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On a bi-monthly basis, the Compassion Consortium suggests a book, film or compassionate practice for you to consider that relates to our mission. Please join us to discuss and exchange thoughts regarding the topic being explored and its meaning to you. When possible, we will be joined by the book’s author, the film maker, or someone who is an expert in the compassionate practice being discussed.

Animal Welfare Music and Memories

Featuring Bill Van Noter and Elissa Free

The talented husband and wife team of singer/songwriter Bill Van Noter and noted journalist Elissa Free will be featured in the Compassion Consortium's Music and Memories Night on Wednesday, April 24th, 7:30 pm Eastern.  Join us for an evening of Bill's music and Elissa's memories of growing up in the burgeoning animal welfare movement with one of its pioneers, Ann Cottrell Free. 


While Bill led an illustrious career as an attorney and judge, Elissa was building her own reputation as a journalist with 21 years at CNN. Her mother, too, was a groundbreaking journalist––the first woman in the Washington Bureau of Newsweek, the Chicago Sun, and the New York Herald Tribune. In the late 1950s, Ann wrote stories that mobilzed the public for the successful passage of the Humane Slaughter and Animal Welfare Acts. She was a friend of Rachel Carson's and an early environmentalist, and her admiration of Dr. Albert Schweitzer led to her book, Animals, Nature & Albert Schweitzer.


In this lively and fascinating evening, we'll hear amazing stories of Ann Cottrell Free's work for animals in those early days, and what Elissa and Bill have been doing since. We'll intersperse throughout the event select songs from Bill's playlist, such as "We Shall Not Stop," "The Hunted," and "Slaughterhouse Way."

Wendy Mathews

Veganuary's 10th Anniversary: Their Story of How It Caught On

Join us on January 24 at 7:30 PM ET for a special Compassion Consortium Film Night and Discussion regarding Veganuary’s Celebration of its 10th Anniversary, as we look back at the past decade and reflect on the triumphs and challenges over the years.  


We'll view ’s Veganuary’s 22-minute documentary, as our guests from Veganuary explore its impact and expansion around the world since launching in 2013. There will be a Q&A following the documentary.


Veganuary is a non-profit organization that encourages people worldwide to try going Vegan for the month of January and beyond. Millions of people have signed up to the one-month vegan pledge since 2014, and in 2023 alone more than 1,610 new Vegan products and menu options were launched in key campaign countries.

Wendy Matthews is the international head of partnerships and expansion at Veganuary, leading the globalization of the Veganuary campaign. She previously oversaw the nonprofit’s campaign in the US from its launch in January 2020. She has been actively involved in the vegan/animal-protection movement for over a decade, previously having worked with Farm Sanctuary as senior manager of engagement and social impact. Wendy is passionate about creating resources that help people live in alignment with their values and supporting businesses in shifting towards plant-based to meet the rise in consumer consciousness.



Maya Gottfried, author of Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal, With Fashion, Make-up and Wedding Tips, by Maya Gottfried (author) with Dame Darcy (illustrator) joins us for our Book Night in a lively discussion of vegan love.

Her book offers guidance on how to spread the vegan love and bring compassion for all beings into one’s romantic life. Going cruelty-free need not mean alienating potential partners or long-term lovers.


Author Maya Gottfried shares her experiences of going Vegan and playing the Vegan dating game, as well as insights by notable Vegan women, both straight and LGBTQ, from various walks of life, including Jane Velez-Mitchell of, Marisa Miller Wolfson of the film Vegucated, Jasmin Singer, author of Always Too Much and Never Enough, and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau of the Food for Thought podcast.




Panel discussion about St. Francis of Assisi

On October 11 at 8:00 pm, and in honor of the October 4 Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the Compassion Consortium presents our Film Night featuring the beautiful vintage film, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, an uplifting and visually stunning dramatization of the life of Saint Francis and his dear friend, Saint Clare, sometimes called "the female St. Francis."


Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a 1972 film directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Graham Faulkner and Judi Bowker. We're bringing together a special panel to discuss Francis, animals, nature, the Pope who took Francis's name, and what it means to live in the legacy of this spiritual luminary.


Writer, director, and producer of Earthlings

The Compassion Consortium presents a retrospective on the ground-breaking 2005 film Earthlings, with our special guest Shaun Monson, writer, director and producer of the film. Earthlings is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and features the music of Moby.

Earthlings premiered in 2005 at the Artivist Film Festival where it won Best Documentary Feature. It won Best Content Award at the Boston International Film Festival, and at the San Diego Film Festival it won Best Documentary Film; the Humanitarian Award went to Phoenix for his work on the film. This documentary is based on the three sectors of life on earth: Nature, Animals (other than us), and Humankind. It doesn't take long to see that most of the problems faced by all three sectors can be traced back to the third one.


