People came out for fun, food, and animal rights at the second annual Vegfest, and they might have walked away a little more educated than when they arrived.
The event took place in Kitchener City Hall on Jul. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There was a reasonable turnout, starting off busily and maintaining a sizable crowd until the festival’s end.
Mo Markham, organizer with Vegfest and KW Climate Save said Vegfests happen all over the world.
“They are vegan festivals to help showcase vegan food, to help people to see how easy [veganism] is, to come out and party…and also to showcase vegan products and sanctuaries,” he said.
Sofia Kudriavtsev, UW grad and co-founder of Ontario Plant Based Student Association said her favorite part of the festival is meeting new professionals.
“I just love seeing the nonprofit organizations. I think the food is great, phenomenal. But I like coming out and seeing you know, talking to the farm sanctuaries, talking to organizations,” she said.
The festival featured many educational workshops.
“We’ve had a number of speakers today. We’ve had some ongoing workshops and climate speakers and animal rights speakers. We have a vegan vet who spoke about plant based foods for cats and dogs. We have a zero waste workshop… and also a naturopath,” said Markham.
Another highlight of the festival was the abundance of free samples given at booths.Markham started getting involved in veganism for the climate related issues,
“I saw how much British Columbia had changed in just… seven years. I think people who are living there everyday don’t see that change…and that’s what got me started,” Markham said.
Stephanie DeSousa, UW Animal Rights organizer said there are many ways students can start eating more plant-based.
“To implement…[people can try] campaigns like meat-free Mondays. Just implement vegan meals like one time a week or a few times a week. There are a lot of resources out there…even vegan on a budget.”
The UW Animal Rights organization holds weekly meetings. This term they’re every Thursday at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in EV 3, rm. 4408. People can go to meetings where they hold discussions and organize various events.
“We have like movie screenings, or there’s like just food and more social events. In the Fall and Winter terms, we host eight booths a term where students can sign up, practice their activism, interacting with other students, encouraging them to go vegan or even just like introducing more plant based options into their diet. Sharing that there are options on campus for plant-based options as well,” DeSousa said.