Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vida Vegan Con sessions Part I

I have written a couple of posts about my trip to Vida Vegan Con 2013 and wanted to share about a couple of more things. This post is Part I of II around some of the amazing sessions I attended. As a new blogger, I mainly spent time in sessions around blogging, writing, technical information and vegan nutrition. One of the amazing things about Vida Vegan Con 2013 was the huge variety of sessions.

Here are some notes from a couple of the sessions I attended.Please remember that these are just notes based on what I was listening to. My goal here is to give you a little look into attending a session. For more information on the folks giving the session, I included their website.

If the sentence is in quotes it's something I heard at the session from a fellow attendee.

First was Blog writing as writing by Gena Hamshaw. Gena's blog is . She also currently has notes on her session at her blog.

Ideas from Gena about blog writing:

Common blunders of writing. First thing that an editor looks for is narrative scaffolding. Is there some type of architecture holding this together. A start, middle and end.

We have an obligation to make everything polished and professional.

Consult style guide.

Raise the bar.

Think about what you really want to say and what is in your heart.

About page: here is who I am. Mission statement.

Self edit. Edit yourself.Refining ideas on own. Better to sit on a post for a couple of days, edit it, then press publish.

Make post about the issue not you. Your point of view but not all about you.

Consistency matters more than frequency.

The next session I went to was Vegan Nutrition by Ginny Messina. Her website is Here are some ideas she presented.

Know your facts.

Consider whole body of data, assign different weights to different studies.

What people think we eat: tofu, grass and granola

Demonizing food is fear based nutrition: never, ever eat this food

Science based nutrition : emphasizes foods we should have in our diet. Don't be afraid to have treats.

Supplements: calcium and B12. Collards highest in calcium.

Ethics beyond the plate: others issues beyond food: social justice, gender politics, etc

Making the most compassionate choices as possible.

Putting compassion into practice: Raising money for different causes. Being a good example. Making veganism look accessible and fun. Forgiving ourselves, forgiving others, compassionate to others.

Privilege! I can be vegan but not everyone can. We need to make veganism accessible to everyone.

Why do folks who care about social justice not care about animals? Be patient with people.

"I don't feel a lot of community with many who call themselves vegan."

"My biggest problem is people presenting a problem with no solution."

More to come. Thanks for reading!


  1. "Demonizing food is fear based nutrition: never, ever eat this food"

    An odd statement coming from a vegan don't you think? I mean we demonize all animal products, that's like our thing. lol

    1. Thanks for reading. Totally made sense in the context of the talk. It was more around food that vegans eat. I personally don't think vegan food and meat can be demonized or talked about on the same level.

  2. Oh, Nice post, Dan! I really like reading about the sessions that I missed! The writing tips from Gena's class are really good. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  3. Good summary of Gena's really helpful session. And thanks for summarizing Ginny's session, which I missed. It was hard to choose which one to attend!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I know, there was so much to choose from!

  4. Thanks for including the info on Gena's session. That is one that I really wanted to attend but couldn't as we got in late.

  5. Dan - Thanks so much for the notes on Gena's session! I think this point is a great call-out:

    "Privilege! I can be vegan but not everyone can. We need to make veganism accessible to everyone."

    I think another point to that is around communal stereotypes. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that veganism is "elitist" and "a white people 's thing." What it comes down to is not only accessibility, which is key, but also education, sharing (won't say leading) by example, and also showing it through a variety of cultures.