We're thrilled to have a wonderful group of advisors directing us. Each person has made huge contributions to the vegetarian movement, and we're honored to have them lend their expertise to VegNews.

Nathaniel Barnett

Youth & Teens

VegNews' newest advisor is Nathaniel (Nate) Barnett, taking the torch from his sister Rebecca, VN's Youth and Teen advisor since 2000. Vegan since before birth, Nate been persuading people to go veg since he scared his grade school classmates with green spaghetti. During 2008—09, Nate will be a high school junior in the Rochester, NY area. Passionate about music and theater, Nate had a leading role in "Guys and Dolls" and as a sophomore made his Carnegie Hall solo singing debut. Also an avid hiker, Nate has scaled many of the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.


Chef Ken Bergeron


Certified Executive Chef Ken Bergeron continues to work with colleges and universities helping dining staffs expand their vegan menus. Two of these schools, Bates and Williams, now have designated vegan stations in their dining facilities. Ken uses these opportunities to develop recipes that will be a part of a new book. He has also enjoyed working with vegan versions of molecular gastronomy, Chinese Medicinal cooking, raw foods, new ways with mushrooms and sea vegetables, and revisiting classic ethnic cuisines. The NAVS Summerfest is always the major event on Ken's calendar, providing opportunities to prepare food for many different dietary needs.


Brenda Davis


Brenda Davis, registered dietitian, nutritionist, and internationally acclaimed speaker, is a leader in her field. Currently the lead dietitian in a diabetes intervention research project in the Marshall Islands, Brenda is the co-author of six books and is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Diabetic Practice Group of the American Diabetic Association. In 2007, she was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame. Brenda has been a featured speaker nutrition, diabetic, medical and health conferences throughout the world. She lives in British Columbia with her husband Paul. She has two grown children, Leena and Cory.


Karen Davis


Karen Davis, PhD is the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. Founded in 1990, UPC addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations. Karen has a PhD in English from the University of Maryland-College Park where she taught for twelve years. Inducted into the U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2002 "for outstanding contributions to animal liberation," Karen is the author of several books including Chickens, Poisoned Eggs and The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale.


Derek Goodwin


Derek Goodwin is an advocate of using art and media to promote a compassionate, cruelty-free lifestyle. As a photographer he is known internationally for his photographs of sanctuary farm animals. In 2000 Derek started a web-based community for vegan artists called In 2005 he began broadcasting a vegan FM radio show and podcast called Vegan Radio out of Northampton, Mass. Currently he is working on The Vegan Bus Project, a bus that runs on vegetable oil, bringing activists to sanctuaries and vegan events to do education and outreach.


Ruth Heidrich

Health & Fitness

Dr. Ruth Heidrich, a 26-year breast cancer survivor and vegan, is a six-time Ironman Triathlon finisher, has run 67 marathons including, and has won more than 900 first-place trophies in races ranging from 100 meter sprints to triathlons, biathlons, and the pentathlon. She has won 8 gold medals in the Senior Olympics and been named one of the "Ten Fittest Women in North America." Ruth is co-host of a radio show, Healing & You, and author of three books, A Race For Life, CHEF Cook/Rawbook, and Senior Fitness, and the proud Fitness Advisor of VegNews since its inception.


Jennie Kerwood


Jennie Kerwood defines herself first and foremost by the vegan lifestyle she adopted at the age of 19, almost 30 years ago. She has been a vegetarian activist since her early 20s, including serving as editor of Vegetarian Voice magazine from 1983—1996 and president of the North American Vegetarian Society since 1988. She raised two vegan children and now shares her life with her non-vegetarian husband and dog.


Howard Lyman

Animal Agriculture

Howard Lyman is a 4th generation family farmer (and vegan) from Montana. After 20 years of operating a feedlot, he sold his ranch and started working for farmers in financial trouble. First a lobbyist in Washington, Howard ran for Congress in 1982, and is the former Director of the Beyond Beef Campaign and the Humane Society of the United States' Eating With Conscience Campaign; past President of both the International Vegetarian Union, and EarthSave International; and current President of Voice for a Viable Future. He lives in Ellensburg, Washington, with his wife Willow Jeane, and his cat, Ceasar.


Jim Mason

Animal Rights

Author, lecturer, journalist, environmentalist, and attorney, Jim Mason has been a leading voice for the planet, the animals, and social justice causes for nearly half a century. As the founder of Animals Agenda magazine and The Animal Rights Network, Jim created the template that VegNews modeled itself after. Jim was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2001, and currently is secretary and managing director of the Two Mauds Foundation, which gives grants to grassroots animal protection organizations.


Vesanto Melina


Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, is an internationally known nutrition consultant and speaker, academic instructor, and author who has worked with natural foods companies including Yves Veggie Cuisine and Nature's Path Foods. Vesanto has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia and at Seattle's Bastyr University, and she is a regular consultant for the Government of British Columbia. She has lectured across North American and the U.K., and is the author or co-author of 11 books on diet, nutrition, and veganism.


Bryan Pease


Vegan since age 16, Bryan Pease studied nutrition under T. Colin Campbell at Cornell University, where he led the passage of student assembly resolutions calling for vegan dining options and dissection alternatives in the classroom. Bryan is now an attorney in San Diego and has won several activist free speech cases and successfully challenged unconstitutional laws. He also volunteers for and serves on the board of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, a group he co-founded in 2002 to expose and ban cruelty on factory farms while advocating a plant based diet.


Thomas Russell


Shortly after starting his career with VegNews at the tender age of 3, Thomas (aka Mr T) suffered the traumatic experience of being locked in the VegNews bathroom. Despite this he went on to become a VegNews cover model, computer tech support specialist, food tester and reviewer, and also managed to find time to train an assistant (his Dad). His lifelong dream is to form a Black Sabbath tribute band and go on tour. To impress he would cook vegan ravioli with roast vegetables, cracked peppercorns and garlic. His favourite food is chips and mushy peas, a British classic.


Rae Sikora

Humane Education

Rae Sikora has been a spokesperson for the environment, other species and human rights for more than 30 years. Her innovative programs have been changing people's vision of what is possible to create in our lives and the world. Rae has worked internationally with teachers, students, prisoners, businesses, organizations and activists. As co-founder of the Center for Compassionate Living and The Institute for Humane Education, Rae co-created the nation's first humane education certification and masters programs. Rae's current organization, Plant Peace Daily, empowers individuals and groups to make a difference in the world with their daily choices.


Zoe Weil

Humane Education

Zoe Weil is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, which offers a unique, distance learning Master of Education degree in humane education and a Humane Education Certificate Program as well as workshops throughout North America. Zoe is the author of Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and a Meaningful Life, The Power and Promise of Humane Education, and Above All, Be Kind. She has also written humane education books for young people including Claude and Medea and So, You Love Animals. and

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