VegMichigan Highlights

Welcome to VegMichigan

A nonprofit organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet.




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Take the Great Crate Challenge at VegFest


The HSUS is on a mission to spread awareness about cruel gestation crates, in which pregnant sows are kept in tiny, cramped cages for most of their lives. It’s hard to imagine a more miserable existence than being immobilized day and night.

Things are changing; nine U.S. states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan (in 2009), Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island—have now passed laws to prohibit the use of gestation crates. And some of the world’s largest food companies have announced that they will eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.
But there is still much public education to be done. That’s why The HSUS is taking “The Great Crate Challenge” around the country, giving people the chance to find out what it’s like to be locked in a metal crate so small, you can’t sit, touch your toes, or turn around. Once inside the crate, people often (understandably) want out after just four minutes. And just imagine—four minutes is nothing compared to four years, which is how millions of pigs are living their lives right now. When consumers try it for themselves, it’s much easier for them to make the choice not to support this inhumane practice.
Check out this video of people taking the challenge: Then try it yourself at the HSUS display all day at VegFest, in the Diamond Center near the doors to the lecture hall. See you there! 
– Contributed by Jill Fritz, Michigan Senior State Director for HSUS

VegMichigan is proud to announce Jane Velez-Mitchell as a speaker at VegFest 2015 on April 19, 2015.


Jane Velez-Mitchell is an award-winning veteran television news journalist and author.  In addition, she is a vegan, an animal rights advocate and an environmentalist.  Come and listen to her talk on the topic, “We Are Approaching the Animal Rights Tipping Point.”   

As an only child growing up on the ninth floor of a Manhattan high-rise, Jane Velez-Mitchell had one constant companion: her little dog, Mr. Monday. But when her parents decided to move to a better apartment with wall-to-wall carpeting, her father found the beloved pet another home.

“I think I became an animal activist right then,” she says. “I was like, ‘This is not right. Animals are part of the family. They shouldn’t be just given away like this.’ It just devastated me. And ever since then I’ve been fighting for animals.”

Over the years, the award-winning TV journalist has brought worldwide attention to a range of cruelties—from wild horse roundups to dolphin slaughter. Her work has garnered three HSUS Genesis Awards, but Velez-Mitchell doesn’t view herself as a hero. “The real heroes in our movement are the ones who cannot accept awards,” she says. “They are the ones who go undercover, often risking their lives, to expose what happens to animals behind closed doors.”

As a dedicated equine advocate, she has reported on some of the most critical issues facing wild and domestic horses in the United States.  Her recent programs feature shocking reports on New York City’s inhumane urban carriage horse trade. 

For several years, Jane hosted the Jane Velez-Mitchell daily show on HLN (formerly CNN Headline News) where she reported from the scene for many high profile cases, including the Jodi Arias and Casey Antony trials.  Her show also included an adoption promotion segment. Rico’s Rescues—named after a Chihuahua Velez-Mitchell’s mother adopted in Puerto Rico—showcases dogs available at Southern California shelters. Every Friday, the show tackled a hard-hitting topic in animal protection; such as  use of great apes in invasive research, government-sponsored wolf killing programs, and gestation crates in the pork industry. 

Before joining HLN, Velez-Mitchell reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show, Celebrity Justice and regularly served as a guest host for Nancy Grace, another HLN program.  She has appeared as a commentator on HLN, CNN, Inside Edition, OMG!, Insider, The Wendy Williams Show and Dr. Phil.   She is the recipient of a Los Angeles Emmy Award and a New York Emmy Award.  The KCAL-TV newscasts she co-anchored won three Southern California Golden Mike Awards and an Emmy.  She is also a multiple Genesis Award winner.  Velez-Mitchell wrote, directed and produced, Dancing Through Life, a documentary which received a Gracie Allen Award in 2001.

Her book, I Want My Journey From Addiciton To a Simpler Honest Life, released in 2009, became a New York Times bestseller.  Her most recent book, Exposed:  The Secret Life of Jodi Arias, depicts the investigation into the murder of Travis Alexander and the successful prosecution of Jodi Arias.  It was released in August of 2013 and became her second New York Times bestseller.  She is also the author if Addict Nation, a look at how addictive consumerism is crippling our culture, published in 2011 and Secrets Can Be Murder:  What America’s Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves, published in 2007.

Green Daffodil Offers Discount to VegMichigan Members During the Entire Month of February 2015


For the entire month of February 2015, Green Daffodil (a regular exhibitor at VegFest) is offering all current VegMichigan Members a discount of buy one soy candle and get the second soy candle for half price. 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so this discount is just in time to shop for that perfect gift at their studio.  (This offer is for in-store purchase only).

