Kids & Pets
August 6, 2020
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Sonoma County Vegfest – learn about a plant-based diet

By: Mickey Zeldes
July 19, 2019

Looking to eat a bit healthier?  Trying to lose a few pounds?  Worried about your carbon footprint and how your choices affect the environment?  Concerned about the ethical issue of raising animals for food? There are so many reasons to at least explore going plant-based in your diet.  And there’s no better place to learn about it than at the Sonoma County Vegfest happening Sat., Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Luther Burbank Center.  Entrance fee is just $5 (cash or check only) and there will be plenty to learn, hear, see and taste!

One of the new things for this year is a panel on Vegan Nutrition for Companion Animals. There will also be three vegan dog food and treat companies there as vendors- V-Dog, Wild Earth and Benefit Biscuits! Should your pet come with you on your veggie food journey?  

The day will feature the North Bay premiere of the new documentary “A Prayer for Compassion.” This moving film strives to inspire and encourage those already on a religious or spiritual path, to expand their circle of compassion to embrace all life, regardless of species. Introducing the film and hosting a Q & A after is Dr. Sailesh Rao, the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated to healing the Earth’s climate.

With two stages for speakers there is an exciting line-up to inspire you.  Just to highlight one speaker, at 1 p.m. come hear Dr. Will Tuttle, visionary speaker, educator, musician and author of The World Peace Diet which has been translated into 16 languages.  His writings, music and presentations focus on compassion, creativity, intuition, and the intersection of social justice, animal liberation and environmental, health, spiritual and peace issues.

Acoustic Singer-Songwriter Annette Conlon will be joining in this year with her new collection of self-penned songs. Annette returns to the organic, wistful lyricism that has long influenced her music and showcases her special clarity of vocal delivery. Her unique brand of disenchanted optimism and musical eclecticism comes to light in her music and often take listeners on an evocative, emotional journey. 

With six cooking demos scheduled, you are sure to walk away with some great new recipes and tips that will make transitioning to a plant-based diet easier.  Demos include Plant Powered Puddings, Dressings to Dazzle your Taste buds, and Whole Food Brownies (with beans).  Bring your questions as these chefs, and others at various booths, are incredibly knowledgeable and this whole day is about sharing information.

This is the 6th annual Vegfest and it keeps getting better!  Many vendors are giving samples and products for sale, a great array of speakers, a movie premiere, cooking demos, books to buy, organizations with information to share, a fun kids activity room and the camaraderie of like-minded people – what could be better?  Check out details with a full schedule of the day at the website and buy tickets in advance to make entry easier.  Be sure to mark your calendar now so you don’t miss the best local foodie event of the year!!

Upcoming Events

“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; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.

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