January 16, 2023 - ISSUE 7, Quarter 4



Quote of the Quarter:

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.”

-Albert Einstein


Dani is an ecologist, environmentalist, wildlife photographer, gardener, and author. She is also a long-time vegan and activist in environmental, animal welfare, and social justice rights. Dani has recently converted her urban yard into a certified native wildlife sanctuary and food forest. Dani provides nature walks in the Tampa Bay area to increase eco literacy and to foster a greater passion for our planet. She also has a YouTube channel called Peaceful Bird Gardens where she teaches about veganic gardening and providing habitat with native plants for wildlife right in our own backyards. Dani has researched habitat fragmentation and loss as it relates to resource acquisition by migratory bird species. She has over twenty years of wildlife rehabilitation experience and she is the former hospital director for the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary.



Melissa Zepeda is an attorney and animal rights advocate. Melissa serves as a volunteer on the Florida Wildlife Commission's Bear Stakeholder Group to monitor bear management activities of the FWC. Melissa has attended several FWC meetings and has spoken to the Commissioners on a variety of wildlife issues including protecting the skyway pelicans, strengthening captive wildlife regulations, and prohibitions on invasive species. To help Floridians learn about what's happening with animals in their state, she has started the "Florida Loves Animals" YouTube channel. In her spare time, Melissa and her husband volunteer as a foster family for several local rescue groups. In 2018 FVA presented her with one of the two Animal Hero Awards that year for her tireless and successful efforts to help pass Amendment 13 which stopped greyhound racing in Florida. Melissa serves on FVA’s Advisory board as a legal advisor.



Florida was a much different place when Bill Samuels first lived here in 1969. He has seen many, many changes concerning the wildlife, and especially concerning our Florida panther. He has chronicled much of this information and now travels around Florida as a historian, sharing with audiences about where the panther was in 1969, how far we've come with panther recovery, and perhaps a glimpse into what the future holds for the panther in Florida. He now lives in Sarasota with his wife, Connie.



Feb 1 - Vegan Support Group via Zoom

Feb. 25 - Have-A-Heart Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser at Vine Vegan

Mar. 7 - Vegan Support Group via Zoom

Go to our MEETUP PAGE for more details and see new events as they are added!

FVA In Action!

You won't believe all the things FVA has been up to this quarter! Click here to read about volunteer meetings, karaoke buffets, tabling, donations, protests, advocacy, vegan support groups and much more.


New laws and policies are coming out in support of animals every day!

Check out all the good news here!



Cathy embodies a multifaceted persona shaped by her diverse passions and commitments. With a dynamic background as a former television journalist, her storytelling prowess extends beyond screens into advocacy and community service. As a co-founder of MEOW Now, a non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of feral cats, she champions their cause with unwavering dedication and compassion. Cathy's heart beats for her community in St. Pete, where she not only resides but actively contributes as a lifetime member of the Feline Veterinary Association (FVA), solidifying her enduring commitment to the well-being of her city and its furry inhabitants.

Tampa Bay VegFest ® 2023

This was our 12th year of organizing this incredible event. According to city and park officials, it was the largest event they have ever had at Perry Harvey Sr. Park! The vendors and the variety were amazing, and the food was incredibly delicious. Several food vendors reported running out of food at least one hour before closing.

Putting on an event like this takes an incredible amount of time, and a great many volunteers. Each person who helped mattered and truly made a difference. Each area was popping all day with our vendors, guests, and volunteers. Everyone was having a great time, and many said they could not wait for our next TBVF.

(Click here to read more about TBVF and see pictures from the event!)

A huge Thanks to all our 12th Annual TBVF volunteers! We could not have done this without you! Your dedication and commitment to help wherever needed was vital to the success of our 12th Annual Tampa Bay VegFest®. Click here to see the HUGE list of volunteers!


*** And click HERE to view our amazing TBVF program with all the information on our 2023 speakers, chefs, sponsors, and more! ***


Vegan Corn Casserole

I recently made this delicious corn casserole (aka corn pudding) as part of a huge spread for a holiday dinner with friends. It was so easy to make and such a big hit with my vegan friends, that I made it again for my omni family on Christmas. They aren't always the most accepting of my vegan dishes, but this was, once again, a hit! With just six ingredients mixed in one bowl, anyone can make this yummy dish! - Kimberly Gronemeyer

Check out the recipe here: 

Vegan Corn Casserole

by Keeping the PEAS

Knowledge and Action Corner

Long Time Animal Rights Advocate, Karen Davis has passed away at 79 years old.

Feb. 4, 1944 - Nov. 4, 2023

“That crazy chicken lady” -Karen Davis

Karen Davis was from Altoona, PA and lived in Machipongo, VA. She was a graduate of Lockhaven University, received a master’s degree from Shippensberg State college, and then earned a doctorate in English from the University of Maryland. She taught in the English department for 12 years. She founded Animal Rights Coalition in 1989 at the university and pioneered a course on the role of animals in the Western philosophic and literary tradition Honors Program.

