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.
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 www.greendaffodil.com,
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 www.vegmichigan.org/join/.
Gene Baur Is Added to the List of Prestigious Speakers For VegFest 2015
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
REMEMBER – VegMichigan Members are allowed free entrance to VegFest, so if you are not yet a member, go to www.vegmichigan.org/join/ to join today.
VegFest 2015 Celebrity Speaker
We are thrilled to announce the Celebrity Guest Speaker at VegFest 2015 will be Alicia Silverstone!
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.