2019 speakers

Every year we curate a group of speakers to present on the topics of vegan health, ethics, animal rights, good eating and more to present to our festival goers. Check out who and what each speaker will be talking about this year!


“Stories of Rescue”
Mike Stura, SkylandS Animal Sanctuary & Rescue

Mike started Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue with one tiny piece of land and a few small animals. That tiny piece of land grew to become an entire farm full of rescued souls. These animals are rescued from slaughterhouses, live markets, farms, extreme neglect, abuse, religious ceremonies, abandonment, and are even found wandering streets…

No matter where they are from or from what dire circumstances they escape, they are provided with proper veterinary care, the best foods, water, a safe place to live, eat and sleep as well as lots of love around the clock.

Every animal requires room to run and live unencumbered by the threat of harm and each one gets exactly what they need here at the Skylands Sanctuary. Learn More


“Beyond the Vegan Trend: Sustainable Nutrition Habits for Health & Longevity”
Dr. Yami Cazorla-Lancaster, DO, MPH, MS, FAAP, CHWC

Dr. Yami will present and discuss how eating a plant-based diet can promote health, longevity and joy. She will also share ways to keep it simple, sustainable and enjoyable for life.

I was born in Panama, but grew up in a small town in the piney woods of Texas. However, I spent my childhood summers in Panama watching my aunt, Nilsa Martinez, a general practitioner, use her patience and compassion to treat patients in the living room of my grandmother’s house. I deeply admire her work and because of this, I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the age of 3. Over time, I dreamt of serving as a primary care physician in a small town to help and inspire others. I graduated magna cum laude with honors in psychology from Austin College, a small, private liberal arts university in Texas where I married my college sweetheart the day after graduation when we were just 21 years old. We then both went on to the University of North Texas Health Science Center and I spent the next 5 years learning about medicine, public health and research… Learn More


“Let’s Talk! Strategic Vegan Conversations” 
Aaron J. Yarmel, MA, MSc, BM

Activists need to know how to have conversations with people who disagree with them about highly-charged, controversial issues. When these conversations go well, they are opportunities for people to help each other reflect deeply on their values, feel less alienated from one another, and take positive steps towards living in ways that are more consistent with their ethical commitments. When they do not go well, and they often don’t, the result is often further polarization, frustration, and alienation.

In this interactive presentation, I will distill the most pertinent lessons I’ve learned from my experiences and offer them to you in an easy-to-use framework that you can apply right away. You will walk away with practical techniques that have helped me, and others who have attended my workshops in the past, engage in better conversations about veganism in a variety of scenarios. In particular, you will learn how to categorize and respond to every anti-vegan argument you will face while, at the same time, building a genuine connection with whomever you are talking to (rather than pushing them away).

Aaron Yarmel is currently writing a dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about civic education. His research interests span political philosophy, philosophy of education, applied ethics, and normative ethics. He is also the Director of Madison Public Philosophy, which shares philosophy with the Madison community through public performances and Philosophy for Children programs. Before moving to Wisconsin, he earned an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BM from the Eastman School of Music. Learn More


“Compassionate Action as a Tenet of Wellness”
Jennette Cable, ND, CTN, CCH, ST, RSHom (NA), C.HP

Each of us exists as a collection of cells that is comprised of a complex of energy. Each of the cells that make up our physical body thrives at a specific vibrational frequency. Cells that vibrate at their optimal frequency have reduced susceptibility to disease. Maintaining one’s optimal vibrational frequency supports a thriving state of wellness. Learn more about The Five Tenets of Wellness™ and how to increase your level of wellness by raising your personal vibrational frequency through the tenet of Creative and Compassionate Expression.

Jennette is a Doctor of Naturopathy who specializes in Classical Homeopathy and Vibrational Therapies. She is professionally certified by the American Naturopathic Certification Board, the Council for Homeopathic Certification, and the Globe and Sound Consciousness Institute. She is registered with the North American Society of Homeopaths. Learn More


“research that has started a plant-based revolution in healthcare”
Dr. Alex Sassani, MD

Dr. Sassani is a board-certified radiologist with special interest in cardiac and cancer imaging. He will present a brief overview of the research that has convinced thousands of medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and athletes to choose plant-based nutrition and lifestyle over SAD (Standard American Diet).

Dr. Sassani earned his medical degree from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. After completing radiology residency at UCSD (San Diego, CA), he did a fellowship in cardiac imaging at UCLA (Los Angeles, CA). He is currently studying for the board certification examination in the recently formed American College of Lifestyle Medicine. His personal interests include nutrition, running, the environment and animals.


2019 cooking demos

Every year we pick a couple cooks to demo their amazing skills and teach us a great vegan recipe. Check out who and what they will be making this year - Bon Appétit!

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Cooking Demo
“Chocolate Espresso Truffles”

Bunny’s Bite is a vegan and gluten-free company providing you with decadent plant-based desserts made with only the best quality ingredients and, most importantly, love.

I started Bunny’s Bite as an Instagram page to share my love of food. With great response, it grew into a serious food blog where I would share 20 recipes every month. Each week I would pick a featured ingredient and based 5 recipes of off that ingredient for the week. Bunny’s Bite has now turned into a brand and I am selling to a number of people and locations. My hobbies are swimming, running, being in nature, soaking up the sun and, of course, cooking and eating! Learn More



Cooking Demo
“One Meal: Three Ways!”

Use Real Food to Eat, Feel & Live Well

Caroline has collaborated with a range of stakeholders to develop and deliver learning opportunities that promote and improve the health and well-being of individuals in all communities. She loves teaching participants how to use cultural and familiar ingredients to create meals that are healthy, delicious, easy to prepare and budget friendly

In addition to over 10-years of experience teaching and working, she was the co-host of a healthy cooking television series that reached thousands of viewers. She is also the owner of a business dedicated to preparing healthy dishes and educating others. Learn More


Amberlea Childs
Plant joy

Cooking Demo
“Eggplant Meatballs”

Plant Joy is a movement about health through food, plant foods! Amberlea Childs of Plant Joy is wildly passionate about the power of food and its connection to our health. In 2010, at age 36, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Tired of hearing “What you eat does not matter,” she began researching nutrition and was enlightened while reading The China Study by T. Colin Campbell. Amberlea made changes to her diet immediately and moments after her cancer diagnosis, became a vegan. Learn More