About the Fierce Vegans
Scout & Erin Sharaf
Erin, a long-standing devoted vegan and animal advocate, has been an educator for over 20 years, currently as a professor of health sciences. She has extensive training in mindfulness and the mind-body connection, and is an internationally certified mindfulness instructor. Erin practiced as a primary care provider for 10 years and did her Physician Associate training at Yale University School of Medicine. She has a master's degree in Integrative Medicine and is a former professional figure skater. From a young age Erin was a champion for abused and neglected animals. She could not understand the callous disregard of our 4-legged, winged and aquatic kin that she saw in the society around her. A shamanic practitioner, she believes that everything has a spirit, including the earth and the elements, and most definitely the non-human animals. She chose to teach mindfulness and related practices as a way of awakening hearts and minds of humans so that circles of compassion could expand out to eventually include all beings. She loves to gives talks, workshops, and to lead transformational retreats. An insatiable curiosity and irrepressible hope for this broken world drive her forward with her intention firmly rooted:
May all beings be at peace.
Chemakoh & Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore was born into an immigrant MENA family and raised in a marginalized religious household where she felt 'otherized' throughout her childhood and teen years. It was this chronicity of suffering that may have lent her compassion for others unlike her. She learned the horrors of factory farming at age 7, and she stopped eating animals in 1972. In the 6th grade, she worked on campaigns to save whales, seals, and animals used in vivisection. Since then, she has worked to help educate and shift hearts toward ahimsa, compassion for all beings which is at the core of her spiritual practice. A fierce anti-speciesist, she has saved many animal lives, and sadly lost many more, throughout the years (her most famous rescue can be watched here). Chemakoh is the reason that the Selah Carefarm exists, a vegan animal rescue that helps grieving, traumatized people from all over the world connect with animals who, too, have suffered loss, grief, terror, and loneliness. Dr Jo, as people call her, is a tenured professor at Arizona State University and founder of the MISS Foundation, an international nonprofit organization that aids families around the world whose children are dying or have died. Her best selling book "Bearing the Unbearable" received numerous accolades and awards. As a mother whose baby died at birth in 1994, she knows the immense pain of that separation. The anguish of being separated from her child, along with her very important faith-centered compassion, fuels her commitment to stopping the same suffering for mothers and their babies in the animal world.
To learn more visit www.JoanneCacciatore.com.