Green Daffodil studio, which they refer to as their World Headquarters, is located in Ferndale at 624 Livernois, between 8 & 9 Mile. Hours are 12 to 5pm, Monday – Friday and 12 to 4pm on Saturday. Visit their website at,

Owners Anne Simonetti & Siouxsan Miller (better known as Green Daffodil Girls) tell their story here:

“It all started when we decided that we needed to build a tunnel between our houses…Yes, we do live across the street from each other, are best friends and have a slight obsession with quality candles, so we decided to take on the task of developing a soy candle that smelled and burned just as it should, perfect! After loads of tedious testing we found success and Green Daffodil was born in 2006.

From there we have expanded into vegan lip balm, soap, lotion, and room mist, with more to come for sure!  We are very proud to offer honest products that are good for our families and the environment. We hand-pour all of our goods and scent them with high quality essential oils or phthalate-free fragrance oils. We use lead-free cotton wicks in our candles, dried herbs for natural color in both our candles and soap, our lip balm has SPF 15, our room mist is alcohol-free, and everything is paraben free and vegan.

We know how lucky we are to do what we love and to bring health and happiness to our corner of the world. Our hope is for you to find Green Daffodil products to be just as enjoyable as we do.”

NOTE:  VegMichigan members must show their VegMichigan Membership Card to take advantage of this discount.  If you aren’t a member, please join today at

Gene Baur Is Added to the List of Prestigious Speakers For VegFest 2015

Gene Bauer

Mr. Baur is a best-selling author as well as the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, the first animal rescue organization dedicated to farmed animals. He is vegan and has been at the forefront of animal rights since he began the Sanctuary in 1986.

Baur grew up in Hollywood, California, and went to Loyola High School (Los Angeles). He attended Cal State Northridge where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He paid for college in part by doing background work in television and movies, ironically including commercials for McDonald’s and KFC.

During high school and college, he had various jobs, including dishwasher, day laborer, bartender, and teacher, and he volunteered to help children suffering from terminal illnesses as well as abused adolescents. He also participated in the efforts of human rights, animal rights, consumer and environmental organizations.

In the 1980s he began investigations into factory farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses. Baur felt the conditions he observed were unacceptable, and these experiences helped motivate the creation of Farm Sanctuary. The sanctuary’s first rescued animal was a downed sheep found on a pile of dead animals behind Lancaster stockyards in 1986. Gene is also concerned about the impacts factory farming has on the environment and on rural communities, and has visited communities negatively impacted by industrialized animal agriculture.

Baur’s investigative exposés and advocacy efforts on behalf of farm animals have earned international media coverage, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. TIME called Baur, “the conscience of the food movement.”

Baur later obtained a Master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, in order to better understand factory farming. He has testified before local, state and federal legislative bodies, and appeared on various expert panels. In 1996, The Peace Abbey awarded Baur with its Courage of Conscience Award, other recipients of which include Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Ram Dass, and Pete Seeger. He was inducted into the United States Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2001.

He played a key role in the passage of several animal-protection ordinances, including a 2004 California law banning the production and sale of foie gras and a 2002 Florida initiative banning gestation crates.  After the Florida campaign the Florida Elections Commission found that Farm Sanctuary, and Gene personally, had willfully broken campaign finance laws. Farm Sanctuary and Gene Baur consented to pay a fine of $50,000. More recently, he was instrumental in passing a 2006 (repealed in 2008) Chicago ordinance banning the sale of foie gras and a 2006 ballot measure in Arizona banning gestation crates and veal crates. Gene and Farm Sanctuary were key sponsors of a California initiative (Proposition 2) to ban veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages which passed on November 4, 2008, when it was approved with over 63% of the vote.

Baur was one of several people who provided information used in the writing of the book Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (2008) by Mark Hawthorne.

In March 2008, Baur released a book entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food published by Simon & Schuster. It has appeared on the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe bestseller lists and was named to Booklist‘s Top 10 Sci-Tech Books: 2008.

Baur was featured in the documentary Forks Over Knives.

In 2012, Gene started competing in marathons and triathlons to demonstrate how plant foods can fuel athletic performance. He was featured in the May 2013 issue of Runner’s World Magazine. In March 2013, he finished the LA Marathon in the top 3 percentile of his age group (22nd out of 843). In July, 2013, Gene participated in his first full Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile marathon run) in Lake Placid, NY, and completed the endurance event in under 12 hours.

