On Saturday Matt and I went made our way up to Sacramento to do some shopping, eating and to attend Veg Fest. This was sorta last minute for us, just knowing about a week in advanced that it was happening we wanted to go support our friends and support the veg community.
This is our second time at Veg Fest. Last time we ate before hand and did not get to sample food because we were stuffed. This time we went hungry. Big mistake - food was scarce. With a growling stomach and people crammed in waiting in line we made our way around. My opinion might be clouded with PMS hungry grumpiness but after talking to Matt (who does not turn into a monster when he is hungry or need chocolate really bad one week out of the month) we agree on some of the same points. I know Veg Fest is supposed to be positive and really I am all for bringing the veg community together but I want to get a few things off my chest.
Speaking of community: Why is a big chunk of the veg community missing from this event? There are vegan and super vegan friendly restaurants totally missing from this event. We ate at Loving Hut in Elk Grove on our way home and they did not even know Veg Fest was going on and would have participated if they knew (in the past Loving Hut has had a booth with food). I heard rumblings of people causing drama prior to the event but was this the real cause of the lack of booths this time around?
I am not the health department but: When serving food there needs to be rules set into place like gloves, hair being tied back or hair nets and things being covered. I got to sample food and someone's hair! Yum right? Seriously I found hair in food which just soured my mood more. I saw people handling food without gloves, food just sitting out in the wide open and more health violations...
Speaking of food safety: Label your food, label your booth, labels are important! I heard people who thought vegan food was being served to only find out there was dairy in it. I know it is our responsibility as vegans to ask what is in food but I think a lot of problems come when things are not labeled. We saw a huge line for food - the table had no info, no banner or anything of course we skipped them. I know veg fest was a vegan friendly not 100% vegan event - cool by me but labels and people working these booths that have knowledge is important.
Veganisim is not a means to get into a size 0 for many of us: To hear a loud women screaming from a booth that 'going vegan will make you skinny' just made us both roll our eyes. This seemed to be the vibe of the fest. There was no animal support unless you count the vegan dog food company in the corner. Within an hour or so (in all directions) of the event we have 3 animal sanctuaries that could have raised awareness for animals in need. Two take in farm animals and one takes in animals and have veg (vegan friendly) events.
OK let me get off my cruelty free soap box now. Again I am not trying to cause drama but bring up some concerns. Anything veg is positive but to really shed light on the topic we need to present a united force and iron out as many flaws as possible.