing.” Please indulge and visit The Red Fern! Hours are Tues.-Sun. 11AM  to 10PM.

Carol Barnett