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VegFest Speakers 2017!

Rehoboth Beach VegFest 2017, Delaware’s premier plant-based/healthy eating festival, announces its exciting speaker roster for festival day, June 10, 11 am – 4 pm at Epworth United Methodist Church.  Jon Camp, the National Grassroots director for The Humane League, will be speaking.  Joining him is Karen Ranzi, MA, CCC-SLP, author, coach, and public speaker.   The third noted speaker is Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPS, a neurologist, public health specialist, and author.

Rehoboth Beach VegFest, started 5 years ago, has become an important part of Sussex County culture, with an increasing number of  attendees enjoying the activities all weekend long. “We continue to be inspired by the growing number of people in Sussex County and beyond who come to learn about the benefits for all of a plant-based diet.  The Festival provides the opportunity to learn so much while enjoying a day filled with great food, great music, and plenty of activities for the kids,” says VegRehoboth president Tara Sheldon.  “We have such amazing speakers that we are hopeful Rehoboth VegFest 2017 will break records for attendance.”

Jon Camp is committed to ending cruelty to animals and improving our environment.  He spent 11 years traveling throughout North American leafletting college campuses for Vegan Outreach and reached over one million individuals on over 500 colleges and universities.  Mr. Camp was recognized for his contribution to grassroots animal advocacy by being inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2014.  He is an articulate, passionate spokesperson whose network of grassroots activists blankets the United States and extends into Mexico.

Karen Ranzi, author of the best-selling book, “Creating Healthy Children Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods,” has been a leading expert in the field of nutrition and child development for over 15 years.  She began her personal and professional journey by raising her two children on a raw, vegan diet, healing her three-year-old son of asthma, chronic ear infections, and multiple allergies.  She has been able to help hundreds of adults and children achieve a disease-free life through her role as a raw food nutrition coach as well as a coach to families with children on the autism spectrum.  She has traveled widely on book and talk tours to educate her audience on the benefits of a raw food lifestyle as well as attachment parenting.  She has received many awards for her work, including The World Peace Award and the Best of Raw Top Professional Simple Raw Food Chef.   Ms. Ranzi brings a fascinating and valuable perspective to those considering a change in diet and lifestyle and will be doing a cooking demo to share just how easy and delicious it is to prepare plant-based foods.

Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, neurologist and public health specialist is our third speaker.  Dr. Akhtar has written the book, “Animals and Public Health. Why Treating Animals Better Is Critical to Human Welfare.” This important book discusses the connections between animal protection and human health. She is a Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Studies, a medical officer for the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the FDA, and serves as Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.  She regularly blogs for the Huffington Post and has given an exceptional TED talk about animal welfare and human health.  A passionate speaker, Dr. Akhtar explains how many of our most urgent public health threats are connected with how animals are treated.

Other innovative elements of Rehoboth VegFest 2017 include a bounce house donated by Kids Cottage for the kids’ tent; dozens of vendors; and the Healing Arts Village, where festival goers can receive a seated massage, talk with a health practitioner, enjoy some yoga, or simply browse. The Music Tent will showcase returning performers “Buntopia” and some local talent as well.  Of course, there will be the annual Friday night film (at UUSD) and Saturday night art show at Gallery 50 with appetizers donated by The Cultured Pearl.  Fork and Flask at Nage will again be offering its now famous Sunday brunch vegan-style. This Sunday brunch has been a sellout every single year.  New this year on Sunday afternoon is Veg Speed Dating at (a)muse, where festival goers can meet other liked-minded people for friendship or more!

Rehoboth Beach VegFest is one of the signature events of VegRehoboth, which was started in 2011 by Patricia Haddock. Under president Tara Sheldon, VegRehoboth has grown into a vibrant organization, with over 500 members and numerous year-round activities.  The second signature event is ThanksLiving, a moving celebration to cruelty-free holidays.  ThanksLiving 2016 was held at The Children’s Beach House with an overflow crowd.  Participants were treated to incredible food donated by many local restaurants. The event netted $1,500 which was donated to The Children’s Beach House.

Other ongoing activities offered by VegRehoboth include Meatless Mondays at Good Earth Market where patrons enjoy a 10% discount on their purchases, Meatless Monday lunches and dinners, a book club, and social gatherings with a plant-based emphasis.  VegRehoboth will be at the Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market May 30th and June 6th.  VegRehoboth is sponsored by Jenn Harpel, Morgan Stanley, and CAMP Rehoboth.  Find VegRehoboth on Facebook and MeetUp as well!