Saturday September 20th was the first annual Halifax VegFest, an all vegan event held at the Olympic community center. The crowds were massive, the food was delicious and I think it turned into a bigger day than any of us could have dreamed.
I arrived an hour early because I was insanely excited and wasn't sure if there were lineups or not. I was allowed to enter a little bit before 10 since I was volunteering for Mercy for Animals. Upon entering I was impressed by the amount of vendors who showed up. A lot of these companies are not fully vegan but they took it upon themselves to create vegan options for this event or showcased their existing vegan-friendly selections.
Towards the back wall there was a table filled with vegan pamphlets, recipe cards, stickers and more for people to help themselves to. They also had a table filled with vegan books for people to flip through. Upstairs there were more vendors and other animal activist groups including Mercy for Animals.
Food, lifestyle, cooking demos, lectures, entertainment, massages, weightloss gurus, a food truck, vegan bbq and so much more were part of Halifax VegFest.
A highlight for me was getting to meet and speak with Gene Baur, founder and president of Farm Sanctuary and also the author of "Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food."
|Gene during his inspirational talk|
I met incredible people of all walks of life. Young and old, children and parents, grandparents, mothers and fathers. Many vegans, vegetarians and even non-veg folks attended. The atmosphere was positive, the energy was high and questions were fast and furious. Tickets sold out faster than anyone imagined. They had 3000 at the door and they were gone in a flash and more and more people continued to arrive. Vendors sold out, some restocked but sold out almost immediately afterwards. You could not have asked for a better inaugural ceremony. I honestly didn't want the day to end and am already dreaming of next year.
When people tell you things aren't changing, you can laugh and think of this blog post because every one of us that attended VegFest can see the wheels of change. Vegans need not hide or be afraid anymore, we are here and we are proud to be part of a revolution.
|Jessie Doyle, owner of Fruition doing her talk about raw foods|
|The group of lovely folks I got to volunteer with|
|Cocoa and Honey: Vegan truffle and coconut caramel|
|Wearing my awesome shirt|
|Vegan cinnamon bun from Odells Gluten free|
|K-dog from The Food Wolf|