Speakers 2018 (archive)


Meet these experts on plant-based nutrition, health and the environment.
Celebrity sports speaker Cam F Awesome will introduce several speakers!
Many books will be available for purchase and authors at VegFest will sign copies.

Around 3:00 pm there will also be a panel discussion with all VegFest Speakers.





Adventist Health Studies: Omnivore vs. Vegetarian vs. Vegan Diets, Lifestyle and Health Outcomes, 2:30 pm (followed by a panel discussion with all VegFest Speakers)

Dr. Sherine Brown-Fraser is a Nutrition Biochemist, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, with a PhD from Harvard University in Public Health/Biological Sciences. Dr. Fraser is dedicated to advancing health promotion, disease prevention, and eliminating health disparities through plant-based vegetarian nutrition. She is currently Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She provides vision and direction for the department while teaching both graduate and undergraduate students courses central to plant-based nutrition.

Dr. Fraser previously worked as an Interdisciplinary Scientist for the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where she developed national science policies and enforcement strategies to promote the nation’s health.

Dr. Fraser’s scientific research expertise is in in lipid metabolism, genetic epidemiology and cardiovascular disease. Her doctoral work investigated gene-diet interactions on human plasma lipoproteins and cholesterol metabolism related to heart disease risk. Her postdoctoral research at the Brigham and Woman’s Hospital (Boston), a Harvard affiliate, examined the impact of dietary plant proteins on hypertension in the OMNI-Heart Study. She has published research in the areas of cholesterol metabolism, public health nutrition, colon cancer, CBPR, obesity, agriculture, and food science.

Dr. Fraser enjoys the outdoors, traveling, the arts, and spending time with family. She is married to Handel Fraser, and they are proud parents of their active 2-year old daughter Samantha.







Farm to Fable: How Popular Culture Is Shaping Our Food Choices, 12:30 pm

Farm to Fable is a visually-engrossing, yet non-graphic presentation intended for a general audience that clearly illuminates how we have evolved into a culture of mass animal consumption, presenting several concrete and recognizable fictions from our everyday lives. It also examines the origins of propaganda and the common patterns in the use of propaganda by other forms of exploitation. By naming and identifying these fictions, we take the first major step to becoming a more evolved, fair, and compassionate society. In addition, animal activists will find many valuable insights to empower their work.

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm, which he founded in 2009 to advocate on behalf of “the 99%,” animals exploited by animal agriculture. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo draws insights from popular culture, sociology, psychology, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other species. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing.

His recent book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal-Consuming Culture exposes the many ways we have all been conditioned into a culture where mass animal consumption is the norm. Other published works include contributions to Caged: Top Activists Share Their Wisdom on Effective Animal Advocacy and Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice. In addition, Grillo writes articles for Free from Harm and curates work from other leading authors.







The Miracle of Heart Disease Prevention, 1:30 pm

Dr. Kahn will present an argument that the #1 killer of men and women in the Western world is nothing but a paper tiger that need not happen. He will list the steps to take to prevent heart disease starting today and he will show the tests to use to detect heart disease early. He will tell the amazing story of the ability to reverse heart disease even if present. Finally, Dr. Kahn will describe his “Young at Heart by Design” program for youthfulness. 

Dr. Kahn is founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity and owner of GreenSpace Cafe in Ferndale, MI. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan School of Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He is the author of 4 books, the newest of which is Vegan Sex. His first book, The Whole Heart Solution, is a national public TV special. He will be signing his books at VegFest. Dr. Kahn can be found at www.drjoelkahn.com and @drjkahn.

Watch this informative video with Dr. Kahn, dated 3/16/2018, with a useful list of online resources. 







A New Eating Paradigm: In the Pursuit of Personal and Planetary Health, 3:30 pm

Dr. M. Alfredo Mejia received a Dr.PH. at Loma Linda University in public health nutrition. Currently, he teaches plant-based nutrition and disease prevention for the Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness at Andrews University.

Dr. Mejia has been working as the lead life cycle analyst for Environmental Nutrition Team at Loma Linda University whose mission is to identify and promote sustainable diets. During the last seven years, Dr. Mejia has focused his research on assessing the environmental impact of diverse diets among 100,000 participants of the Adventist Health Study 2. The Adventist Health Study is one of the largest epidemiological studies in the United States sponsored by the National Institute of Health to identify dietary patterns associated with cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and total mortality.

More recently, Dr. Mejia has focused on identifying dietary patterns that are healthy for people and sustainable for the environment.







Five Simple but Powerful Strategies for Thriving as a Vegan, 11:30 am

Marla Rose is an award-nominated journalist, columnist and author as well as the co-founder of Chicago VeganMania, the largest free vegan festival of its kind in the Midwest, now in its 10th year.

Since 1995, Marla has dedicated her life to building vegan culture and community. Besides writing most of the content and managing social media for Vegan Street, she has been integral in building Chicago’s vegan community. In 1999, she was the founding chairperson of EarthSave Chicago, which hosted dozens of monthly potlucks, each featuring vegan speakers, and produced five major day-long vegan conferences called the Conference for Conscious Living, which ultimately evolved into Chicago VeganMania.

For the past several years, she has been writing feature stories for magazines, acted as programming director for Chicago VeganMania and has spoken about effective communications at the Animal Rights Conference, Vegetarian Summerfest, and several other conferences and festivals. She also recently wrote the cookbook and guidebook, “Fun, Festive and Fabulous: Vegan Holidays for Everyone.”

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