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Peter Singer, a foremost philosopher on animal rights, is featured speaker at annual Boston Veg Food Fest

He says veganism has ‘got to become the mainstream, not only to reduce the suffering of animals and slow climate change, but to reduce the risk of future pandemics’

Peter Singer.
Peter Singer.Derek Goodwin

Peter Singer, a foremost philosopher on animal rights, will be the featured speaker at this year’s annual Boston Veg Food Fest, being held virtually from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday.

Singer, 74, is often credited with starting the modern animal rights movement with his 1975 book “Animal Liberation.” The author, co-author, and/or editor/co-editor of more than 50 books, Singer will speak about his latest release, “Why Vegan? Eating Ethically” at the live-streamed event.

While calling the progress that has been made in the plant-based movement “fantastic,” the Australian philosopher, author, and educator (he teaches at Princeton University) said there is still a long way to go.

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“We have to keep pushing because although we’ve made progress, this is not the mainstream yet, and it’s got to become the mainstream not only to reduce the suffering of animals and slow climate change, but to reduce the risk of future pandemics,” he maintained.

Other guest speakers at the free virtual event, presented by the Boston Vegetarian Society, include Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy farmer-turned-vegan farm animal rescuer (co-founder of Maple Farm Sanctuary in Mendon) Cheri Ezell-Vandersluis, heavyweight boxer Bryant Jennings, featured in James Cameron’s documentary “The Game Changers,” Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery, Boston Celtics' center Enes Kanter, and vegan hip-hop artist and poet Abioseh Cole.

For those looking for plant-based food, fashion, and other products, there will be special show discounts at the festival’s Marketplace.

To learn more about the 25th annual Boston Veg Fest (the longest running festival of its kind) and to stream it live, visit BostonVeg.org or the Boston Vegetarian Society Facebook page. The Marketplace can be accessed at BostonVeg.org/virtual-vegan-marketplace.