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March 21st, 2020, Session 3

Veganism is Environmentalism
with Demosthenes Maratos
Demosthenes Maratos  
Speaker Session 3

Demosthenes serves as the Communications Director at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY, where he has been employed since 2009. Demosthenes has worked in the field of environmental and public policy since 1989. He began his career with the Long Island Neighborhood Network, the New York region’s largest and most active environmental advocacy organization. There, in addition to many successful efforts, he campaigned for the two most significant pieces of pesticide legislation in New York State history - the Neighbor Notification of Pesticide Spraying law and the Safe School Grounds law.


With the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, Demosthenes is part of a team that provides community education and fosters informed debate on key issues related to sustainability. His work also includes integrating concepts of sustainability, environmental ethics, and veganism into the curriculum, operations and culture at Molloy College and the larger Long Island community. He is the Sustainability Institute’s lead organizer of the annual Long Island Vegan Living Program, and is on the Vegan Living Program's Board of Directors. In addition, he hosts the Sustainability Institute's Sustainable Living Film Series that boasts an entirely vegan menu at each screening, and makes the ethics and environmental benefits of veganism a central focus of each event. He is featured in the 2014 documentary film, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret that is streaming worldwide on Netflix.

For best viewing, please "Enter Full Screen" by clicking on the box in the bottom right-hand corner of the video.
Q&A: After viewing, please submit questions to be answered by Demosthenes Maratos to Answers to questions will be posted here by 7pm on Tuesday, March 24.
Living Vegan in a Not-Yet-Vegan World Panel
Jerneja Tomsic, PhD  
Pasadena VLP Organizer

Jerneja has been an “animal lover” since she was 4 years old when her family took in a pregnant mama cat. She got her PhD in Molecular Biology in Italy and in 2005 moved to The Ohio State University for post-doctoral studies. She entered a cancer genetics lab where she trained as a geneticist.

In 2012 Jerneja started volunteering on a weekly basis on the Ohio SPCA sanctuary farm and shortly after joined their response team helping with closing a 250 dog puppy mill and a non-profit horse rescue organization that “went south” where dead horses were found on the property. She was later added to their board of directors that she is still part of. Jerneja went vegan in May 2013 after attending her first circus protest and has been educating herself on animal rights issues ever since.


Doing vegan education has been her dream since late 2015 but hands on volunteer work to keep animals clean has been a priority. When she moved to Pasadena, CA in September 2016 she began doing more education and outreach. She is a member of Veghelp101 group and has been volunteering and serves on the board of directors of Kindred Spirits Care Farm.

Jerneja got her Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell and e-Cornell in February 2018. She uses the knowledge obtained during the program when promoting a wholistic approach to health (specifically cancer prevention) at the medical center where she works.

Kate Carpenter  
Pasadena VLP Organizer

Kate learned about the horrific practice of industrial animal agriculture about 20 years ago, as well as the health benefits of a plant-based diet, which led her to start transitioning. About 17 years ago she was down to “cream in my coffee”  and then heard the powerful presentation by Tom Regan (American philosopher who specialized in animal rights theory) at an Animals and Society Institute conference in North Carolina--the cream ended and Kate became an ethical vegan.

Kate is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and she clerks the Animal Kinship Committee at Orange Grove Meeting in Pasadena (since 2001). Kate helped found Quaker Animal Kinship (in 2010), a nonprofit supporting veganism.

Kate got her master’s in philosophy with an emphasis on animal ethics, in 2008.  She currently teaches philosophy at Pasadena City College.

When she heard about VLP being organized in Pasadena she immediately wanted to be a part of it and was able to secure the venue for the event. 

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Cristina Tangreti  
Panelist Session 3


Cristina went vegan at the age of 16 in response to a pamphlet from Vegan Outreach and never looked back. After four years of animal rights activism as a student at UC Irvine, she went on to complete outreach tours with both peta2 and Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) to educate college students across the country about animal agriculture and veganism. She is currently reprising her role as a writer for while starting her own companion animal care business.

Maria Maisto  
Panelist Session 3


Maria Maisto went vegetarian nearly 30 years ago (not an easy task as a teenager growing up in NJ to an Italian family). She came to California where she received her B.A. in Kinesiology from USC, and later after studying Mindfulness and receiving her meditation instructor certification (CMI) over ten years ago, she made the transition to veganism.

Maria is owned by two rescue cats, Mina and Max, and is a regular volunteer at Kindred Spirits Care Farm in Los Angeles, where you can usually find her cuddling her favorite goose, Wilbur.

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Patricia Todd  
Panelist Session 3


Patricia Todd is the founder, coordinator and facilitator of VegHelp101 Vegan Education and Support Group. She is a longtime vegetarian turned vegan in 2010. ​She is certified by Dr. Will Tuttle to facilitate courses on and to share the principles of The World Peace Diet – Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony.

She has facilitated National Issues Forums upon receiving training at UC Davis campus. Patricia is also available for local speaking presentations and to table at health, vegan, animal rights and welfare fairs and festivals.

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Noé Rubén Chávez, PhD  
Panelist Session 3


Noé, along with his wife and daughter, went vegan 2 ½ years ago. Noe is Assistant Professor in Community Psychology at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, located in South Los Angeles. His transformation to veganism was not easy and it continues to be challenging at times, however, the alignment with his commitment to social justice and holistic perspective tied to his youth empowerment and community health equity research is a constant reminder of why he continues to be vegan. Also, seeing his daughter grow up healthy, her love of animals and Oh yes, her inheritance of a better planet, is also reaffirming.

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For best viewing, please "Enter Full Screen" by clicking on the box in the bottom right-hand corner of the video.


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