Vegfest Guelph 2016
Check out our video! Huge thanks to Len Goldberg for producing this wonderful tribute. He really captured the heart of our festival.
Calvin Neufeld: The Hope(lessness) of a vegan future
Calvin Neufeld is a vegan transsexual and a self-described speaker, writer and thinker. He is the founder of Purposeful Publishing House, editor and publisher of Suffering Eyes: A Chronicle of Awakening (2014) by Franceen Neufeld, and author/illustrator of Sanctuary: A children’s story for all ages (2014), all of which raise funds for farmed animal sanctuaries through the Suffering Eyes Project.
A vegan future is the ideal that motivates our efforts as animal, environmental and health advocates. But like a merry-and-not-so-merry-go-round, many of us find ourselves in a fretful cycle between the inspiration of hope for the future and the withering of hope in the present; driven one day and despairing the next as we shed our droplets of kindness and awareness into an ocean of indifference. With readings from Suffering Eyes: A Chronicle of Awakening, Calvin Neufeld explores the paradox of the hope(lessness) of a vegan future, exposing both its relevance and irrelevance, and ultimately freeing us from dependence on hope altogether.
Robert Grillo: Farm to fable – the fictions of our animal-consuming culture
Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he gained a behind the scenes perspective on food industry branding. He is currently working on a new book about how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that appeal to our beliefs about farmed animals and animal products, heavily influencing our food choices. The book is based on the presentation he shared with our Vegfest audience.
“We often here that we are what we eat, but we rarely, if ever, consider the powerful forces shaping our food choices. Billboards, Facebook ads, buses wrapped in signage, TV commercials, Netflix movies, web news posts, cooking shows, food courts, Pandora radio, Whole Foods “feel-good” product displays, “farm- to-fork” restaurant brands. In any given day, we face a deluge of fictions fabricated by the multi-billion-dollar food marketing industry which seeks to influence our purchasing decisions.”
This visually engrossing presentation reveals how the powerful forces of popular culture inform our food choices, often without our even knowing it. In this fictional world, animals are willing participants in whatever role we assign them. Grillo presents 23 of the most common food fictions by showing us concrete and recognizable examples of each. Recognizing these fictions for animal advocates and the public at large is essential for making informed food choices as well as the first critical step in disempowering institutionalized animal exploitation.