First Annual Nashville Vegfest Planned for April 2016

If you're vegan and free on Saturday, April 9th, 2016, go ahead and mark your calendar—the First Annual Nashville Vegfest will be held on that day from 10am to 4 pm in the 9,000 square foot Commodore Ballroom at the Vanderbilt Student Life Center.

The event will include vegan and vegan-friendly vendors, guest speakers, and information from national and local sponsors like VegFund, Nashville's Sunflower Cafe. The event is free but there is an optional, suggested donation of $5 that includes a raffle ticket for a range of prizes.

The goal is to promote a healthy, sustainable plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle, and the organizers are working hard to bring in the best local, regional, and national exhibitors. 

These prominent speakers are already on board:

Jess Rice, chef and co-owner of Avo

As the chef and co-owner of the first full-scale gourmet raw vegan restaurant in Tennessee, Jess Rice will speak about her challenges and successes as a young vegan business owner. She'll also conduct a demonstration of one of her signature recipes. Rice left a career in PR and marketing to start experimenting with raw vegan cuisine, eventually pursuing formal training as a chef and starting her business. In 2015, she opened Avo and won acclaim as the first vegan restaurant to be named "Best New Restaurant" in the highly-anticipated annual Nashville Scene Readers' Poll. 

Ellen Jaffe Jones, author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day

Ellen Jaffe Jones is a cookbook author, certified personal trainer and running coach, and former Emmy-winning investigative TV reporter. Her books include Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided and Paleo Vegan. On top of that, she has been named PETA's "Sexiest Vegan Over 50"! 

Ashley Roth, author of Tiny Tallulah and the Trouble with Zoos

A writer, animal activist, and children's book author, Ashley Roth  will share her experiences as a vegan writer and parent of a vegan-since-birth toddler. 

Melissa Ann Haithcock of A Happy Healthy Heart

As a blogger, recipe developer, and healthy living advocate, Nashville resident Melissa Ann Haithcock uses her website A Happy Healthy Heart to promote an approach to health that encompasses all aspects of life.

Leslie Rudloff of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

As the senior counsel to a nationwide organization of physicians and laypersons devoted to preventative medicine, Leslie Rudloff heads advocacy litigation targeting industry and government policies that encourage the consumption of animal products and other unhealthy foods.

For more information or to get involved with Nashville Vegfest, get in touch with them at (615) 988-0169 or info@nashvillevegfest.com. You can also like and follow their Facebook page for updates as new speakers and vendors are added.

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