Sunday, 17 March 2013

Brighton VegFest

An hour into attending the annual Brighton VegFest, my omnivore boyfriend turned to me and said, "you know what I've learnt today?  Vegans are just like normal people.  I thought they'd be all weird, but most of them look just like people."  Um, thanks, honey. 

The Brighton VegFest, which I attended for the first time this year, is a happy annual event where animal products are checked at the door, and vegan food sellers, animal organisations, beauty product producers, and clothing stalls mingle happily with vegan-related workshops, speakers, and performers.  The air is heady with free samples of strawberry coconut milk, vegan pastry and cake, nut cheese samples, and animal-free bath bombs.

Two years into my vegan wagon-ride, I'm starting to realise that actually associating with other vegans is an essential part of vegan well-beaning.  Not being much of a joiner, this thought has mostly occurred to me and then drifted away aimlessly.  But with this thought in mind, I decided to spend the afternoon among my own people.

Carrot Bubble Bar from Lush!
So, from 11-3pm I frolicked around three floors of stalls, and aquired a vegan Snickers-type bar, signed multiple petitions, tried coconut milk samples, raw chocolate samples, bought The Joy of Vegan Baking for £5 (yay!), thought about investing in a weekly delivery box of organic veggies (jury is still out on this idea, what do you think?),  and gelatin-free vegan jelly candies (I'm not usually a fan of jellies, vegan or not, but these were good!), and used my feminine wiles to convince the boyfriend to buy me a carrot shaped bubble bath thingy from Lush.  Okay, I just asked him to buy it for me and he did.  And then I had a sugar-rush so had to have some real food, and dug into a super-yummy chickpea curry, and once full promptly spilled the remains of it over myself. 

Melanie Joy and I!
By far and away, the most amazing, inspiring, and moving aspect of the event was the beautiful speech by Dr. Melanie Joy, a professor of social psychology, and author of the book that I had coincidentally just finished reading, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.  Melanie talks about the means through which most people are able to cultivate a gap in their consciousness, allowing them to ignore the true origins of what's on their plates.  I wouldn't be able to express it as articulately as she does, so I'm not going to try, but I urge you all to read her book.  I left the speech feeling motivated and re-devoted to the cause.

Ferraro Rocher Cupcakes!
After we let the speech we made one more stop to Ms. Cupcake's stand, which is the happiest place in Brixton: a vegan bakery.  The boyfriend bought himself a ferrero rocher cupcake (a chocolate and hazelnut cupcake so chocolatey it might be illegal), and I got a gigantic cookie sandwich, which was a meal in itself and AMAZING.  Like a big oreo cookie, but actually good. 

Who knew that a rainy day in Brighton could turn into a trip to Vegan Disneyland?

For anyone interested, there is another Vegfest in Bristol in May (admission £2), and one in London in October (admission £10).


  1. Erm... a gigantic cookie sandwich??? Where do I sign up? ;)

  2. Very jealous that you guys have something like this. I would love more veggie events around Sydney!