The Power of Our Food Choices: Lauren Ornelas at TEDxGoldenGatePark

Nov 15, 2013

Lauren Ornelas discusses the power of our food choices at TEDxGoldenGatePark.

Lauren became a vegan in high school, where she started her first animal-rights group, and continued to devote her time and energy to social justice while earning her degree in communications. She founded and ran Viva! USA, a national nonprofit vegan advocacy organization, and performed numerous factory farm investigations. As Viva! USA's executive director, in cooperation with activists across the country, she also brought corporate changes to such powerful companies as Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, and Pier 1 Imports.

In 2007, lauren merged her animal- and human-rights work by founding Food Empowerment Project (, an all-volunteer nonprofit that encourages ethical food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of our natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, the lack of access to healthy foods in low-income areas, and the exploitation of children and other workers in the production of chocolate. She has also acted as campaigns director for a national advocacy group that promotes safe environmental practices in the high-tech industry.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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