Author and Co-Founder of Our Hen House Podcast

Jasmin Singer is a worldwide leading expert on veganism, a coveted speaker on topics including radical body positivity, personal narrative as a means of social justice, and how to change the world for animals. 

She is the author of The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan and Always Too Much and Never Enough: A Memoir.  Along with animal law professor Mariann Sullivan, Jasmin is also the co-host of the long-running Our Hen House podcast, an award-winning show that centers around animal rights. 


Author, Co-founder of Compassion Consortium

In this discussion, we feature Compassion Consortium's own Reverend Sarah Bowen, as she talks about her new book,  Sacred Sendoffs: An Animal Chaplain's Advice for Surviving Animal Loss Making Life Meaningful & Healing the Planet. 

Rev. Sarah shares her new manifesto for improving life and death for all beings on Earth. While many books focus exclusively on pet loss, animal welfare, or environmental issues, with Rev. Sarah’s ever curious and playful style, she  takes on all three, revealing their unavoidable entanglement.


about their film "They're Trying to Kill Us" 

An exclusive, pre-release discussion with film producers Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy and What the Health) and John Lewis (Badass Vegan).  The aim of this film is to encourage critical thought about justice by highlighting Hip Hop artists and activist who speak about injustice in all its forms. The film addresses food access and food deserts, nutritional, and environmental racism, diet related diseases, racial disparities of disease, government corruption, animal cruelty, climate change and ultimately how the influence of Hip Hop will save the world. The film features notable influencers from the fields of Hip Hop, medicine, sports, entertainment, policy, and politics weighing in on the singular most deadly threat to American society that mainstream media doesn't want to talk about.


Contributors to the book Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers 

Our panelists discuss their contributions to the book Vegan Voices: Essays by Inspiring Changemakers, a collection of informative, diverse, evocative, and inspiring essays from over 50 vegan activists, educators, artists, and changemakers on the whys and wherefores of the vegan diet and lifestyle.


Shelter Animal Reiki Association co-founders
Exploring the Healing Power of Animal Reiki 

Kathleen discusses the concept and history of animal Reiki, its use and value in healing animals, their healing and meditation techniques, their personal experiences, and the mission and activities of SARA. In addition, she leads us in an animal Reiki meditation.


President and Co-Founder of Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA)

Learn about the Buddha’s teachings on compassion to all beings in Dharma Voices for Animals’ free documentary Animals and the Buddha. The 45-minute documentary includes interviews with world-renowned monastics and lay teachers including Jetsuma Tenzin Palmo, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ven. Bhante Gunaratana, Ven. Geshe Phelgye, Christopher Titmuss, teachers from Spirit Rock Meditation Center and many others.

Co-founder Compassion Consortium and Author of Gay the Pray Away

For many people, religious communities have been a source of rejection, judgment, and shame. In Gay the Pray Away, Rev. Erika Allison shares her experience growing up in a religious family in Texas and enduring conversion therapy as their attempt to change her sexual orientation.

The book first describes her 20-year journey of healing and recovery as she learned to peel back the layers of conditioning to find her true, authentic self. This discovery led Rev. Erika to transform from corporate engineer to Queer interfaith minister (and aspiring mystic), from human “doing & proving” to human being, and from carnivore to compassionate vegan. Along the way, she also learned how to forgive, heal, and make peace with her family and “the church.” Rev. Erika offers readers 7 guideposts she calls “the RAINBOW path.” The steps suggest a way to heal from identity harm―or any other experience of being that told who you are is somehow unlovable or flawed. She hopes this book will help readers connect with their truest version of themselves, fall in love with that authentic self, and unapologetically unleash that brilliant self to shine brightly in the world.

Episcopal priest and the Executive Director of GreenFaith, a global multi-faith climate and environmental justice network

With honesty and candor, Fletcher Harper shows that it takes belief and practice, science and faith to sustain us and our planet. The book gives concrete examples and tips that will help people of faith and worshiping communities engage in Earth care—in bold, life-giving ways. Each chapter has questions to guide personal study and group conversation. All bets are off if we go over the climate change cliff—a disaster greater than many Hurricane Sandys. There is no doubt that climate change is happening. While debated for years and despite some media reports to the contrary, the majority of people are ready to take action to avoid calamity. But what action is advisable or even possible? What can ordinary people do in the face of such staggering problems? Can or should faith communities play a part? Fletcher Harper shows how we can make a difference and make Earth a better world for all of us.

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