Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

Master Veg

Master VEG Program Speakers

Daniel Redwood

Daniel Redwood, DC

Chiropractor, Director of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program at the University of Western States, Author, Singer-Songwriter

Daniel Redwood, DC., is the Director of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program at the University of Western States. A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, he also holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic. Dr. Redwood practiced chiropractic full-time for 26 years in Washington, D.C., and Virginia Beach, Virginia, with a strong emphasis on nutrition and acupuncture. During the eight years before he joined the University of Western States in 2014, he was a professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City, where he taught clinical nutrition and chiropractic principles and practice, while also supervising student interns and serving as editor-in-chief of Health Insights Today. In addition, Dr Redwood is a successful medical author and singer-songwriter whose most recent recording is the animal rights album, Songs for Animals, People and the Earth.

TJ Tumasse

TJ Tumasse

Former Undercover Investigator and Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s new undercover investigations department

TJ Tumasse spent more than six years working as an undercover investigator with Mercy For Animals and PETA inside many of the nation’s largest commercial farms, local shelters, and roadside zoos. His cases exposed the ugly truth about what happens behind closed doors, and led to groundbreaking criminal convictions for felony abuse of farmed animals. His work as an undercover investigator has helped to effect change for millions of animals across the United States. T.J. has been interviewed or quoted on ABC, Nightline, 20/20, and numerous podcasts, blogs and websites. He currently manages the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s undercover investigations department, overseeing all aspects of undercover investigations for ALDF and creating a support network for investigators in the field.

Chelsea Davis

Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for Northwest VEG

Chelsea Davis is the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for Northwest VEG, on the Board of Directors for Action for Animals, ​a Certified ​Humane Educator, and ​a vegan/gluten-free cooking instructor. A long​-​time health aficionado, environmentalist, animal lover, and promoter of social justice​, in 2007 she​ concluded she could make the greatest impact ​in the world by promoting veganism and has been highly involved in the movement since​ then​. Along with her work for Northwest VEG and Action for Animals, ​Chelsea enjoys volunteering for other animal rights organizations including FARM​ and​ Mercy for Animals, and ​at ​local farm sanctuaries. Chelsea resides in beautiful Portland, Oregon with her two ​spoiled ​​pups, Yogi and BooBoo.

Kathy Hessler

Director and Clinical Professor, Animal Law Clinic, Lewis & Clark Law School

Kathy Hessler is a clinical professor of law and director of the only animal law clinic in the country. She is the first faculty member hired to teach animal law full time in a law school. She received her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated with a J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Prior to teaching at Lewis & Clark, Professor Hessler taught in clinical programs at Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cornell Law School, the University of Dayton Law School, the Capital University School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. She has been an animal activist and vegan since the late 1980's. She has been an advisor to the journal Animal Law since 1998, she coaches the animal moot court teams, and has been teaching Animal Law directly for 8 years and as a part of nonviolence courses beginning in 1989. She was a board member with ALDF and helped found the Animal Law Committee of the Cuyahoga County Bar. She is the chair and a founder of the Animal Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools. She co-authored the amicus brief submitted in the U.S. v. Stevens case, on behalf of 45 law professors who teach animal law. She has written law review articles and is writing two books on animal law. Professor Hessler lectures widely on animal law and animal law education issues and has spoken at Harvard and Yale as well as over a dozen other law schools in the US and in Canada and Japan.

Ramona Ilea, Ph.D.

Assiociate Professor, Pacific University

Dr. Ramona Ilea is an assistant professor of philosophy at Pacific University, Oregon. She teaches a semester-long "Animal Ethics" class, as well as classes on biomedical ethics, environmental ethics, and theoretical ethics. She has over twenty-five conference presentations as well as a number of publications, including "Intensive Livestock Farming: Global Trends, Increased Environmental Concerns, and Ethical Solutions" in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics and "Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach and Non-Human Animals: Theory and Public Policy" in the Journal of Social Philosophy. Her teaching and her research are highly connected; when she teaches, she aims to show students that studying philosophy is not just intellectually stimulating but also a powerful tool that can enable us to understand, analyze, and change the world.

Peter Spendelow, Ph.D.

Northwest VEG President

Peter Spendelow, President of Northwest VEG since July 2006 and board member since November, has a Doctorate in Zoology from the University of Washington. Peter has worked as a recycling/solid waste specialist for the Department of Environmental Quality for nearly 30 years and has presented more than 75 talks in the Portland area on the environmental impacts of the foods that we choose to eat.

Marsha Rakestraw

Certified Humane Educator

Marsha Rakestraw has worked for the Institute for Humane Education since January 2007. Marsha's background includes extensive experience teaching at the Pre-K graduate school levels, and more than 14 years working as a youth specialist in school and public libraries. She is a founding member of Northwest VEG in Portland, Oregon, and gives humane education presentations on a variety of topics. Marsha helped organize the first two state animal rights conferences in Ohio, and has served on the boards of vegetarian, animal protection and spay/neuter groups in Ohio and Oregon. Marsha has a B.F.A. in dance and a B.A. in English from Wichita State University, an M.L.S. in Library & Information Management from Emporia State University, and received her certification in Humane Education from IHE in December 2005.

Ole Ersson, M.D.

Family Practitioner and Owner of Kailash Eco Village

Dr. Ersson is a board certified family physician who works for the Multnomah County Health Department. He studied medicine at OHSU, where he completed a family medicine residency before working at Kaiser Permanente and Multnomah County.

Don Merrick

Don Merrick

Former NW VEG Vice President

Don retired in 1995 after a career as a chemical engineer. Following years as an off and on again vegetarian, he read John Robbins' book, Diet For A New America, in 1992 and quickly transitioned to a vegan diet. For 10 years, 1998-2008, Don was an officer in the EarthSave Portland Vancouver Chapter and later in Northwest VEG. His responsibilities included choosing speakers for local vegetarian potlucks. Related to this responsibility was a need for self studies on health and nutrition, environmental impacts from animal food production, and conditions for farmed animals. He was on the original team that helped design the Master Vegetarian Program in 2006 and became a speaker for the Program focusing on food corporations, genetically modified foods, the US farm bill, and fair trade. He continues to study these ever changing four issues, upgrading his talk for each MVP series.