Free Vegan Food FairOn Saturday 16th August 2008, members of MVC helped at a food fair in Oxford and wrote the following report.
Vegan food activists from Midlands Vegan Campaigns today ventured out of our own territory and in to Oxford, to the city`s first ever Free Vegan Food Fair. Did we go merely to fill our faces with the vast and assorted range of delicious free food on offer? No!! We went to lend a helping hand and to find out how food fairs elsewhere compare to those we`ve organised.
Oxford Animal Protection and Animal Aid had got together to raise awareness amongst the general public about the wonders and variety of global vegan cuisine. Providing free food enables aspiring vegans and the vegan curious to sample food they`ve perhaps never tried before and to discover why increasing numbers of people are adopting plant based diets.
Aside from the the fact that vegan food is appetizing, delicious and varied, people choose to switch to vegan diets for a wide variety of reasons, including - to save animals from needless suffering and death; to benefit human health and increase life expectancy; to stop the environmental devastation caused by the mass farming of livestock; and to reduce global hunger.
As soon as the doors opened, people started to flood into the church hall and tuck in to the feast that greeted them. A small army of volunteers worked tirelessly in the hall and the kitchen to replenish the platters and bowls as they became empty.
The church hall was filled with a wide range of national & local vegan & animal rights/rescue groups. Those represented included Viva!, SPEAK Campaigns, Oxford Animal Protection, the Cats Protection League, Animals Count and more. There was also a fundraising raffle, childrens games, face painting etc.
Throughout the day, a programme of talks and films helped to hammer home the message that the consumption of animal products is bad for human health, the planet and of course the animals themselves!
As hundreds of very satisfied `customers` left the fair alot more aware of the many benefits of veganism, the small collective of grassroots vegan camapigners who organised the event have proven beyond doubt that they`ve got what it takes to veganize the masses! Midlands Vegan Campaigns wishes them luck for many equally successful food fairs in the future!
Members of MVC are no strangers to food fairs! Over recent years, we`ve been involved in the staging of numerous events and since our formation a year ago, have organised 2 big fairs as a group. Our most recent in Lichfield attracted approx 600 people! Watch a 5 minute film here www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6Kbe-786UM and read a report with photos here www.veganmidlands.org.uk/news/lichfield08.html
Of course neither MVC or Oxford Animal Protection have any particularly special talents! All that`s required to organise successful food fairs is commitment and a bit of hard work! There`s no time like the present to get started! The threats posed by the global food crisis and global warming tell us that swift action is imperative. Couple that with the general publics increasing interest in healthy food choices, and it means that there has never been a better time to get out on the streets and veganize!! So why don`t you do just that in your town or city?! With the general public clearly falling over themselves searching for a healthy alternative to meat and dairy, what are you waiting for??!!
VEGAN SKILLSHARE IN NOTTINGHAM
Join us for a day of practical skill sharing for food-based vegan campaigning, from samples on street stalls, through food fairs, to running a small vegan catering service.
Anyone interested in food campaigning, including supporters of Animal Aid, Vegan Society, Viva, Vegetarian Society, Food Not Bombs, Climate Campaigners, Eco Activists, Peace Campaigners and anyone working for Social Justice will find this a valuable opportunity for networking and the sharing of practical skills and experiences.
A program of talks and workshops designed to guide you from your first tentative steps into food campaigning through to a more organised and adventurous level of activity. Arrivals welcome from 10am, or arrange to join at the appropriate time in the structured timetable.
Read more www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=1347 and pledge to attend here www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=27144672034
JOIN THE CELEBRATION THIS WORLD VEGAN DAY!
The rapid growth of veganism is phenomenal. Some surveys suggest that there are now 10 times more vegans than there were 10 years ago - definately something to celebrate! The Vegan Society have a new home, right here in the West Midlands and they are going from strength to strength, reaching more people with the vegan message than ever before - something else to celebrate! World Vegan Day (1st November) is a day of celebration for vegans everywhere and this year it falls on a Saturday! The West Midlands Vegan Festival in Wolverhampton will make World Vegan Day 2008 a day to remember!!
There`ll be lots of delicious vegan food & 40+ stalls offering cruelty-free clothes, toiletries, cosmetics, campaign info etc. Also a full programme of speakers, films, cookery demos, entertainment, raffles, a vegan speed meeting/dating session, presentation of the Vegan Society Awards and much more...
For further details, see our festival website www.midlandsveganfestival.org.uk
|Photos from the event