After leaving the university, Karen turned to activism. She gave lecturers, did an enormous amount of writing, and became President of United Poultry Concerns. Karen founded United Poultry Concerns in 1990, a non-profit organization, and had a strong, and active voice for chickens, turkeys and other domestic, barnyard fowl. She turned her home in Machipongo, VA into an animal sanctuary for chickens. Ms. Davis gained national attention through her efforts to overhaul a global food system that included all poultry and called it mass murder! Karen organized protests outside of turkey farms leading dozens of activists at the Thanksgiving season and against the over 9 billion chickens slaughtered each year. Ms. Davis also traveled and took part in the NYC protest against live chickens being used in the religious ritual “Kapparot” practiced by the Orthodox Jews, in which a chicken is swung in a circle and slaughtered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippor. Thus began “Alliance to end chickens as Kaporos.”

Continue reading more about the life and legacy of Karen Davis here.

“Justice for Rosie” Verdict Sarasota courthouse Tues. Dec. 19, 2023 - 8:00am


As thousands of people across the country have now seen, the owner of a food truck called Food Vigilantes, Alicia Kincheloe, set fire to a raccoon in a dumpster, burning her alive. How do we know she did this? Because she recorded herself doing it. She was giddy with anticipation before doing it, and very satisfied as she showed Rosie the raccoon’s burnt corpse afterward, stating, "We toasted his ass!" I don't know when I last saw such an extreme case of animal torture and cruelty. After the sheriff's department's investigation concluded, it was revealed that not only did that happen, but before that, Roddy Kincheloe stabbed Rosie with a pitchfork. He and Alicia then went to lunch for a couple of hours and when they came back, she was still laying there, suffering with her wounds. Instead of realizing the gravity of what they have done, they decided to then pour gasoline on her and set her on fire, causing her to suffer immeasurably until she died. Let her death not be in vain. Let her death be precedence for any psychopath in our County that is thinking about torturing and killing an innocent being. While the Sarasota state attorney's office did an amazing job in prosecuting Alicia, who was found guilty on both felony counts, nothing creates pressure than we the people uniting to be a very loud voice for this voiceless. This will also be a celebration of sorts, for the being that this is all about, Rosie. So we will stand outside of the courthouse with our signs reminding the public and the powers that be inside, that this was about a life taken in a violent torturous manner, and we will not stay silent until a proper sentence is given.

-Traci Lipton


On December 19th, Traci Lipton organized a demonstration outside the courthouse before Alicia Kincheloe’s sentencing hearing. Several activists including FVA’s Laura Weiss were present to advocate for Rosie.

Read the verdict here!

ThanksVegan Returns

for 2023

After a three-year hiatus, Tampa’s ThanksVegan Potluck returned on Thanksgiving Day 2023. The announcement of its return was met with a combination of excitement and apprehension.

Could we pull it off?

See how we did by clicking here!

FVA Fur-Free-Friday Demo, Nov 24th 2023


Trevor Chin

Black Friday, the most active shopping day of the year after Thanksgiving, is the best day to hold a protest like FVA’s Fur-Free-Friday Demo at H&M, Westshore Plaza, Tampa. We also observed the crazy drivers at this busy intersection as we exercised our First Amendment rights. Although H&M clothing are faux fur, they do carry items which contain animal down.

It was one of the coldest days in the Tampa Bay area with slight misting just before the demo started. Four of FVA’s resilient volunteers showed up to help spread the message. Fur is Dead. H&M Profits from Animal Abuse! Animals are not ours to wear. H&M Down Hurts. You can help spread the word about fur to your friends and family. If you are given a present of fur, politely return it to the sender indicating that you prefur cruelty-free clothing.




A Few Abandoned Kitties Need Your Help


Dear Compassionate Friends of Abandoned Felines:


I am desperately asking for your help, or anyone among your acquaintances, in feeding two small colonies of abandoned cats at Al Lopez Park. This city park is located on Himes Blvd., just north of the Raymond James stadium. These are established colonies that have been residing there for approximately 3-4 years and most have been, or will be, neutered in the TNR process. Many enjoy being petted but a few are too shy for this interaction with humans. Sadly, almost all are unadoptable because of their long life in the wild.


Presently there are four of us stopping by the park once daily to drop off food for these darlings, but we are finding the task very tiring and we need more participants in our compassionate enterprise. We have been doing this for over three years now.


As coordinator of the group. I schedule the feeding days for everyone so that each person knows the days each month they will feed. The scheduling also ensures the cats are fed daily. Our “members” submit to me, via email, their preferred days to feed each month and I am almost always able to work around their needs when designing the monthly schedule. The new schedule is sent out to everyone several days before the beginning of each month.


To conclude, please help us keep these orphaned kitties alive. We can even provide cat food to anyone that needs it, if they will just commit to stopping by the park one day each week to feed these sweeties.


Interested parties should contact the coordinator of schedules, via email, at:

[email protected]. One of our members will meet you at the park at your convenience, show you the location of the kitties, and discuss their feeding needs.


Please feel free to send this message along to your members. Your compassionate help for those that cannot help themselves is most appreciated.


Clarence T. (Tom) Bird, Ph.D., MLS


Florida Voices for Animals 

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