Speakers & Interviews

CAF 2020 is honored to share the following presentations from this year’s festival speakers.

Joanne Kong

Video “The Act of Courageous Compassion That Could Heal Our World” - an insightful and inspiring presentation that is both a talk and multi-arts music performance with visual images. See Below

Kathy Stevens

Catskill Animal Sanctuary founder/director and bestselling author Kathy Stevens takes us to meet some of the animal ambassadors at Catskill Animal Sanctuary in this talk and presentation on the emotional lives of farmed animals and why sanctuaries matter. Click here to view the video of this past Compassion Arts Festival event from 11/15/2020.

Sailesh Rao

Zoom event Sun., 11/22 at 1:00-2:00pm “Climate Healers and the One Thing We Can Do” - an interview with Climate Healers founder Sailesh Rao on intersections of compassion for animals and healing the earth. Advance sign-up required. Click here for information.

Roundtable on Compassion Fatigue

Zoom event Tues., 11/24 at 7:30-9:00pm “Finding Healing and Creating Peace in a Violent World” - a discussion with activist Lisa Levinson, therapist /author April Lang and humane educator Marla Andrews. Advance sign-up required. Click here for information.

“The actions of individuals choosing compassion over exploitation have the collective power to elevate our consciousness and create positive change. More than ever, the world needs a new emboldened sense of empathy for the innocent sentient beings who have no voice.”
– Joanne Kong

Joanne Kong

Joanne Kong

Joanne Kong

Dr. Joanne Kong is a nationally renowned speaker for advocacy for plant-based living and compassion for animals and the earth, as well as a critically acclaimed, award-winning classical pianist. She has been praised throughout the country as one of the most compelling advocates for plant-sourced nutrition today, raising ethical awareness that greater compassion for animals and our planet are vitally necessary for transformative growth and positive world change. Her presentations have been featured at universities, conferences, festivals, and for organizations across the US and the world. Her widely received TEDx talk has been viewed by more than 800,000 people and shared on numerous websites internationally.

Kong is the author of If You’ve Ever Loved an Animal, Go Vegan. She is profiled in the groundbreaking book Legends of Change about women who are changing the world, and she is included in Unbound Project, “a multimedia and book project that celebrates the inspiring women who have been at the forefront of animal advocacy around the globe.” Dr. Kong appears in the documentaries Eating Our Way to Extinction and Taking Note, and is a Sustainability Leadership Award recipient at the University of Richmond.

Her talks have been described as “a positive message about the way our daily choices can make the world a better place for others and for ourselves,” “making a difference and encouraging positive change to happen,” and “enlightening and provocative.”

Joanne Kong with Vegan the pig

Joanne Kong and “Vegan” the pig, at River's Wish Animal Sanctuary in Spokane, Washington


The Act of Courageous Compassion That Can Heal our World

Through the eloquence of spoken words, imagery and music performance, this presentation focuses upon embracing the greatest gift we can give to other beings – compassion. The courage to transform our collective identity away from an egocentric view will reawaken the deep kinship we have with our fellow beings, and create a path to restore the sustainability of the natural world.

“Can we as a society be brave enough to bring about an evolution in which we see all animals as the beautiful kindred spirits that they are? We need not look further than how we cherish our own pets, to show us the innate empathy we are capable of extending to other beings.”
– Joanne Kong