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Earthling Ed
Educator & Speaker

Ed Winters (aka Earthling Ed) is a vegan educator, public speaker and content creator, widely known for his viral debates, speeches, and video essays. Ed Winters has spoken at over 1/3 of UK universities and at Ivy League colleges, including as a guest lecturer at Harvard University in both 2019 and 2020. He has given speeches across the world, including at the University of Cambridge, EPFL, Google NYC and Google Zürich. In early 2019 he gave two TEDx talks, surpassing a total of 2 million views online. His speech "You Will Never Look at Your Life in the Same Way Again" has 35 million accumulative views online and has been given to thousands of students across UK universities.

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Chris Packham
Broadcaster

Chris Packham is a broadcaster, and an environmental and animal welfare activist. His recent credits include ‘Earth’ and ‘Inside Our Autistic Minds’ for the BBC, and ‘Is it Time to Break the Law’ for Channel 4. He's an ambassador for numerous wildlife and environmental NGOs, and organises his own independent campaigns and actions. Chris campaigns for just transitions towards positive environmental necessities - from fossil fuels to renewable energies, industrial and intensive animal agriculture to plant based alternatives, chemical dependent to regenerative farming and declining biodiversity to nature recovery. He's a passionate and vocal vegan and works with organisations to promote a rapid transition to plant based diets. His autobiographical ‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar’ was Book of the Week and topped The Sunday Times Bestsellers list. He lives in New Forest with his partner Charlotte and their two poodles. His mantras are “winning is not giving up” and “shout above the noise”.

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Lee Mack
Comedian

Lee Mack is an English comedian, actor, podcaster and presenter. He is known for his quick wit, writing and starring in the sitcom Not Going Out, being a team captain on the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?, hosting the Sky One panel show Duck Quacks Don't Echo, presenting the panel show They Think It's All Over, and hosting Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof (2022–) alongside Holly Willoughby. He has also been a guest host on Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a guest captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and a guest panellist on QI. In 2021 he made his debut on the BBC Radio 4 panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. In 2022 he began hosting the ITV game show The 1% Club. Lee will be coming to VCO for the first time and will be doing a live on-stage interview all about his life, career and vegan journey!

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Benjamin Zephaniah
Musician & writer

Born and raised in Birmingham, Dr Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah is a British writer, dub poet and Rastafarian. His poetry is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls 'street politics'. His first real public performance was in church when he was 10 years old, by the time he was 15 he had developed a strong following in his home town of Handsworth where he had gained a reputation as a young poet who was capable of speaking on local and international issues. In the nineties his book publications, record releases and television appearances increased in Britain.

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Michael Greger
Author & physician

Michael Greger is an American physician, author, and professional speaker on public health issues, best known for his advocacy of a whole-food, plant-based diet, and his opposition to animal-derived food products. Greger went to college at Cornell University School of Agriculture, where as a junior he wrote informally about the dangers of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, on a website he published in 1994. In the same year, he was hired to work on mad cow issues for Farm Sanctuary, near Cornell, and became a vegan after touring a stockyard as part of his work with Farm Sanctuary.

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Simon Amstell
Comedian

Simon Amstell is a comedian, presenter, screenwriter and director. His latest stand-up special Set Free is available on Netflix. Simon has also released 'Numb: Live at the BBC' and 'Do Nothing'. Simon’s feature film Benjamin premiered at the London Film Festival and was released internationally to widespread critical acclaim. Simon’s debut film the mockumentary Carnage aired on BBC iPlayer. He wrote, alongside Dan Swimer, and starred in the critically acclaimed television series Grandma's House (BBC 2). Simon’s book, Help, was published by Penguin Random House in 2017. Other presenting credits include Popworld (Channel 4) and Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC 2). In his youth, he was the youngest finalist of the BBC New Comedy Awards and has since won an RTS Award, a Broadcast Award, two British Comedy Awards and has been nominated for a BAFTA.

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Kate Nash
Singer-songwriter

Kate Nash is an English singer-songwriter and actress. Nash launched her music career in 2005. Her 2007 single "Foundations" became a hit and brought her to public attention in the UK. Her debut album, Made of Bricks, peaked at No. 1 in the UK and was a moderate international success. Nash subsequently won the award for Best British Female Artist at the 2008 Brit Awards. Her second studio album, My Best Friend Is You, was released in 2010 and reached the top 10 in the UK and Germany. After her departure from a major label, Nash self-released her third studio album, Girl Talk, in 2013, but it failed to match the commercial success of her previous records. Her fourth and most recent studio album, Yesterday Was Forever, was also released independently in 2018, funded by her fans via a Kickstarter campaign.

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Macka B
Musicians

Macka B is a vegan Reggae artist who is well known for his social commentary and conscious lyrics. In a career spanning over four decades he's released over 20 albums and travelled worldwide always keeping true to his principles and Rastafari faith. Starting off on sound systems in Wolverhampton England, Macka B has become one of the most respected Reggae artists in the world. Macka B has toured Africa, Jamaica, Japan, USA, Australia, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines and Canada to name but a few. He's been promoting the vegan lifestyle for many years and in 2017 he became an internet sensation going viral with his Medical Mondays and Wha Me Eat Wednesdays Healthy Eating Vegan raps with his Cucumba rap receiving 100s of millions of views. He now has almost 500,000 followers on Facebook and over 300,000 on Instagram and continues to spread consciousness and break down the barriers.

