Kids & Pets
August 18, 2017
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Come with an open mind and empty belly - VegFest 2017

By: Mickey Zeldes
August 4, 2017

Are you curious about all the meat substitutes that are now available? A bit confused about the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan? Not even sure how to pronounce the latter? Trying to eat healthier but not sure how to prepare some of the more unusual items you’ve heard about?  Already a vegan and wanting to meet like minded people? Well here’s an event for all of you!  On Saturday, Aug. 12, 11a.m. – 5 p.m., Compassionate Living is hosting the 4th annual Sonoma County VegFest at the Luther Burbank Center. Parking is free and admission to the whole event is just $5 (children under 13 are free).

Be sure to come hungry. Not only will there be plenty of samples of some of the newest vegan products on the market but there will be booths selling delicious food for lunch. Vendors include Muir’s Tea Room, Gaia’s Garden, Falafel Fix, Goatlandia Sanctuary, Future Eats, LaLa’s and Creamery and Chalk Hill Cookery.  There will be cooking demonstrations as well as speakers and from 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. a tasting session where you can try out delicacies like coconut bacon and mushroom jerky.

There’s an overlapping schedule of speakers happening in two rooms so choose your topics carefully. A full roster is posted online at Some of the big names coming to share their experiences are Will Tuttle, author of “Healing Our World: A Deeper Look at Food;” Robert Grillo, author of “Farm to Fable,” Miyoko Schinner, founder and CEO of Myoko’s Kitchen, Justyna Sanders, MD, CEO and Founder of Prescription Lifestyle.  Their talks are sure to inspire and motivate you to be healthier and more compassionate in your life choices.  At 3:00 p.m. there will be a screening of the movie “Called to Rescue,” a documentary showing the inspiring work being done at 15 different animal sanctuaries. Positive and uplifting, this film is for people of all ages.

One day may be enough to get you motivated and started towards a vegan lifestyle but we know there will be questions and bumps along the way. Keep it going by joining in some of the on-going programs and support groups offered in our county. If you go to you will find there is a group of some sort almost every day of the week! Including a weekly vegan book group on Tuesday nights; a monthly vegan restaurant group; a monthly pot-luck with a speaker on the third Saturday of each month and more. Each group offers support, information, a venue for sharing recipes and product finds and a chance to make new friends that share your passion and concern for animals, the environment and living a healthy lifestyle.

Come on August 12 with an open mind and empty belly and you are guaranteed to leave both full and satisfied.