VVC

2015 Vida Vegan Con Speaker Roundup #1

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We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. We used and abused a dry-erase board… You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. Why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?! (Seriously, Google, how about sponsoring us?)

But we’ve done it, and now we can’t wait to share it with you! Each week we’ll feature a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (to supplement the class topics sneak peek we posted last week).

As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, smartypantses, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire.

So here they are, in randomly random order, your first handful of Vida Vegan Con III speakers:

Susan Voisin VVC III 2015

Susan Voisin, of Fat Free Vegan

An overwhelming crowd favorite from VVC2013, Susan will be teaching us post-processing for food photography—how to fix almost anything with software. She’ll also be sharing teaching duties in a class on monetizing your blog.

 

 

 

 

Sasha Perry VVC III 2015 speakers

Sasha Perry, of Strongest Hearts.

New to VVC, Sasha is a veteran filmmaker who was recently a producer and shooter (the camera kind!) on a little show called “Whale Wars” on Animal Planet. Sasha will be presenting on video and film as activism through storytelling. Get ready to get inspired!

 

 

 

 

Ginny Messina VVC III 2015 speakers

Ginny Messina, of The Vegan RD

Ginny’s back for her third round of VVC, and we couldn’t be more honored to bring you arguably the best-respected voice in vegan nutrition. This year she’ll be talking about a super hot topic, preventing ex-vegans.

 

 

 

 

Tashina Combs VVC III 2015 speakers

Tashina Combs, of Logical Harmony.

Tashina has become the go-to resource for vegan cosmetics and bodycare and we’re glad to welcome her to her first time speaking at VVC. She’ll be teaching us about the difference between cruelty-free and vegan cosmetics, what to look for, what questions to ask, and who you can trust.

 

 

 

Brian Patton VVC III 2015 speakers

Brian Patton, of The Sexy Vegan.

Cookbook author, podcaster, and the 2013 Vida Vegan Galarama host, Brian is presenting his first VVC class this year. He’ll be breaking down social media and teaching us how to tweet like you give a damn.

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it, round one, with so much more to come! Ready to register? Especially as we announce speakers, these tickets are gonna go fast. Put in for your vacation time and reserve your spot today!

 Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX

Late-Summertime Laze: Q&A with John McDevitt

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Joining us in our walk down memory lane are some of our favorite Vida Vegan Con alumni. What are their upcoming projects and seasonal shenanigans—and what did they take home from VVC2013?

Today we’re checking in with John McDevitt. Running Vegan Omaha and helping the kitties via The Teal Cat Project, it’s ironic the he’s the voice behind The Laziest Vegans in the World. Hey, John!

What have you been up to this summer?

Traveling, relaxing, gardening, and jogging.

Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?

Because I really like Jess, Janessa, and Michele. Plus, all of the presenters and attendees are amazing.

Looking back, what was the most memorable class?

The VeganMofo class ruled.

How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?

Not much. Still lazy as ever (blogwise, anyway).

How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?

Ha! Not at all. I did enjoy hearing other people’s perspectives, though.

Who were you really excited to meet?

Miyoko!

Any nice surprises you’d like to share? Special memories of VVC2013?

I just love the vibe of the conference. So many vegans in one place, it’s pretty amazing! Happy to see everyone from 2011 and meet the 2013 newbies.

So, have you started reading any new blogs?

Yes, a couple! Can’t wait till VeganMofo to find even more cool vegan blogs.

What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?

I like to see people having fun with blogging and not take it so seriously.

What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?

Maybe expand the conference beyond blogging?

What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?

A vegan cruise, just do it! [Editor's note: We've done some research, and we haven't ruled it out.]

Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)

Portobello gnocchi.

Until next time, Mr. McDevitt.

See John’s coverage of the past Vida Vegan Con here (and catch up on convenience foods galore)! And stay tuned for more of our Month of Memories, from us (Janessa, Jess & Michele) and our Vida Vegan family, all VeganMoFo long.

Team Vida Vegan’s Always Cooking Something Up!

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Lentil pâté and notebooks, that's how it gets done.
Curried lentil dip and notebooks, that’s how it gets done.

After wrapping up VVC 2013—you know, returning rental fire extinguishers and dropping off the recycling from the Galarama—Janessa, Jess, and I all collapsed for a few good hours. Like real hard.

But then the sun rose, and it was back to spreadsheets and emails and meetings. Even with Janessa flying all over the damn globe, we’ve been videochatting and scheming and daring to dream. And we gotta tell ya, we’re pretty excited about the future of Vida Vegan. (Aside from VVC3, because yes, we’re obviously planning that too!)

