Vegan Street Media & Consulting

Marketing, Design, Social Media and Communications for Businesses and Organizations with a Conscience

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Our Story

About Us ... Our History ... Our Mission ... Our Staff ... Words of Praise ... Contact Us

John Beske and Marla RoseAbout Us
Vegan Street Media is a creative agency committed to bringing the most effective, professional and inspiring communications and education to vegan businesses, services, product lines and non-profits. Combining our years of expertise in graphic and written communications with our many years of community- and culture-building, we serve clients seeking logos, packaging, campaigns, promotions, branding, identity, social media, web development and consulting in for-profit and non-profit sectors. Our clients represent a wide range of goods, services and advocacy, from new businesses and charities to established ones.

We believe that…

* Building a vibrant community and culture is essential to a successful integration of veganism.

* We must be smarter, savvier and even more resourceful than the well-funded and established industries that harm.

* Creativity and making connections are our biggest tools.

* Businesses and organizations can be successful without compromising their values.

* Today and in the future, it is becoming more and more vital for businesses to show a genuine commitment to creating less harm.

* We are on the right side of history and we are just beginning to see the world moving toward a more compassionate, sustainable and just future. However, we need to be very smart, adaptive and engaged in order to create a bigger, quicker and more lasting shift.

Marla as Valerie VeggieburgerOur History

Marla Rose and John Beske are the team behind, and the creators of all the essays, recipes, vegan living tips and all those Vegan Street Memes that are floating around the internet.

Marla, who has a background as a writer, and John, who is a long-time graphic designer, have been together since 1993 and became vegan together in early 1995.

They almost immediately started using their talents to create posters and street theater for outreach events, and they jumped into the nascent world of vegan advocacy with the introduction of Valerie Vegiburger - a sandwich-board costume worn by Marla to hand out compassionate living literature beginning in 1996.

In 1998, they introduced, one of the web's first successful vegan lifestyle sites.  Since then, they have formed a number of groups and produced more than a dozen major vegan events including the now famous Chicago VeganMania, which is preparing for its eighth outing on October 1st, 2016.

Vegan Street recently published its 500th meme.

Our Mission

OUR VISION is to help build a vibrant, powerful and ever-growing vegan culture, community and economy.

OUR MISSION is to empower vegan businesses, non-profits and advocates to build their brands and promote their products, services and messages to an enthusiastic and engaged audience by providing innovative, compelling and effective stories, images, and marketing tools and strategies aimed at positively influencing the hearts and minds of their audiences.

Our Staff

JOHN BESKE is a long-time veteran of graphic design, advertising and marketing whose career began in the 1980s with stints at a series of large and small advertising agencies including Leo Burnett and Della Femina McNamee. During this time, he produced print, television, promotional and retail advertising and design for dozens of companies including such famous brands as General Mills, Sony, Popsicle, Miller Brewing and McDonald's. Eventually, he became disillusioned with the sometimes morally ambiguous tactics used by some of these large corporations, and left the agency scene to become an illustrator. Shortly after, he met Marla, they both became vegan, and he co-founded a visionary marketing agency called Sustain that devoted all of its work to building the messaging of non-profits in the environmental and social justice sectors including campaigns for Sierra Club, Earthjustice and the Rainforest Action Network. In his spare time, he teamed up with Marla to form the pioneering website Vegan Street in 1998, and open a Chicago chapter of EarthSave International in 1999.  In 2005, he left Sustain to form John Beske Communications, which has been building the brands of vegan and green companies and organizations for more than a decade. John Beske Communications has now been mostly folded into the newly-formed Vegan Street Media.

MARLA ROSE is an award-nominated journalist, columnist and author as well as the co-founder of Chicago VeganMania, the largest free vegan festival of its kind in the Midwest. Since 1995, Marla has dedicated her life to building vegan culture and community. Besides writing most of the content and managing social media for Vegan Street, she has been integral in building Chicago's vegan community. In 1999, she was the founding chairperson of EarthSave Chicago, which hosted dozens of monthly potlucks, each featuring vegan speakers, and produced five major day-long vegan conferences called the Conference for Conscious Living, which ultimately evolved into Chicago VeganMania. She also co-founded several other groups including the Chicago Vegan Family Network, which provides activities and resources for dozens of families raising vegan children. In 2007, she launched a blog, Vegan Feminist Agitator, and has since published hundreds of essays and interviews with vegan leaders, activists and culture builders. Thirty of her essays were compiled into the book, When Vegans (Almost) Rule the World, which was released in 2013. She also published a novel, The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero in 2011 and before that a vegan guidebook to Chicago in 2004. For the past several years, she has been writing feature stories for magazines, acted as programming director for Chicago VeganMania and has spoken about effective communications at the Animal Rights Conference, Vegetarian Summerfest, and several other conferences and festivals.

