Melissa Cenker from Bucks County Vegan

We were joined by Melisa Cenker,

founder and marketing manager fof Bucks County Vegan for what turned out to be a fascinating education into the otherwise often misunderstood world of veganism.

For most of the Club members, there was confusion about the differences between the diets of Vegans and those of Vegetarians.  Melissa explained, Vegans eat no animal products, while Vegetarians don’t eat animals, but may eat products that come from them (such as dairy and eggs). People typically choose these diets because of health concerns, religious restrictions, moral concerns about harming animals or other personal reasons.  Although all vegans tend to follow the same set of clear cut guidelines – eat nothing that came from an animal – there are a few different types of vegitarian diets.

Melissa's enthusiassm for h hesubject was impressive as she went into more detail; 

Vegan, she further explained, is simply the term commonly used for pure (100%) vegetarian food. This means vegan food is free of animal products or by-products.  Vegan (or true 'pure vegetarian') meals and baked goods refrain from including meat, dairy (and other dairy products like whey), eggs, honey and other animal-derived products.  This may sound extreme at first to many.  However, if you look into the production of these products, you may find that you do not agree with the production methods.  People use the term 'vegan' accurately when they want to note they refrain from animal products for moral reasons while the term 'plant-based' is accurately used for more generalized reasons usually including health and fitness focus.  Many people and restaurants however use the terms vegan and plant-based interchangeably since both denote the non-inclusion of animal derived ingredients.

​Her organization actively identifies area restaaurants which cater to vegans and serve vegan meal offeringss.  Among the benefits they aspouse for supporting vegan restaurants and eating vegan food are:
  • Saveing animals,
  • Helping prevent animals from living through a life of cruelty.
  • Helping reduce world hunger.
  • Helping reduce climate change.
  • Helping reduce deforestation.
  • ​Helping reduce species extinction.

Surprisingly to some it truns out that many common foods many people enjoy, such as ice cream, are producted from Oats, Almonds and other plant-based sources. 

Once challenge in purchsing vegan alternatives to animal-based foods is locating markets which sell them.  Trader Joe's is one, althought the neaest ones are inconveniently located from our area in Princeton, Jenkintown and Philadlephia.

The organization's website,,

provides a great deal more information including vegan recipies, a guide to aera restaurants which offer a vegan menu, and vegan meal-delivery services.

At the end of her presentation, samples of vegan cookies and other snacks wer available … and were quite tasty!

Melissa added to the growing list of speakers our Club continues to attract who so frequently enlighten us to subjects about which we too often have but a cursory knowledge.