Sat 5/18 @ 11AM-7PM
Admit it: ten years ago you didn’t know a single vegan. Now 2019 is “the year of the vegan,” according to The Economist, and you probably know a dozen or more. And the annual VegFest sponsored by the Cleveland Vegan Society has grow explosively in size since it debuted in 2013, drawing a huge crowd to the Cleveland Huntington Convention Center.
Even if you aren’t ready to give up all animal-based products, there are plenty of reasons to attend VegFest, projected to attract 15,000 people this year. In addition to chefs and caterers selling all-vegan food, the event features vendors, speakers, demos, films, live music, a morning yoga session and interactive kids activities such as yoga and crafts, all focused on living a healthier life.
Speakers come from all over the world, focusing on issues such as animal rights, social justice, wellness and the environment, with talks on both the Main Seaker Stage and the Breakout Room. They include Greenpeace co-founder and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Captain Paul Watson talking about “The State of the Oceans,” Sarina Farb talking about raising vegan kids, John Lewis “The Badass Vegan,” talking on “Hungry for Justice,” and Christopher-Sebastian McJetters taking on “Race, Class, Species” and “Digital Media for Animal Rights,”among others.
Vendors cover a gamut of wellness/healthy living/healthy planet products and services, from climate-focused nonprofits, to animal rescue groups, to entrepreneurs offering fitness programs, diets, books, body products, eco-friendly clothing and more.
VegFest is continuing to make an effort to reduce waste and is asking visitors to bring a water container (or purchase one at Cleveland Water’s booth) to be refilled. Plastic straws will be banned and eco-friendly packaging and dinnerware will be recycled.
The event is free, although there’s a $5 suggested donation, which includes a commemorative tote bag. And if you have enough tote bags — most of us do! — you can still contribute to a great cause.