We are also building a consulting team of graphic designers, writers, webmasters and account executives who are as dedicated to the vegan movement as they are skilled in their trades.

Words of Appreciation

I have worked with Vegan Street Media for years, creating memes and marketing messages for my company Beanfields Snacks. John and Marla have a deep insight into the minds of the vegan consumer and a gift for framing a message that appeals not just the vegan community, but to everyone. The visual aids and memes they create are awesome, they deliver difficult messages with astonishing creativity. I look forward to creating more inventive marketing tools with Vegan Street Media, that help provoke thought and steer our message of better-for-you vegan snacks for everyone!

- Roy Glidden, Co-Founder of Beanfields Snacks

Vegan Street memes inform and inspire people to learn and take action through colourful and delightful illustrations on how to go vegan to hard core realist representations of animal suffering. The elegant artistry, simplicity, clarity and incredible comprehensive collection of Vegan Street memes make these a key educational tool in the vegan community across social media and on the streets for our door-to-door leafleting campaign.

- Anita Kranjc, Co-founder, Toronto Pig Save

Vegan Street offers inspiring and informative content daily--providing the tools the activists and consumers need in order to be better informed and/take action for animals. Woodstock Farm Sanctuary has hired them for their writing and creative services and we're very happy clients!

- Jenny Brown, Co-Founder and President, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

Marla and John are two of the most creative and brilliant people I know. They can get a vegan message across with wit, humor, and poignancy like no other. I admittedly borrow their content regularly because it's so incredibly impactful.

- Casey Taft, Co-founder of Vegan Publishers

Marla and John of Vegan Street are a powerhouse couple offering one of the most brilliant voices for veganism today. Whenever an issue is presented in the media or in the vegan movement, Marla and John spearhead an elegant, provocative, and polished interpretation. They are my go-to resource for vegan messaging and I am eternally grateful for all of their ingenuous, impeccable, and inspiring work.

- Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and host of Z Living's What Would Julieanna Do? Plant-Based Dietitian

Vegan Street memes somehow manage to pack vital education, grounded argument refutations, on-point humor, and striking visuals into a little square package of astoundingly effective digital activism. In our visually-stimulated short-attention-span society, memes have all but completely replaced conversation and discourse. Vegan Street's brilliance is using the very language of mindless online chatter to sneak in mindful, thought-provoking content.

- Emily Barwick, Founder Bite-Size Vegan

Vegan Street is a powerful and persuasive voice for animals and veganism. They are true pioneers.

- Nathan Runkle, President, Mercy For Animals

Vegan Street has its own unique brand of humor, intelligence and creativity that helps reach new audiences through a variety of online content. I admire their passion and perseverance for delivering work that will wow us upon first glance but also serve as a valuable reference for future use when the right moment presents itself. It is content that is as timely and relevant as it is enduring.

- Robert Grillo, Executive Director, Free From Harm

Thanks to their humor and engaging graphics, Vegan Street is effective at opening hearts and minds to the plight of farmed animals in a way that doesn't come off as preachy or self-righteous. And that's not always an easy task. I'm grateful for the work they do!

- Jon Camp, National Grassroots Director, The Humane League

Original and inspired, Vegan Street is an undeniably powerful voice for the animals. I love their creative, smart and sophisticated approach. Their memes are provocative and always on target—I’ve shared them on social media more times than I can remember, and really appreciate this fast, fun and effective resource for animal advocates. 

- Ginny Kisch Messina, MPH, RD, TheVeganRD

Marla Rose and John Beske have been powerful vegan advocates for years, and now with Vegan Street Media, they are using their combined creative skills to make outreach materials that get the message to the public in ways that are honest, thought-provoking and effective. The world is lucky to have them working on the side of compassion, justice and environmental sanity.

- Gene Baur, Co-founder, Farm Sanctuary

Nobody knows how to tap into the vegan community, with messages they'll respond to and share, better than the team at Vegan Street Media.

- Erik Marcus, Publisher,

Vegan Street... a voice for the animals and a voice for us. With humor and style...honesty and compassion
Marla & John influence and inform the veg, vegan and carnivorous community. They help wake up and change good old Chicago.

- Mickey Hornick, Owner, The Chicago Diner

There are also several written and recorded interviews with Marla and John around the web. Here is a sampling:

Radio Interview with Marla and John by Mark Sutton on the Dr. Don Show Part 1 . Part 2 . Part 3 . Part 4

Podcast interview with Marla and John on Our Hen House

The Thinking Vegan print interview with Marla and John

Vegan Nation podcast interview with Marla Rose

Contact Us

John Beske 

Marla Rose 


2016, Vegan Street