Part I: Laura-Jane Koers, Cook Lively
Laura-Jane Koers is a food writer, stylist, and photographer and the blogger behind TheRawtarian.com, known for doable, approachable plant-based recipes. She also hosts the Raw Food Podcast on iTunes. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Part II: Laurelee Blanchard, Leilani Farms
Laurelee Blanchard, Founder and President of Leilani Farm Sanctuary, left a lucrative career as Senior Vice President at the national firm of Lee and Associates Commercial Real Estate Services to devote her life to animal protection and humane education. In 1999, she cashed out her life savings and moved from Orange County, California, to Haiku, Maui. There she acquired an eight-acre parcel of land, on which she created a farm sanctuary—a refuge where animals would be protected from neglect, abuse, and slaughter. Leilani Farm Sanctuary, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, is now home to nearly three hundred rescued animals, including goats, chickens, rabbits, ducks, donkeys, geese, deer, cats, pigs, sheep, turkeys, guinea pigs, tortoises, and a cow. The Sanctuary provides educational programs for school groups and special-needs visitors; it also offers tours to the general public. Since the mid-90s, Ms. Blanchard has focused her attention on the protection of farm animals. She served as a pro- bono communications director for Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), a national non-profit that devotes its efforts to bringing to an end the practice of using living, sentient beings for food. She also worked for three years as campaign consultant to Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest farm-animal protection organization. In 2010, Laurelee was hired as consultant to the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), specifically in its campaign to end the long-distance transport of live farm animals from the Mainland U.S. to Hawaii. She successfully negotiated with Foodland and Times Supermarket chains to implement policies against purchasing pork from pigs shipped to Hawaii, thereby reducing the number of pigs transported and slaughtered by approximately seventy-five thousand per year. In 2012, Laurelee was presented the “Vegan of the Year in North America” commendation for her outstanding animal activist work; and in 2015, she received a national award and grant from the Godiva Company for embodying the attributes of Lady Godiva through selflessness, generosity, leadership, and the spirit of giving back to the community.