Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the United States, has played an integral role in numerous successful legislative and corporate campaigns to improve the plight of farmed animals. His efforts have helped to enact laws in states across the country, and he’s worked with dozens of companies to improve animal welfare standards. He founded Compassion Over Killing in 1995, and served as its campaigns director until January of 2005. Paul has been interviewed in hundreds of print, broadcast, and online news sources as an authority of farm animal welfare and animal advocacy. He has also published dozens of articles about animal welfare in publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic journals.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Annie and Dan Shannon recently published Betty Goes Vegan: 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family, a comprehensive guide to making delicious meals and comfort foods vegan-style. Compelled to take on a cooking challenge, they set out to prove that any recipe could be recreated to satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and soon-to-be vegetarians alike. Betty Goes Vegan started with “The Betty Crock Project,” in which Annie and Dan Shannon started to vegan-ize the Betty Crocker Cookbook—page by page—on their blog, Meet the Shannons. Prior to blogging and creating vegan versions of American classics, Annie and Dan worked at animal advocacy organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and In Defense of Animals.
Rich Roll is a vegan ultra-distance endurance athlete, and one of two people to complete EPIC5 – 5 Ironmans on 5 Hawaiian Islands in under a week. At the age of 40, an out-of-shape Rich made a decision to overhaul his life, adopted a plant-based diet, and started competing in endurance events across the globe. His plant-fueled feats of athleticism have been featured on CNN and in the pages of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Stanford Magazine, Men’s Health Living, VegNews, Triathlete, Outside, 3/GO Magazine and Men’s Fitness Magazine, which named Rich as one of the “25 Fittest Men in the World.” Rich discusses all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking minds in health and fitness on his podcast.
At the 2013 DC VegFest, Rich will be discussing how his switch to vegan eating helped him go the distance, and signing his inspirational memoir, Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself.
Editor in Chief and founder of ieatgrass.com, Ayinde Howell is a fourth generation entrepreneur, executive vegan chef, actor, musician, and writer. Howell, born in a small town called Tacoma, Washington, is a lifelong vegan who started practicing yoga with his family at the age of ten. He has a background in a variety of vegan fare covering soul food, raw, and new American. It was in Seattle where he got his start as co-owner of Hillside Quickies Vegan Sandwich Shop, an offshoot of the family business. “The Shop” became a popular lunch spot know for blasting hip hop during the crowded rushes and was frequented by notable industry clients like The Roots, Saul Williams, Common, Blackalicious and the Erykah Badu when their respective tours came through town.
Wendy Rieger is a lifelong animal lover who became a vegetarian four years ago this August thanks to the influence of Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing and DJ Kim of Java Green. Wendy has been covering news in Washington for almost 30 years. She spent the last 22 years at NBC-4 where she is now anchoring the 5 o’clock news. Four years ago she created the Going Green segment that shows how easy it is to make simple changes in your life to help combat global warming and the everyday mess humans are making on the planet. Because animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming she has been weaving vegetarian stories into her Going Green reports.She lives with her two cats, Buddy and Rudy, rescued from the streets of Baltimore. She also has a vegan West Africa Peanut soup recipe that will make you weep.