MadCity Vegan Fest 2011
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About Us

Mad City Vegan Fest is a project of Alliance for Animals and the Environment, Wisconsin's voice for animals since 1983 (address below).

Mad City Vegan Fest
Alliance for Animals and the Environment
P.O. Box 1632
Madison, WI 53701

Our Mission Statement

  • To highlight the ethical, environmental, and health benefits of a lifestyle free of all animal products (vegan).
  • To provide a nonjudgmental, supportive, and fully inclusive environment for vegans and for those hoping to learn more about veganism.
  • To demonstrate the accessibility of veganism by showcasing vegan products and organizations with an emphasis on local resources.
  • To advocate compassion as the means by which to alleviate the suffering of humans and animals alike.

Meet the Mad City Vegan Fest Organizers!

Hannah West: Founder

Hannah West photo

Founder and former organizer, currently a UW Madison undergraduate majoring in music education. Passionate proponent of an intersectional veganism that considers impacts on non human animals, human animals, and the environment while simultaneously being SUPER FUN and deserving its very own annual party.

Alex Goke

Alex Goke photo

Currently a student at UW-Madison studying Environmental Science and Community & Nonprofit Leadership, I am constantly seeking ways to align my educational, professional, and moral ambitions with my personal lifestyle. Veganism was a natural choice, benefiting not only my personal health but also propagating a passion for animals and the environment, both of which I’ve always held dear. I am so lucky to have been a part of Mad City Vegan Fest since year one. At the time an incoming freshman, MCVF gave me not only a plethora of resources, but also a wonderful community to support me in my ongoing transition from a six-year vegetarian to a hopefully-lifelong vegan! Aside from assisting with graphic design and marketing for the Vegan Fest, I can be found helping out at Dane County Humane Society on the weekends, attempting (but mostly failing) to sustain vegetative life in my student slum apartment, biking out the Military Ridge State Trail, aggressively trolling Library Mall for vegan meals from the various food carts, or just catching some rays on the Union Terrace!

Ben West

Ben West photo

In addition to being the "amazing boyfriend" Gina mentions below, I work as a programmer doing web development on a C#/ASP.NET-MVC stack as a day job, but I have some personal sites running django and I play with / get mad at Haskell a lot. My hobbies currently center around number theory, but if you have an idea from a field with "theoretical" in the title, I'd probably be interested. My sole contribution to mankind thus far has been creating the following joke: "Why was Sun-Tzu always on time? Because he knew the Chinese Reminder Theorem!" If you thought that joke had too much humor and not enough math, you'd probably enjoy my blog.

Charlie Talbert

Charlie photo

I'm currently President of Alliance For Animals and the Environment and have been a member since 2005. My partner Vicky and I went vegan on 4/4/04 (easy date to remember!) after seeing Peaceable Kingdom. It’s since been made even better: 3 1/2 minute preview. I volunteer also as Treasurer of Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry (UUAM). After I retired in 2011 as CFO of a healthcare system in SE Wisconsin, we moved to Madison. I love biking here. Favorite food? That would be the Ultimate Veggie Burger from the cookbook Vegan Planet. Caveat: I haven’t yet tried Lynn’s homemade peanut butter dog biscuits.

Dave Friedman

Dave Friedman photo

I've been vegan for 4 years and was vegetarian for 32 years before that. I organize the Madison Area Vegetarian Meetup Group, which hosts monthly vegan dinners at local restaurants. We also have many other events: potlucks, cooking lessons, game nights, camping trips, scenic hikes, apple picking outings, and many others. Check out vegmadison.org for more information. It's free to join. Other aspects of my life include ultimate frisbee, word games, and gadgets.

Gina Stuessy

Gina Stuessy photo

I think of my decision to become vegan as one of the best decisions I've made in my life, and only wish that I had made it sooner! I enjoy volunteering for, and being on the board of Alliance For Animals and the Environment, and have met several intelligent and passionate activists (one of whom you'll read about next)! My favorite foods are chocolate, tomatoes, and wine, and I probably spend too much time watching medical dramas. I live with my amazing boyfriend and our 2 vegan cats, "Tequilla", and "The Hunter". I occasionally write in my blog.

Judi Duncan

Judi Duncan

My husband and I relocated to Madison in November because we felt more at home here than we did in our former home in Illinois. We have owned a second home in Columbia County sort of in the 'sticks' for several years, and we spent so much time coming to Madison that we realized we wanted to live here full time and so we sold our Illinois home and made it happen, knowing no one in Madison. Since I no longer work for pay, I now work for my causes. I've been vegetarian a while but only recently transitioned to veganism. As I set up my new life and make new friends, I expect the Alliance to figure prominently. I'm looking to help in whatever ways I can. I enjoy working out, nutrition, hiking, reading, and spending time with my dogs. I also volunteer with the Sierra Club and am setting up volunteering with the UW Hospital and the Humane Society.

Lucy Pearson

Lucy Pearson

California born and raised, I'm now happily enjoying the unpredictable and varied weather of the Midwest. I made the switch to a veggie lifestyle in high school, and it only gets better with each passing day. I love every minute, and see the decision to become vegan as one of the best and most impactful in my life. When I'm not involved in activist events, eating vegan cookies, or explaining what seitan actually is, you can find me out running around the lakes, biking, or curled up with a fantasy novel.