Vegfest Scotland 2016 – Food & Activism
Day 2 – Sunday 4th December
As my previous post covers, on Saturday I had spent the day volunteering for the Vegan Society, but on Sunday I had plans for attending with my daughter, who is also vegan, in fact she is coming up for her one year veganniversary just after Christmas, and my non-vegan niece.
I started the day off with a Christmas pie from Cool Jerk Vegan Pies, bought the previous day. I love that the weekend of Vegfest all eating rules go out of the window and it really is eat whatever is vegan, whenever!
I had studied the schedule, looked at the talks, and decided I wanted to go to many of them. In reality though with a child in tow, and a long day ahead, we would more than likely go to just a couple. The doors opened at 10am, and we arrived around 10.30am.
The first aim was to get around the majority of the stalls, we headed to the sheese stall, their vegan cheese is probably one of the more well known examples, plus with the whole “Gary” thing in Sainsbury’s, I’m sure they are doing quite well. Weirdly, they (Bute Island Foods) are also based out of my old home town! Funny that the place I grew up is responsible for one of the most well known vegan cheeses in the UK. My niece had never tried vegan cheese before and was surprised at how much like normal cheese it tasted, even my daughter who isn’t keen on cheese gave it a try and loved the plain cream cheese. I know they also make unbranded versions for tesco so with that being my nearest shop I shall get some for her. Next up Koko, we don’t need to be convinced by Koko, I buy their products nearly every week, my daughter, and non vegan son love their thick creamy yoghurts.
After this we visited a lot of the smaller stalls, including MaRoberts where I picked up some Extra Hot Chilli Sauce and more, and then some of the charity stalls including the Save Movement, Earthlings Experience and others.
Vegan Activism is something I am interested in, hence a large part of why I have this blog. I am a quiet, sometimes socially awkward person, (although others may not think that of me), but veganism is a cause I am truly behind and would love to encourage others to move towards it. I truly believe a vegan life is one of the only things that will save this world, keeping it habitable for the life that already lives there. I also think that the reality of what animals go through, to be born into a life of terror and torture, to barely make it past their youth, then to be herded into a slaughter house is just unacceptable. People love their dogs, cats, but are fine with paying for the mass slaughter of billions of animals, I just think if more people actually related to their food, they would make the choice to go vegan. I know not all people think like this, but this is why the three pronged argument of veganism is so important. You don’t care about animals? Well, what about your future generations survival? You don’t care about that either? Well what about the fact there is a growing, and only continuing to grow body of scientific evidence that shows we aren’t really supposed to eat meat, and that actually it is responsible for many of the illnesses that plague, and eventually kill us? Knowing how to tackle activism though for me I find difficult. I am happy to wax lyrical about the benefits of veganism with people who I meet in day to day life, via this site, instagram, twitter etc, but I really want to work with other like minded people to work together, it’s lonely on your own!
The Save Movement group is a form of activism I am interested in, being there to witness and acknowledge the animals as they are taken to their end is something that must be incredibly difficult, but I can imagine the footage that these people take could encourage some to open their eyes to the reality of what happens. There are vigils based in Paisley which is nearby to me, in the New Year I may look into some activism there. Another form of activism I am interested in is The Earthlings Experience. Earthlings is one of those films many people watch either when they are going vegan, or it can even be what turns them vegan, it is free to view here, it is not an easy watch, but to truly understand the process of what is on your table, I believe everyone should watch it, or at least part of it. Otherwise it is willful ignorance, and I’m sure most wouldn’t want to be branded that. The Earthlings Experience go out into the streets, usually wearing masks, and hold laptops/tables that are showing slaughterhouse footage. The masks are used for two reasons as far as I understand, firstly, they catch peoples attention, people come over curious to see what is going on, secondly, they shield the activists from any abuse, and keeps them anonymous. We attended the talk by the Earthlings Experience Scotland and afterwards I spoke to them, and have since joined a facebook group for people interested in taking part. I suppose people may see this as extreme, but the footage they show is typical footage, taken recently in the UK. It is only showing people what really happens. Again, this is something I wouldn’t be able to do until after the New Year, but I am 100% going to try to fit this in.
After this we went back to the foods, I had a hotdog from the flying duck stall, my daughter had a burger and niece had ramen, I ended up having some of all of them and they were all very tasty! We then moved on to Captain James TeaCook, who frequents many of the vegfests, keeping the children entertained. My daughter made a rainbow fruit kebab with other kids, which she enjoyed thoroughly. We then attended the Vegan Society talk by Alex Douglas which was thoroughly enjoyable and suggested many easy ways to engage with vegan activism even with limited time and budget.
On our way out we purchased a box of four cakes from Pitxu’s stall. Every single one of them was delicious, I tried a bit of all of them when we got home and I’ve got to say these well and truly hit the spot! My diet is pleased that they aren’t readily available. My daughter also had Henna done by the people from Lesmahago Eco Farm and some of the best face paint I’ve ever seen in the kids area, by Tini Designs, if we’re ever in need of a face painter I
know where I’m going to book!
Overall, another great Vegfest was had, the only problem is the money! I wish I had about four or five times the amount I did. We visited many other stalls too, too many to mention, but really it is full of vegan food, products, information, everything you could want! I hope it’s back next year, although the Scottish Vegan Festival in Edinburgh have just announced their date for April so I’ll need to get saving again! 10/10 for an awesome weekend.