SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2009 7PM-MIDNIGHT
The following award recipients have made an outstanding contribution to community and national efforts to protect farmed animals from needless cruelty and abuse. Their efforts are shining examples of the impact one person can have on building a kinder future for all beings.
The Preventative Medicine Award
Pamela A. Popper, Ph.D., N.D.
Dr. Pam Popper is a naturopath, nutritionist and the Executive Director of The Wellness Forum. The company offers educational programs designed to: assist individuals in changing their health outcomes through improved diet and lifestyle habits, to assist employers in reducing the costs of health insurance and medical care for employees, and to educate health care professionals about how to use diet and lifestyle for preventing, reversing, and stopping the progression of degenerative disease.
Dr. Popper is the author of several books and cookbooks, as well as several programs offered for continuing education credits for medical professionals.
She is the Founder of The Wellness Forum Foundation, which offers programming in schools designed to improve children's health and well-being through better nutrition.
Dr. Popper serves on the Physicians' Steering Committee for the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C. Additionally, she is part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s teaching team at Cornell, teaching part of a certification course on plant-based nutrition. She is currently featured in two widely distributed documentaries, Processed People and Making a Killing and will be appearing in a full-length feature film on diet and health next year.
Dr. Popper is also a lobbyist and public policy expert, and continually works toward changing laws that interfere with patients’ right to choose their health provider and method of care. She has testified in front of legislative committees on numerous occasions.
The Hope Award
Mindy Mallet is the founder of Sunrise Sanctuary, a safe-haven for farmed animals in Marysville, Ohio which provides life-long care and refuge to rescued cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and goats. Founded in 2001, Sunrise Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that has directly saved hundreds of animals from deplorable conditions.
A life-long animal advocate, Mindy grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where the plight of stray and abandoned dogs and cats first opened her eyes and heart to society's mistreatment of animals.
In addition to her life-saving rescue work, Mindy is an outspoken advocate on farmed animal issues in Ohio – appearing in numerous newspaper articles, and as a subject in Mercy For Animals’ newly released, award-winning documentary, Fowl Play.
In 2002 Mindy became the caretaker of "Hope," a small hen pulled out of a trash bin at an Ohio egg factory farm by a Mercy For Animals investigator. A survivor of a lifetime of cruel confinement and deprivation inside a tiny wire cage, Hope has served as an ambassador for hens nationwide – with her story moving and inspiring individuals nationwide to adopt a vegan diet and become an advocate on behalf of farmed animals. It is this hen, for which "The Hope Award" is named.
Of her selfless, dedicated work on behalf of abused and neglected farmed animals, Mindy says, "Farm animals always held a special place in my heart because of the cruel treatment in the factory farms and the lack of laws to protect them."
The Progressive Business Award
Tawd Bell – Rad Dog!
Tawd Bell is the owner of Rad Dog!, a mobile food cart and restaurant dedicated to providing delicious vegan meals to the hungry folks of Central Ohio. Tawd started Rad Dog! a little over a year ago with just a humble vegan hot dog cart. He was lectured early on by friends and family about his plan to serve strictly vegan food. The concept was “too radical,” they said. “People need non-vegan options” and “You need to serve ‘cheaper’ food to increase profits.”
Undaunted by their skepticism and driven by the conviction that people would be grateful for animal-free options, Tawd forged on. Encouragement soon came in the way of a steady stream of "regulars" and a high volume of requests to vend at local events. The press took note as well, and Tawd was featured in several write-ups in local newspapers and food blogs.
"Basically, I want to be involved in an occupation that reflects my personal values...non-violence, sustainability, community..." To that end, Tawd utilizes local products as much as possible. Rad Dog! offers baked goods from Pattycake Vegan Bakery, burgers from Luna Burger, and pretzel products from Brezel. "A network of like-minded people is a real blessing. It's like an extended family," Tawd says.
Tawd ventured into the unknown when he started Rad Dog! and is thrilled at how things have evolved. At the beginning of November, Tawd, along with new partner, Brock Ailes, opened Rad Dog! at Hal & Al's, an establishment in the Marion Village area. Tawd had wanted to start a "brick and mortar" vegan restaurant for years, and when this opportunity became available, it was a dream come true.
Tawd and Brock developed some great new recipes to fill out the menu, including some delicious fried tavern fare. And now he'll have a steady supply of used vegetable oil to donate to friends – and for his own diesel truck that he hopes to convert very soon!
When he's not running Rad Dog!, Tawd likes to spend time with his wife, two daughters and a steadily growing managerie of pets. (His youngest daughter wishes to run an animal sanctuary someday.)
The Compassionate Leadership Award
Sunny Simon is a practicing attorney in Cleveland and City Council Member for the City of South Euclid. She has provided pro bono legal services to various animal rights groups, including Concerned Citizens against Petland and an anti-deer culling group, as well as to individual animal rescuers and people whose dogs have been unjustly deemed vicious.
As City Council Member, Sunny has introduced legislation to eliminate battery cages for laying hens and breed-specific dog laws. She has also pushed for stricter animal cruelty standards and spay/neuter requirements.
Sunny has lobbied the Ohio State House of Representatives to ban exotic pet ownership and as a member of the County Democratic Executive Committee, has vehemently spoken out against State Issue 2, an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that places the power to define farmed animal cruelty in the hands of factory farming interests.
She has early childhood memories of rescuing strays and injured birds. As an adult she founded and serves as president of the South Euclid Humane Society, whose mission is to protect all animals, including farmed animals. To that end, in addition to finding loving homes for hundreds of dogs and cats, the South Euclid Humane Society provides educational materials and film screenings on the plight of farmed animals, as well as serves vegan food at all of its fundraising events.
Sunny Simon exemplifies compassion that truly encompasses all sentient beings.
The Compassion in Media Award
Louie Free is the host of The Louie Free Radio Show in Youngstown, Ohio. His "Brainfood From the Heartland" daily show is a mix of politics from local to international, plus social and spiritual issues, including animal rights and vegetarianism, that are close to his heart and reflect his belief that there's an audience interested in an "intelligent alternative to the pablum which passes as talk radio today." Louie has appeared on ABC's Nightline and in U.S. News and World Report, The Nation, and other publications.