As someone who is a vegan and big into promoting animal rights, it was a THRILL to be able to attend and cover Vegan Street Fair Nights in North Hollywood on September 2nd! Read on for my coverage of the experience and make sure to scope out what vegan events are happening near you.
Brief definition of Veganism
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, or any purpose.
Some vegans only don’t eat animals, others also don’t wear clothing or use items made from animals, while others adhere to the two previous practices and additionally don’t use any products tested on animals. The strictest vegans fall into the latter category while the rest practice some combination of the other elements described.
Vegan Street Fair Nights!
North Hollywood has put on a great (and growing!) vegan street fair the past few years. Vegan vendors are lined up as far as the eye can see, and both vegan and non-vegans alike come together to enjoy the delicious tastes, textures and smells of no-cruelty cuisine.
The same was true for the nighttime version, except on a smaller scale. Like the daytime version, speakers were pumping out upbeat tunes that had everyone smiling. I observed people being kind and open to each other. I’ve found this same behavior at literally every vegan event I’ve attended. It’s wonderful and heart-warming to see people come together to experience that no harm needs to come to other beings to have nourishing, filling, tasty food. It seems that people are slowly overcoming the misconception that vegan food is limited, bland and unfulfilling. As interest has grown, along with technology, pretty much every type of food imaginable is now available in its vegan form – and easier than ever to find. There are hamburgers, meat tacos, ice cream, sweets, buffalo wings, etc.
In addition to the food booths, there was a section for vegan merchandise, as well a face-painting booth, hula-hooping and big-sized jenga. The merch was on point – well-made, on message and practical.
Taking in the crowd, I noted that there was a nice diversity to it. People of different races and sizes mingled together. The gender split was pretty even. Overall, the age range tended toward the younger side, but not wildly so. I saw some amazing t-shirts that ranged from funny to cheeky to educational. The general attire was casual, with an emphasis on trying to stay cool in the smokey heat from nearby fires.
People were flocking to –
The most popular booths were tacos and sweets, especially ice cream. Considering that it was over 100 degrees out, the ice cream might have had an additional advantage. Kids were running around playing the games that were set up while adults lounged in the beer garden.
My only real critique was that a lot of the food booths had “junk food”. Yes the items were vegan, but they fell into categories not as nutritious or healthy as they could be. Perhaps the organizers thought that in order to get non-vegans to attend these events, they needed to have a lot of these types of foods. I can see the rationale there, but I was a little disappointed with the ratio. In the overall scheme of things though, this was a pretty mild concern.
As a VIP, I was lucky enough to go home with an awesome swag bag! While I always love swag bags, this one I knew would be extra great because I would be able to use and enjoy everything in it as it was all vegan! Great sponsors contributed their coupons and products to the bag.
I hope to see more and more events like this popping up! The organizers of the Vegan Street Fair events have done a great job creating events that are fun and have bountiful vegan food from many vendors. When done mindfully, a vegan diet/lifestyle is healthier for the individual and much more sustainable for the planet. Eating a plant-based diet helps everything from lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, to reducing the risk for cancer, to lowering inflammation in the body, etc etc. Events such as the Vegan Street Fair help a wider audience see that being vegan is not some bizarre cult, but rather a cruelty-free and tasty way to enjoy our time on this earth while respecting the lives of the other beings around us.
Has your perception of veganism changed in recent years?
If you’re interested in having me cover your event or collaborating in some other way, get in touch on my Contact page, where you can also view my current media kit 🙂