Christian Animal Rights Association

Welcome back, Christian Animal Rights Association! This nondenominational ministry is dedicated to educating, advocating, protecting, and defending the rights of all sentient animals from a Biblical and Christian perspective. We’re thrilled that they will be joining us for their second time at VegFest. Stop by their booth for more information, tee shirts, and more on August 24th!

Animal Rights Rochester

Animal Rights RochesterOf course ARRoc will have a booth at VegFest!  You knew how hard ARRoc leaders and members work year-round to bring VegFest here!

But you may not know that ARRoc will be selling our bumper stickers, including our new dairy one.  Check them out, and stop by the booth to pick up a bunch!  $3 each and save yourself the shipping charges.  We also have lots of free information on how you can help animals in your daily lives.

Jonell Belcher-Chudyk



Jonell Belcher-Chudyk, LCSW, AASW is the founder and executive director of Mockingbird Farm, a 501(c)3 farm animal sanctuary in Byron, NY (35 minutes west of Rochester). Jonell is also a therapist in private practice, primarily working with children, veterans (she is also a veteran herself) and their families who have experienced trauma or struggle with depression, anxiety, grief and loss. Jonell has found the unique bond between humans and non-humans to be incredibly powerful and healing when mutually respected and nurtured. Jonell became a published author in the field of human-animal interaction in 2010, and received scholarship to attend the University of Denver’s Master’s program at the Institute of Human Animal Interaction through DU’s Graduate School of Social Work.

In addition to operating the farm sanctuary and her private practice, she has given lectures on animal behavior, human- animal interaction, the field of animal assisted therapy and ethical considerations of animals in our lives. She also provides pro-bono counseling to individuals struggling with the loss of their animal companions, and evaluating comfort in the final stages of animal’s lives. Jonell has also developed workshops for veterinary clinics regarding compassion fatigue, burn out and self-care for veterinarian’s, residents, clinical fellows and support staff.

Jonell spends her days in gratitude physically and emotionally caring for the most vulnerable and oppressed sentient beings of our society. She and her husband Joe are currently raising their 3 year-old daughter Audrey at Mockingbird Farm, where Audrey has joyfully grown up with many baby goats and chickens being rehabilitated in the farmhouse!

Mockingbird Farm is a vegan oriented sanctuary and forever home to 23 animals who have been rescued from a life of neglect, abandonment, surrender or abuse. In a perfect world, sanctuaries wouldn’t need to exist, but because they do, Mockingbird Farm sets out to compassionately integrate humans into the lives of rescued animals in order to heal their physical and emotional trauma.

Animal Rights as Transformation

Jonell will be speaking about compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma for animal rights activists and advocates, how to care for yourself in a world that doesn’t [always] understand veganism, the most recently published literature in the field of human-animal interaction, real stories of mental health transformation (both human and non-human) through our relationships within species, and how you can make an impact.

OM Chanting at VegFest



OM Chanting is a group chanting technique that generates a lot of positive and healing energy, is beneficial for the Earth and helps raise our consciousness. When we chant the mantra OM in an OM Chanting group group for a sustained period of time we begin to feel amazing benefits and most importantly, our group intention and prayer get amplified.  The energy collectively generated during and OM Chanting circles goes out into a large radious, showering everyone and everything with positivity. 

The OM Chanting at the Rochester VegFest will be dedicated to animal welfare. We will unite with the intention to help shift our collective consciousness towards a more compassionate way of eating and living, and send supportive energy to all animals suffering. Change always starts with each individual. Chanting and meditation can help humanity tremendously to understand the value and unity of all beings. Please come and lend your voice to this special circle! No previous experience is necessary and everyone is welcome.

We will chant the sacred mantra OM out loud for 45min (it goes by very fast, you’ll be surprised!). Please bring a folding chair to sit on, or a blanket or yoga mat. 

*OM Chanting is an active group healing technique reintroduced by spiritual Masters Paramahamsa Vishwananda and Mahavatar Babaji to support the Earth and mankind in this time of need. The vibrational waves created by the circle help create a harmonious, peaceful environment and a unity between all beings and nature.


Time 11 am

Pitty Love Rescue

Pitty Love Rescue is returning to VegFest!

Based in Rochester, their primary focus is to find responsible homes for the dogs in their care and provide lifelong support to the dogs’ new families, but they also work on advocacy, information sharing, and community outreach, routinely working with the under-served portion of our community to help keep dogs in homes by providing necessary resources. That includes low cost spay/neuter, vetting assistance, training assistance, help with food, and collaboration to acquire affordable, non-discriminatory housing.