Are you new to the concept of eating a plant-based diet and want to learn more? Are you curious about all the meat substitutes that are now on the market? 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 looking for inspiration? Already a vegan and wanting to meet like minded people? Well here’s an event for all of you! On Saturday, Aug. 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Compassionate Living is hosting the 5th 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 food vendors selling delicious food. Vendors include Endorfin Food, Fairyella Ice Pops, Falafel Fix, Goatlandia Sanctuary, The Cultured Kitchen, The French Bakery and Chalk Hill Cookery. There will be cooking demonstrations and speakers and new this year, Vegan Speed Dating (separate registration required) and Veggie Jeopardy! There will be a Family Education and Kids Room with a full schedule of activities for families. You can also connect with various rescues and local support groups, buy T-shirts, cookbooks and other useful items and meet tons of like-minded people.
There’s an overlapping schedule of speakers happening in two rooms so choose your topics carefully. A full roster is posted online at www.socovegfest.org. Just a few of the big names coming to share their experiences are Patti Breitman, author of “Never Too Late to Go Vegan,” talking about “Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned,” Scott David, an undercover investigator for “Compassion Over Killing,” Julie Sinistore will share how to “Protect the Planet to Protect All Animals,” and Timaree Hagenburger discussing “Nutrition: From Confusion to Clarity.” Their talks are sure to inspire and motivate you to be healthier and more compassionate in your life choices. At 4 p.m. there will be the Animal Film Festival with a selection of short films.
One day may be enough to get you motivated and curious about 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 meetup.com you will find there is a group of some sort almost every day of the week! There’s 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 Aug. 18 with an open mind and empty belly and you are guaranteed to leave with both filled and satisfied!
“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30 p.m.; Thur.-Fri.-Sa.t 1-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 1-4:30 p.m.
Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.