Gene participated in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on December 4, 2013, along with Dr. Neal Bernard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine arguing for the motion “Don’t Eat Anything with a Face.” Arguing against the motion during the Oxford style debate were Chris Masterjohn of the Weston A. Price Foundation and farmer Joel Salatin. The team arguing for the motion was declared the winner, after moving a significant percentage of the audience to vote in favor of their position.

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 will speak at VegFest 2015

Anya Todd, R.D, L.D. is a registered, licensed dietitian specializing in vegan nutrition. Dietician for Mercy for Animals. Ms. Todd has worked with a variety of clients in the last decade of practice. She has counseled children and adults in areas of weight management, chronic disease treatment and preventive nutrition.Anya received her BS in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and completed her internship at the Cleveland Clinic. Along with a passion for nutrition, Anya enjoys cooking and obtained vegan culinary training at the School of Natural Cookery in Boulder, Colorado. Anya holds additional training certificates in adult and pediatric weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, along with certification in plant-based nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation.Currently, Anya teaches the Maternal & Pediatric Nutrition course as well as a Sports Nutrition course for the Wellness Forum Institute of Health Studies and also sits on their Health Advisory Board. Additionally, she serves as the State of Ohio’s coordinator of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a writer for the website, Your Daily Vegan.An ethical vegan, Anya lends her time to many animal-related causes, which includes the “Ask Anya” column in Compassionate Living magazine by Mercy For Animals. She also co-founded Mid-Ohio Animal Welfare League, which is an animal advocacy organization whose main purpose is to promote respect for all animals and bring low-cost sterilization services to communities.

REMEMBER – VegMichigan Members are allowed free entrance to VegFest, so if you are not yet a member, go to to join today.


VegFest 2015 Celebrity Speaker


We are thrilled to announce the Celebrity Guest Speaker at VegFest 2015 will be Alicia Silverstone!

Alicia Silverstone made her way from doing commercials to Clueless fame, morphing into one of the most celebrated actresses today. 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. She is a dedicated advocate on behalf of the planet and its animals, and was voted “Sexiest Vegetarian Alive” in 2004.
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 outlines the benefits of a plant-based diet, from effortless weight loss to clear skin, increased energy, and smooth digestion.
An avid animal rights activist, Silverstone became 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.
VegFest will be held on Sunday, April 19 at the Suburban Showcase Collection in Novi.
REMEMBER – VegMichigan Members are allowed free entrance to VegFest, so if you are not yet a member, go to to join today.
To inquire about being an exhibitor, participating in the food court or becoming a sponsor, please complete the preliminary application form here or write to Joanne@VegMichigan

Turmerican Vegetarian Cuisine Restaurant Offers VegMichigan Members a Discount


During the entire month of January 2015, Turmerican Vegetarian Cuisine Restaurant will be offering VegMichigan members a special discount of buy one entrée, get the second entrée 50% off. 

Turmerican is an Indian Cuisine restaurant located at 24259 Novi Road in Novi.  The owner and chef, Murali Jayaraman (a.k.a. “Jay”)writes the following about his restaurant:
“I have had a wide range of culinary experiences for the past 20 years.  I previously owned and operated The Chettinad in Troy and Madras Masala in Ann Arbor – all well known for their South Indian Specialities.  Turmerican is a dream come true project.  Having embraced the vegetarian lifestyle for personal and moral reasons – I strongly believe plant-based foods are best for our health and healing.   The Turmerican menu incorporates plenty of ancient grains, fresh veggies, greens – most dishes use organic and non-gmo products when available.   
The menu is extensive with a wide range of choices such as the traditional dosa, kuzhipaniyaram and malabar adai.  We also offer Indo-Chinese fusion dishes made healthy and interesting with the option of creating your own fried rice or noodles with veggies.  We prepare our burgers and sandwiches with ancient grains, beans, lentils, legumes, fresh veggies and greens. 
There are ample vegan choices on the menu and most items can be vegan-customized just for the asking.  In a nutshell, Turmerican strives to make this the place for vegans to come and enjoy food and achieve optimal benefits with uncompromised taste.”

Go to their website at and check out all the menu items, too numerous to mention here.  They are closed on Mondays but open Tuesday – Friday 11:30 – 2:30 and 5:00 – 9:00; Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 and 5:00 – 9:30. 
You must show your VegMichigan Membership card to your waitstaff to qualify.  If you don’t have a card, go to and join today .