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The Happy Pear
Cooking & lifestyle

In 2004 at the age of 24, Dave and Steve started The Happy Pear, a fruit and veg shop, to try to create a happier, healthier world and build community. It's gone from the two lads to a team of almost 100, the business turning over €10 million in 2019. The Happy Pear now has 60 vegan food products in nearly 1,000 stores in Ireland, two cafes, a farm, coffee roastery, and a sourdough bakery. They've sold 250,000 cookbooks (five times number one bestsellers), and have seven online health and lifestyle courses in which they partnered with plant-based doctors and experts from across the globe, having helped over 50,000 people through these courses from 120 different countries. The Happy Pear has one million followers across their social channels and more than 40 million views on YouTube. "We love what we do!

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Bimini
Drag artist

Bimini is a British drag queen, author, and model based in East London. They are best known for competing on the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, where they placed as a runner-up. Bimini studied a degree in journalism before entering into the world as an artist, mixing music, performance, fashion and activism throughout their work. Bimini has also recently become a published author to their first book, Release The Beast. Bimini has been vegan for seven years.

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Peter Egan
Actor & activist

Peter Egan is a British actor known for his TV roles, including Hogarth in Big Breadwinner Hog, the future King George IV of the United Kingdom in Prince Regent (1979); smooth neighbour Paul Ryman in the sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles (1984-89); and Hugh "Shrimpie" MacClare, in Downton Abbey (2012-15). Egan is a longtime animal lover. Starting in around 2010, he began to campaign publicly on behalf of animal rights. In January 2016, Egan participated in Veganuary, and has remained vegan ever since!

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Lucy Watson
Influencer & activist

Vegan influencer and animal rights activist Lucy Watson burst onto our screens in 2012 and firmly set herself as one of the lead characters in hit E4’s ‘Made in Chelsea’. Since leaving the show, Lucy has made frequent appearances on our screens and has established herself as one of the top vegan influencers in the country.  Her incredibly successful series of ‘Feed Me Vegan’ cookbooks were published by Little, Brown. Lucy has grown a loyal and significant following on Instagram and uses her platform to promote sustainable and Cruelty Free products. Lucy’s recent collaborations include Starbucks, Boots and Molton Brown.

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Mic the Vegan
Vegan science writer

Mic the Vegan is a vegan science writer who covers a variety of topics from the health effects of a vegan diet and the environmental impact of eating animal products to the sociological phenomenon of casual animal exploitation. Based in the US, he regularly tackles debunking the myths that perpetuate harmful dietary and lifestyle behaviours - all with a drop of humour that only he thinks is funny. Key facts: Mic is short for microphone and Mike/Michael, NOT MICK! He is not a medical professional but he is currently studying Public Health at the Master's level.

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Nimai Delgado
Fitness influencer

Nimai Delgado is a certified health coach, mechanical engineer, founder of veganfitness.com and Vedge Nutrition, and the world's first vegan IFBB pro bodybuilder. He was also featured in James Cameron's documentary The Game Changers and the first vegan to ever grace the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine. Nimai's not your average "meathead", he was raised on a lacto-vegetarian diet since birth and transitioned to a fully plant-based diet in 2014. He began competing in bodybuilding in 2015 and quickly climbed up the ranks of the bodybuilding world while simultaneously showing that athletes can build muscle and thrive on a vegan diet. He now uses his platforms to educate millions about the many benefits of eating more plants and living a more holistic lifestyle.

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Derek Simnett
Simnett Nutrition

Derek Simnett from Simnett Nutrition is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Vancouver Island, Canada who is a passionate advocate for plant based nutrition. His YouTube channel has 700,000 subscribers and has had over 55 million views! Beyond his expertise in nutrition, Derek enjoys living an active lifestyle and teaching others how to thrive on a whole foods plant based diet. Through his fun and simple approach to cooking, Derek helps encourage people worldwide to eat more plants. Being a competitive athlete most of his life, Derek's focus is on performance based nutrition. He loves to help people reach their fitness and lifestyle goals through healthy, wholesome food with a natural approach to fitness and movement.

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Genesis Butler
Activist

Genesis Butler is a 16-year-old Afro Indigenous animal rights and environmental activist and is one of the youngest to give a TEDx talk. Inspired by her great uncle civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, Genesis’ talk "A 10 Year Old's Vision for Healing the Planet" discussed the negative impact of animal agriculture on the environment. Genesis was named a real life superhero by Marvel and featured in Marvel Hero Project on Disney+. She's the founder of the nonprofit 'Genesis for Animals' which raises funds for animal sanctuaries. In 2019, she started a global climate organisation, Youth Climate Save, which raises awareness on the connection between animal agriculture and climate change. They have 80+ chapters worldwide and help to mobilize climate activists by providing funding for tree planting, beach clean-ups and outreach. Genesis has been featured by Harvard, Time for Kids, People, Nickelodeon, Marvel, The New York Times, Washington Post and more!

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Juliet Gellatley
Viva! UK founder

In 1994 Juliet founded Viva! - the biggest vegan charity in Europe. She also launched Viva! Poland in 2001 - one of the biggest animal protection groups in Central Europe. Juliet has created and launched numerous campaigns and written several reports, guides and books, including The Silent Ark, Born to be Wild, Vegan New Parents' Guide, Healthy Vegan Kids, Why You Don't Need Dairy and Nutrition in a Nutshell. She has filmed and exposed many factory farms, severely embarrassing major companies and supermarkets - many of which changed policies. Juliet filmed at the notorious Hogwood pig farm that supplied Tesco, and is producer of the documentary, Hogwood: a modern horror story, airing on Netflix in 2022. Juliet and her team created the first vegan cinema ad and Viva!'s first vegan TV ad. Juliet is an inspirational, fun and informative speaker and has made many media appearances across the world. She has a degree in zoology and psychology; diploma in direct marketing and is a qualified nutritional therapist. Visit viva.org.uk.
 

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