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2019 Speakers

Speaker Time
Meet The Future
We promise you that these young climate activists will inspire you, bring tears to your eyes, and light a fire under you to fight for their future and the future of every other child on the planet.
Let's get active!
These activists will inspire you to get active to save the planet and the animals.
A Vegan Vet??? - Dr. Sarah Dodd
Zero-Waster with a Mission! - Tosha Lobsinger
Is Veganism Hard? Easy?​ - Dr. Christine Slonetsky 4:30pm

Meet the Future

We promise you that these young climate activists will inspire you, bring tears to your eyes, and light a fire under you to fight for their future and the future of every other child on the planet. Meet activists:


9-year-old Caius from Guelph who has been involved with the Fridays for Future Youth Climate Strikes

Kaiha Jaaj

11-year-old Kaiha Jaaj from Mississauga who has spoken at the Fridays for Future youth climate strike at Queen's Park in Toronto, and at Nation Rising in Ottawa, has been interviewed by the CBC, has participated in a variety of animal rights groups in Toronto, and has a climate activist video to her credit

Alice Grondin

15-year-old Alice Grondin from Ottawa who has been involved with the Fridays for future use climate strikes in Ottawa, spoken at these events and Nation Rising, and has been involved with a variety of animal rights groups in Ottawa


Moderator 21-year-old Sophia Kudriavstev, a recent grad from the University of Waterloo who is involved with Fridays for Future, Climate Save, and Extinction Rebellion in Kitchener-Waterloo, as well as having run the Animal Rights group at the University of Waterloo for several years.

Let's Get Active

Activism 101: Let these passionate animal rights and climate activists inspire you to make change in the world for the animals and the planet! Meet:

Jenny McQueen

Jenny McQueen is a Toronto animal rights activist who will be speaking about different forms of campaigning that everyone can take part in. From armchair activism to political campaigning, from supporting mainstream organizations to grassroots street activism.

Jenny has been vegan for over 25 years. She has held volunteer executive positions in non-profits both in the UK and Canada, and is now semi-retired, having worked for the Ontario Government for over a decade. She is a co-founder of Animal Rights Toronto, a core member of Direct Action Everywhere Toronto, and a volunteer with Anonymous for the Voiceless and The Save Movement. She is also the founder of #ZipOffTheCruelty - a campaign which educates on the horrors of the fur industry and collects donated fur to send to animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres for sick and orphaned animals.

Jenny was the defendant in #PigTrial2, a court case where the investigative work and #openrescue of a piglet by Direct Action Everywhere was hoping to challenge the “humane” and “well cared for” labels used by the animal agriculture industry.

Darren Chang

Since 2011, Darren Chang has been learning and sharing knowledge in struggles against the oppression of humans, more-than-human animals, and the destruction of our shared world. Darren currently resides in Toronto, where he's working on a number of animal liberation projects, and regularly shows up for various social, eco, and animal justice events.

Darren also holds an MA in political philosophy and critical animal studies, and researched under the supervision of philosopher Will Kymlicka, who co-authored the groundbreaking book, Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011), with Sue Donaldson.


Sophia Kudriavstev is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo who has been heavily involved in both the on- and off-campus activist community. They are the former president of the UW Animal Rights Society; a co-founder of the Ontario Plant Based Student Association; and an organizer for Kitchener-Waterloo Climate Save, Fridays for Future Waterloo Region, and Extinction Rebellion. Sophia acts as the MC and megaphone queen for the Fridays for Future rallies in Waterloo Region; has given speeches at the Rise for Climate rally in Kitchener and the Fridays for Future rallies in Waterloo; and has spoken at and organized various animal rights rallies and conferences. Most of Sophia's activism has been focused on animal rights and environmental activism; on participating in education, outreach, and protests; and on political lobbying.


Moderator Tony D'Amato Stortz is co-founder of the Ontario Plant-Based Students Association, an umbrella group bringing together vegan and animal rights groups across the province, 
as well as the former president of the University of Guelph's Guelph Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Plant-Based at Guelph. He is a longtime and passionate advocate for the animals.

Dr. Sarah Dodd

Dr. Sarah Dodd will be introduced by Temara Brown of the Browns' Microsanctuary in Cambridge. Ms Brown has dozens of charming rescued chickens and roosters; assists with other rescues and adoptions whenever possible; and is a member of the Association of Farm Sanctuaries of Ontario. Other AFSO heroes to visit at VegFest are Frog Hollow; Carroll Organics; and Green Living Organics (GLO).

Dr. Sarah Dodd is a vegan vet specializing in canine and feline nutrition. While focusing on the dietary requirements of facultative and obligate carnivores may sound strange for a vegan, her work is geared towards understanding how vegans can feed the animals in their care without relying on the animal agriculture industry; plant-based diets are her particular area of research.

Sarah graduated from the Massey University veterinary school in New Zealand in 2016 and has been engaged in nutrition research at the University of Guelph since then. Presently, she is undertaking a PhD while also working towards her board certification as a veterinary nutritionist with the European College of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition. 

Though Dr. Dodd’s day job is with dogs and cats at the Ontario Veterinary College, she spends much of her spare time donating her veterinary services to farm sanctuaries around Ontario. Dodd Veterinary Services is a mobile animal clinic for animals that the world considers food. Sarah started this service in order to provide veterinary care to rescued farm animals. Though most farm sanctuaries have access to mainstream veterinarians, many struggle with the idea of using veterinarians who specialize in getting animals to slaughter as fast and efficiently as possible.

She will talk about both of her passions, plant-based diets for cats and dogs, and providing veterinary care for rescued farm animals.

Tosha Lobsinger

Tosha Lobsinger

Tosha of the Peace People Project will be introduced by one of our local zero-waste champions and up-cyclers, Susan Gentilcore of All Things Preserved. Both Tosha and Susan have booths at the festival, as does our local zero waste store, Zero Waste Bulk! Tosha organizes zero-waste vegan social and educational meetups, film screenings, potlucks, workshops, markets and festivals. Tosha is an animal rights activist and an avid advocator for a plastic-free world.

During the Zero Waste Vegan Workshop at KW VegFest, Tosha will talk about the clothing industry, the animal agriculture industry and plastic pollution. She will offer simple lifestyle swaps to living a #zerowastevegan lifestyle & she will open the floor to your questions, too! #zwvWorkshop

Peace People Project is also a clothing line with messages to invoke mindfulness, to shift perspectives, to plant seeds, and to foster change. Peace People apparel is 100% upcycled and 50% of profits are donated to sanctuaries. 

Check out her upcoming events: Sarnia VegFest (July 7) and Vancouver Vegan Festival (July 27). Check out her apparel at & at KW VegFest!

Dr. Christine Slonetsky

Dr Christine Slonetsky ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor as well as a registered social worker. She graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001 and received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto in 1990. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in religious studies which she completed at the University of Waterloo.

Dr Slonetsky ND maintains a general naturopathic practice in both London and St Thomas Ontario. Over the past 18 years she has worked with hundreds of patients of all ages, supporting them to achieve optimal health on a wide range of health issues.

Dr Slonetsky ND became a vegetarian in her early 20’s and then vegan in her late 40’s. She has counseled people in adopting a plant-based diet and given talks in the area of health and wellness at community groups, churches, and health fairs.