Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, December 18, 2017

Rain or shine, VegFest went on

Hundreds lined streets for plant-based food festival despite downpour, chilling temperatures

Rain or shine, VegFest went on

Festival-goers endure the rain on Sept. 2.

Promises of free tote bags full of plant-based treats and coupons lured many to VegFest, a vegan food festival, well before 11 a.m. on Sept. 2. Local organizations, food vendors and nonprofits huddled under tents in the rain, sharing products for leading a healthier, plant-based diet.

Compassion Over Killing, the main sponsor of the festival, had their own booth with discounted shirts and totes, as well as information regarding 2017 DC VegFest and the vegan lifestyle.

"Compassion Over Killing is proud to host the largest vegan festival on the East Coast, and each year more people join us to enjoy delicious plant-based foods, celebrity speakers, live music and so much more," said Erica Meier, executive director for Compassion Over Killing.

Similarly, many other organizations informed the attendees of their missions and ethics at their booths. An up-and-coming organization, Better Eating, promoted their “One MORE Vegan” campaign by asking attendees to vote on possible multimedia video options for their site.

Mothers Against Dairy appealed to the expectant mothers in attendance by demonstrating the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle for themselves and their children.

However, ethical nonprofits and organizations were not the only appealing factors for those attending VegFest. Businesses such as Vegan Dots, a spinoff of Dippin Dots, served tasty vegan foods.

Vegan apparel shops, like Indigo Vegan and Earth Travel Apparel, also made appearances with items ranging from clothing to purses to jewelry─all ethically and holistically made to encourage a sustainable lifestyle.

Finally, the speaker list for the 2017 DC VegFest attracted many due to the range of speakers, which included chefs, nutritionists, politicians and authors.

Holistic nutritionist and wellness expert Dr. Ruby Lathon spoke on preventing health issues, from challenges with basic bodily functions to chronic diseases through a plant-based diet, as well as personal anecdotes of her own vegan journey.

“When I was doing my study, I really was not going into this with an agenda,” Lathon said at the event. “I remember I thought before I became vegan that veganism was extreme… until I learned. I know for some folks it sounds extreme and I know every vegan who is vegan now probably once said they would never be vegan.”

Other headline speakers included Kathy Stevens, founder of Catskill Animal Sanctuary, David Carter, a former NFL football player who wrote “The 300 Pound Vegan,” and Congressman Jamie Raskin.

Although many were soaked after the event and sheltered from the downpour, the D.C. vegan community held strong for their annual event.

foodfitness@theeagleonline.com


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