Once again, Vegetarian Summerfest did
not disappoint. This was the fourth consecutive year I attended the
Summerfest and I am proud to say that the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society
was well represented this year.
Everywhere I turned I saw one or more
of our people. Crossing and recrossing the campus at the University of
Pittsburgh Johnstown campus were: Rae Schlecht; Zinnia Konviser; Andy
Glick; Frank and Mary Hoffman, Carole and Arthur Baral; Joan Zacharias and
Tom Lyons; Melanie Carpenter; George Davis; Lou and Barb Karwowski; Rachel
and Chris McDermott with their young son Zachary, who just turned 3.
Attending for the first time were Reagan Leonard and John Bongirno and
their daughters Karis, 6 and Jesse, 3.
It is always a joy to be with families
raising vegan children. While some of us were strictly attendees, others
were part of the program. Because Rae and Zinnia are board members of the
sponsoring organization, the North American Vegetarian Society, they had
specific responsibilities. Zinnia kept track of the numbers in the dining
room who were enjoying the delicious food provided by their professional
vegan chef, Ken Burgeron. Rae helped coordinate the many cooking
Among the vendors was Andy Glick who
sold tote bags, aprons and other items with a vegan message. Both Carole
and Reagan taught early morning yoga classes. For the third year, Frank
and Mary conducted a moving memorial service for animals.
Also attending was Milton Mills, M.D.,
from Virginia who had been our Meatout speaker in March. NAVS kept him
busy with five, count ‘em, five presentations. Milton will be back in our
area in early October. Benedictine Hospital has asked him to be a keynote
speaker at their Alternative Health Conference on October 2.
Ozie Williams, the diabetes educator
at the Dutchess County Health Department, attended Summerfest for the
first time (and she is now a member of MHVS). She was excited and
energized by all the speakers and plans to incorporate many new fine
points learned at Summerfest in her programs.
I would have to use this entire
newsletter just to summarize the many presentations I attended. Connie,
our able editor, says that is not possible, so here are some capsules:
• Howard Lyman, the Mad Cowboy, who
spoke at our showing of Peaceable Kingdom in June of this year, said that
the film Supersize Me has made many more people aware of the connection
between diet and health.
• Brenda Davis, the noted Canadian
vegan nutritionist and author, who spoke at the MHVS Thanksgiving dinner
in 2003, reminded Summerfest participants that many people, especially
those with irritable bowel syndrome, can not tolerate even traces of dairy
products found in processed foods.
• Michael Greger, M.D., who spoke to
MHVS in 2002, stressed the possibility that avian flu is becoming a serous
worldwide problem. He explained in detail why vegetarians, and even people
who eat animals, may be deficient in vitamin B-12. Check his web site
www.veganmd.com for more information.
• Michael Klaper, M.D., spoke about
how adopting a vegan lifestyle has changed his life in many ways. This
change not only includes the foods he eats, but also the clothing he
wears, the sports he participates in, and what he gains from his
association with other vegans. He also learned to be kinder to himself.
Dr. Klaper is conducting a large vegan health study, which is still open
to new participants. For information on how to participate, call the MHVS
It would be wonderful to have an even
bigger MHVS attendance at next year’s Summerfest. How about you?