Published on Nov 14, 2013
Lauren Ornelas discusses the power of our food choices at TEDxGoldenGatePark.
Lauren became a vegan in high school, where she started her first animal-rights group, and continued to devote her time and energy to social justice while earning her degree in communications. She founded and ran Viva! USA, a national nonprofit vegan advocacy organization, and performed numerous factory farm investigations. As Viva! USA’s executive director, in cooperation with activists across the country, she also brought corporate changes to such powerful companies as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, and Pier 1 Imports.
In 2007, lauren merged her animal- and human-rights work by founding Food Empowerment Project (foodispower.org), an all-volunteer nonprofit that encourages ethical food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of our natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, the lack of access to healthy foods in low-income areas, and the exploitation of children and other workers in the production of chocolate. She has also acted as campaigns director for a national advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high-tech industry.