VEGANISM: THE KEY TO TRANSFORMING AND HEALING THE WORLD
Lisa Levinson, Jane Velez-Mitchell of Jane Unchained, and I attended The World Education Summit in Las Vegas November 22 and 23rd. We hosted an In Defense of Animals information table loaded with vegan starter kits, books, prayer flags, Vegan World 2026 information, Go Vegan IDA pins, t-shirts and mugs, along with brochures about Vegan Spirituality, Circle of Compassion, the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, and other important information. We also handed out Sailesh Rao’s “White Paper” on the devastating effects of animal agriculture.
Most spectacularly, we also set up the beautiful traveling museum exhibit, curated by Dr. Lisa Kemmerer, titled “Animals and World Religions.” This is the same exhibit that we took to the Parliament of World Religions event in Toronto last year.
The morning was filled with talks by the founder of InterEdx Center for Advanced Research on Energy and Sustainability (ICARES), Dr. Lee Dedicatoria; James Campbell, motivational speaker and founder of Divine Intervention helping at risk youth; Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAVia and former Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for Los Angeles,; Robert Pauley, inventor of a smart recycling bin that pays kids to recycle; Pablito Villegas, an international consultant on sustainability and manager of organic demonstration farms in the Philippines; and several other brilliant and influential environmentalists.
The morning talks addressed many crucial aspects of sustainability and healing ourselves and the earth. But the devastating impact of animal agriculture that increases human hunger and disease, wildlife extinction, pollution and unbearable suffering for farmed animals was discussed more in the afternoon talks. As important as they are, biking, recycling, shorter showers, eco-tourism, etc. will not, by themselves, reverse the devastation caused by humanity if we do not eliminate animal agriculture and transition to vegan values. Jane got that essential conversation started in a big way with her talk “The Biggest Climate Threat that Everyone is Afraid to Discuss.” She showed her film “Countdown to Year Zero,” in which she and Dr. Sailesh Rao make it very clear that we have to end animal agriculture and rewild the earth if there is to be any hope for earth’s creatures, including us. Jane hosted Q & A following the film and helped a lot of pre-vegans make the connection. One woman in the audience was particularly disturbed by the information and claimed that God wanted us to dominate and eat animals. Jane handled the situation with grace and respect for the woman who, after all, had the courage to speak her mind.
Lisa Levinson, co-founder with me of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition, then spoke on “Vegan Spirituality and Earth Caretaking.” She was beautifully able to weave together some of the graphs and information from Climate Healers.org, along with the moral, spiritual, and ethical aspects of creating a vegan world in which all beings can thrive.
Saturday evening we were treated to a most amazing Eco-Fashion show featuring a well known Philippino designer, who specializes in using materials that are sustainable, such as coconut husks, bamboo, tree nuts and other sources of fabric and decorations. Unfortunately, he uses feathers, but Lisa did point out to him that feathers come at a terrible cost to the birds. So hopefully, a seed was planted there.
It was a seed planting venture for us all, and we are thrilled and grateful that we had this opportunity to speak to these influential people who have many followers of their own. Several told us directly that they are now going to go plant-based, and we will be following up with this group so that veganism, the beautiful key to healing the world, shines bright in their future work.