2015 Schedule of Events and Speakers
Room 2 – Cooking Demonstrations
Alicia Silverstone made her way from Domino’s Pizza commercials to Clueless fame, morphing into one of the most celebrated actresses today. Known for her role as “Cher” and her tireless activism, Silverstone leverages her fame to promote key issues- from environmentalism and animal rights, to teaching people how a plant-based diet can improve their health as well as the planet’s. A dynamic fixture in the acting, political, and scientific communities, she is a dedicated advocate on behalf of the planet and its animals, and was voted “Sexiest Vegetarian Alive” in 2004.
Getting her break in the leading role in the thriller Crush, Silverstone won two MTV Movie Awards for her performance and quickly went on to star in three Aerosmith videos which brought her fame as “the Aerosmith Chick.” It was after this that Silverstone won the role of “Cher Horowitz” in Clueless, the iconic comedy loosely based on Jane Austen’s Emma which garnered critical acclaim and defined the ‘90s generation. Clueless set “Cher” in well-to-do Beverly Hills, California, whose matchmaking efforts in her wealthy high school wittily paralleled the classic novel.
After Clueless, Silverstone starred in Batman & Robin, Blast from the Past, and Excess Baggage, the first film released from her production company. In Excess Baggage, Silverstone reprised her role of a rich girl, although her intentions were somewhat more malicious – she fakes her own kidnapping to garner attention from her father. Excess Baggage also starred Christopher Walken and Benicio del Toro. Silverstone also appeared in Kenneth Branagh’s Loves Labor Lost, in a much more challenging role which required her to sing and dance.
More recently, Silverstone starred in the television show Miss Match, in which she portrayed a successful matrimonial attorney slash matchmaker who was unable to make her own love life work. After finishing with Miss Match, Silverstone starred in Stormbreaker with Ewan McGregor.
Away from the screen, Silverstone is an accomplished author having penned THE KIND DIET: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet. In The Kind Diet, Silverstone shares outlines the benefits of a plant-based diet, from effortless weight loss to clear skin, increased energy, and smooth digestion. She explains how the foods regarded as thecornerstone of good nutrition are actually escalating rates of disease and causing potentially permanent damage to our ecology.
An avid animal rights activist, Silverstone became a vegan in 1998 and has since championed for the rights of animals everywhere. In 2000, she was honored by FARM at the Animal Rights Conference, and has also been honored with awards by VegNews Magazine.
Gene Baur is co‑founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine. For 25 years he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. His book, entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, was published by Touchstone in March 2008 and has appeared on the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe best-seller lists.
Gene Baur has a new book, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to a Mindful, Compassionate, Animal-Friendly Life, that will be released on April 7, 2015.
Anya Todd is a licensed, registered dietitian specializing in vegan nutrition. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University, Anya completed her internship at the Cleveland Clinic. Anya has worked in every facet of nutrition, including community outreach, education, research, clinical, and private practice. She teaches Maternal & Pediatric Nutrition and Vegan Sports Nutrition for the Wellness Forum Institute for Health Studies, and is Ohio’s state coordinator for the Vegetarian Dietetic Practice Group for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Anya also writes for Mercy For Animals, Your Daily Vegan and Generation Veggie. Passionate about food justice issues, Anya is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College.
Jeff Hampton is a graduate mechanical engineer with a minor in environmental sciences from Michigan State University. He developed his love for the environment at a young age, growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan and became involved in Dune Preservation and Restoration projects.
Long before it was fashionable to be green, Jeff designed and built his solar heated and cooled … house. Snug and warm in the middle of February, cool is August!!!
Fifteen years ago, Jeff adopted the Vegan, plant based, lifestyle for health reasons. As he studied the benefits of this lifestyle, he discovered the enormous, detrimental impact of the Standard American Diet …SAD on the environment. Animal agriculture is a curse on our planet. That is the bad news. The good news is that making the shift to a vegan, plant based lifestyle can have an enormous and immediate counter balance, making spaceship earth a far more hospitable place to live.
Jeff is an award winning presenter and competitor in the Toastmasters, International Speech Contest. Jeff’s presentations are entertaining, lively and engaging. Yes, it is possible to combine these elements into a presentation about food choices and the environment. Detailing the impact of factory farming on various eco systems .. land, water and air.
Change your life .. save the planet one bite at a time.
Jeff is a valued member of the Board of Directors for VegMichigan. He will start off an exciting day at VegFest with welcoming remarks, and an introduction to VegMichigan and VegFest. Jeff will also warmly welcome and introduce our nationally-acclaimed speakers.
Note: Information is subject to change.