VegMichigan Member Appreciation Give-away

This month, we are giving away the brand new DVD of Food, Inc.. This 90 minute film lifts the veil on the food industry, exposing how our food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the safety of workers and our own environment. Food, Inc. reveals surprising – and often shocking truths – about what we eat, how it’s produced and who we have become as a society.
A great DVD to have in your collection to show to family and friends or to give as a gift this holiday season. After viewing Food, Inc. they will never look at dinner the same way again.
To win, write to with a sentence or two explaining why you want to own this DVD. Winner will be randomly selected.
You must be a VegMichigan member to win. If you aren’t a member yet, consider joining today:

Om Cafe Re-opens with New Owners and Offers VegMichigan Members a Discount During December

om cafe
The OM Café has reopened with new owners. They are located at 23136 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, MI 48220. Restaurant hours are Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays 12 noon – 9:00 p.m; closed Sundays and Tuesdays. Visit them at They welcome take out orders too: 248-548-1941.
The OM Café always gives a 10% discount to our VegMichigan Members! However, during the entire month of December 2014, they will be offering a special grand opening celebration discount of buy one entrée and get the second entrée half off. You must show your VegMichigan Membership Card to your waitserver. If you don’t have a current Membership Card, go to to join or renew.
Jessica Norwood, the new co-owner, told us the décor will remain the same both inside and outside of the building; however, there will be some changes to the menu – all for the better! They will be eliminating salmon and some of the salads that were not all that popular. Customer favorites will remain such as: OM Nori Rolls, Brussels Appetizers, Vegan Mac, and the Mushroom & Tempeh Burgers. The vegetables in the stir-fries have been tweaked to a combination they feel their customers will be very pleased about. Chef Madu has been working on some new creations and OM staff is very excited to offer them to guests at the restaurant.
Jessica shares the story of her love affair with the OM here:
“I first fell in love with OM as a little girl. My mom would bring me here for Nori Rolls, the Mexican Plate, and Kukicha Tea – my favorites! Every boyfriend, best friend, and schoolmate would be brought to taste the delicious vegan cuisine I always raved about. About three years ago, I scored a job here as a waitress, and it was one of the best moments in my life. I worked my way up from waitress to manager, learning everything I could about food, business, and the people. Chef Madu began working at OM Café not too soon after myself, we fell madly in love. We tossed around ideas about opening up our own vegan restaurant, what kinds of food we would serve, and what message we would want to send.
When the former owners announced they would be closing it’s doors for good, I was deeply saddened that my most favorite place on earth was closing. Bill, another loyal OM customer, decided with myself and the Chef that we couldn’t let this happen. Bill and I then formed a partnership as the new owners of OM Café, along with Chef Madu leading the kitchen, and we are thrilled to be back, providing delicious veg food to Metro-Detroit!
OM Café is most certainly my home, and we hope to become the new face of veg cuisine in the area. I am so thankful for all of the overwhelming support from our OM customers and staff – we wouldn’t be where we are today without their support! We hope to keep cooking great food for many more years to come.”

VegMichigan’s ThanksLiving Vegan Potluck Dinner

VegMichigan’s Annual ThanksLiving Vegan Potluck Dinner will be held in Troy on Saturday, November 29th. The festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a buffet of delicious vegan food. Spread the word to others who might be interested in celebrating this ThanksLiving feast where all can be thankful – including the animals who will not be on our tables. Bring your best vegan dish to share.
You must RSVP prior to attending by emailing or  Directions for event and food suggestions will be given at that time.

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Upcoming Events

7:00 pm VegMichigan’s Vegan 101 Cooking ... @ Ann Arbor Whole Foods
VegMichigan’s Vegan 101 Cooking ... @ Ann Arbor Whole Foods
Sep 8 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Please join VegMichigan for this fun and informative cooking class. Attendees will learn the nutritional aspects of a plant-based diet ... Read More >
6:00 pm HomeGrown Festival @ VegMichigan at HomeGrown Festival
HomeGrown Festival @ VegMichigan at HomeGrown Festival
Sep 12 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
VegMichigan will be present at this event promoting the multiple benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
8:00 am Wayne County Airport Authority 2...
Wayne County Airport Authority 2...
Sep 16 @ 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
VegMichigan will be tabling at this event as well as doing a vegan cooking demonstration for attendees.  Susan’s cookbook, From ... Read More >
all-day VegMichigan’s October Metro Detr... @ at the Ferndale Public Library
VegMichigan’s October Metro Detr... @ at the Ferndale Public Library
Oct 1 all-day
Please check out our library display at the Ferndale Public Library, located at 222 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, Mi. ... Read More >
2:00 pm Dr. Thomas Campbell at Michigan ... @ Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, Mi
Dr. Thomas Campbell at Michigan ... @ Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, Mi
Oct 3 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Dr. Thomas Campbell, co-author of The China Study will be presenting “Nutrition in Medicine, Rethinking Healing.” Tickets can be purchased ... Read More >

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