The website: Vida Vegan Headquarters. Sure, we’ve given ourselves a little spit ‘n’ polish here, but by mid-2014, we hope to bring you an expanded site, where we can share so much more with you, including an events calendar and forum threads…because not everyone wants to be on Facebook, and besides, we can be a lot better organized here.

Vida Vegan Focus. More one-day intensives, like our Fall 2012 Tech offering, where we focus on one main topic for a small group. In 2014 and 2015, we’re looking at topics like Photography, Ethical Business, Blog Building, and Organization & Outreach.

The Vida Vegan Creative Retreat. What could you do with five or so days to focus on writing or photography while eating all vegan food in a relaxing setting? Maybe with breaks for yoga or meditation or a little nap under a tree? We’re location-scouting for a very intimate group (think a maximum of 30) for some loosely guided artistic/work retreat.

Online courses and guides. We know not everyone can travel to our events—although we are definitely getting out on the road to reach more of you—so we’re developing some very focused online courses and downloadable guides so you can get your learn on while still in pajamas (which is exactly how we do a lot of our planning). Let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

Local events. We’ll also be producing some smaller, Portland events…maybe even one in early December 2013.

Sooo…that should keep us all busy for a bit!

The VVC Shop Is Now Open

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vvc-2013-mug

Did you forget to get yourself a special Vida Vegan Con water bottle or t-shirt at the conference? Sort of wish you had an extra mug? Or maybe you didn’t go to the conference this year but still want to pick up some new VVC gear.  We get it, and we’ve got it for you in the Vida Vegan Shop.

The truth is, we strive to keep our registration pricepoint low (free for some) and our sponsorships accessible, so more people have the chance to join us at our events. And we have lost sponsors for refusing to give them our mailing lists, send out sponsored emails, or allow them to present demos at the event—and we feel OK with that. We’re proud to stand up and say no to demands we feel would upset the positive, inspirational, creative vibe of the Con. (Obviously, our sponsors help make these things happen, and we truly do love the ones we work with—and hope you do too.)

That means it’s largely the three of us ladies doing as much of the work ourselves as possible to keep costs down. That also means when you buy a t-shirt, you help us put together a deposit toward the next event without us having to compromise the integrity of Vida Vegan organizers and attendees.

You have no idea how greatly we appreciate that. We’ll hug you all next time we see you, seriously.

Thank you, and enjoy!

VVC Vegan Tattoo Sale, Take 2

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Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.

berries jess
Jess about to go under the needle. You could be next!

One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).

What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.

We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.

berries fitting
Janessa figuring out placement
berries stencil
Jess with the stencil placed and ready to be inked
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And Michele, all done (and a little swollen and hurty)

While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!

Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(503) 233-4292

Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!

Portland Picks with Lisa Coulson, Panda with Cookie (PPK, represent)

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First up in our series of personalized Portland Picks is the one-and-only Panda with Cookie, aka Lisa Coulson. These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze a little time outside of the busy, busy conference wandering in our vegan wonderland.  Let’s find out Lisa’s Portland-musts below…
panda1
True life.

Your Name: Lisa Coulson

Your Website/Business: Panda With Cookie

What to See:

1. Mt. Tabor.  Lovely place for a stroll and a beautiful neighborhood in the spring.

SW Waterfront. Image source: Visions2200.com

2. Downtown waterfront. An excellent location for a bike ride next to the river. Roll down the Springwater trail to check out the feral cat feeding stations and the twin fluffy black cats there on occasion.

3. Portland Farmers Market, Saturdays at PSU. I love me some farmers markets and there’s a good number of vegan options aside from the usual piles of produce.

Where to get your Pizza, Scone & Waffles on:

1. Dovetail Bakery. Best scones in the US. Get many and bring me one.

2. Dove Vivi. Cornmeal crust pizza with roasted corn and homemade cashew cheese. Add the smoked tomatoes. Can I get a hallelujah for a place that still does their own cheese instead of using a packaged one?

Corn cashew vegan slice with smoked tomato (of course), Dove Vivi

3. FlavourSpot. Get your maple pecan Dutch waffle taco on.

Where to Sip Some Tea:

1. Townshend’s Tea. 2 locations serving mighty fine teas.

Lapsang souchong it up.

2. Lan Su. Chinese garden downtown that is a lovely place to visit. They have a tea house with a nice selection.

Where to Shop:

panda2
We love Panda. We love cookies.

1.Vegan Mini Mall. Head down to Herbivore, Sweetpea, Scapegoat, and Food Fight! and enjoy that everything you can eat or buy in the whole strip is vegan.

2. Powell’s Books. Support your local independent book sellers. Sweetpea treats are in their cafe area.

3. Get some Heidi Ho chia cheese sauce. That stuff is good on everything. Usually in the cold case at Food Fight!

 

Stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC II Google Map.