Planting the seed for a food movement, the second annual Hampton Roads VegFest returns for another year of vivacious vegan dishes from local restaurants. This year’s event will be held Oct. 8 at Chesapeake City Park. Presented by the Smithfield Pig Save, a local advocacy group promoting cruelty-free treatment of farmed animals, VegFest seeks to bring the community together in support of local businesses while promoting compassionate eating and living.
The festival’s all-vegan selection will feature enticing dishes from Bodacious Pizza, Baladi Mediterranean Cafe and Rajput Indian Cuisine, among others. My Vegan Sweet Tooth will bake and sponsor pies for a pie-eating contest, and vendors will bring eco-friendly goods, ranging from jewelry to arts and crafts, health products and more. A lineup of guest speakers will also dish out some enlightenment on healthier and conscientious eating practices. Speakers include The Humane Society of the United States Senior Food Policy Director Kristie Middleton, Food For Life Instructor Kimberly Jackson, Compassion Over Killing’s Executive Director Erica Meier, and Speciesism: The Movie Director Mark Devries.
“The main thing is to show the community that being plant-based can be fun and easy and healthy,” shares Laura Lee Cascada, media outreach and speaker coordinator for Hampton Roads VegFest. “A lot of people haven’t been exposed to that kind of eating, but it’s definitely really quickly growing, and a lot of restaurants are adding veggie burgers, veggie dogs and colorful vegetable-based meals.” VegFest will also be debunking some misconceptions surrounding vegan-based diets. “We’re showing people that these options are all over the place, and they’re definitely very tasty and healthy, and you don’t need to eat meat to be able to thrive,” says Cascada.
There’s no omnivore’s dilemma here, as meat eaters will find there’s plenty to enjoy at VegFest, with craft beer from local breweries, a kids’ area with contests and games and live music and entertainment.
Visit HamptonRoadsVegFest.com for more details.