Folks gathered en masse in Winnipeg Saturday for an annual competition celebrating plant-based existence that hasn’t been held in-person since earlier than the pandemic.
Winnipeg VegFest, which has been working within the metropolis since 2017, drew individuals to the garden outdoors the College of Winnipeg on Portage Avenue for meals, distributors, audio system, stay music and actions for youths.
Kristin Lauhn-Jensen, who’s vegan, stated she was trying ahead to attempting new meals on the occasion — however she was additionally excited to see such a big turnout.
“There is a sense of group that is very nice,” Lauhn-Jensen stated, who switched to a plant-based food plan about 12 years in the past for moral causes.
“I have been to VegFest in a lot greater cities — in London, for instance, and New York — and it is nice to see this rising in Winnipeg as properly.
“And folks, I believe, are expressing an curiosity [in it] who aren’t essentially vegetarian or vegan — they simply need to strive options, strive new issues, and I believe that is incredible.”
Organizer Randy Tonnellier stated the occasion is an element convention, half competition and “actually only a celebration of every little thing plant-based.”
Tonnellier stated individuals can count on a energetic market and meals courtroom, with about 80 distributors between them, a youngsters’ space with contests all through the day, stay music and a drag present.
However the actual star is the lineup of audio system the occasion brings in from world wide, he stated.
That checklist consists of vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian, who was featured in The Sport Changers, a documentary about skilled athletes who eat plant-based diets.
Tonnellier stated the occasion focuses on the animal welfare, environmental and well being impacts of switching to a extra plant-based food plan — which he hopes is pushed house for anybody who stops by the competition.
“I believe persons are actually waking as much as the truth that consuming animals and consuming animal merchandise is simply not a sustainable way of life anymore,” he advised CBC’s Weekend Morning Present host Keisha Paul.
One 2018 examine suggests giving up meat and dairy is the one simplest approach an individual can cut back their environmental affect.
Darci Geiger was among the many distributors at this yr’s occasion along with her firm, Plant Energy Jerky, which makes plant-based jerky merchandise out of soy protein.
She stated she’s listening to extra usually from individuals who say they’re focused on attempting extra plant-based meals for environmental causes, which is a part of why occasions like VegFest are vital.
“It is a good alternative for individuals to return out and take a look at totally different meals and meet people who find themselves vegetarian and vegan and ask questions, and it is good for the group to have the ability to have a good time,” stated Geiger, who’s been plant-based since she was six years outdated.
Carrie Kettles, who travelled to Winnipeg from Lac du Bonnet for VegFest and was once concerned within the occasion, stated she was trying ahead to seeing outdated pals and supporting the distributors on the competition.
She stated she determined to change to a largely plant-based food plan for a number of causes.
“I like the truth that it is more healthy for the animals and the planet and myself,” Kettles stated.
And Tonnellier stated whereas the occasion focuses on all issues plant-based, you do not have to swear off meat to cease by and study extra.
“There’s nothing about our occasion that we would like individuals to really feel intimidated by. We do not need you to join something — to, , grow to be vegan in a single day, something like that,” he stated.
“It is simply to assist educate individuals. And a few individuals may select to tackle a meatless Monday sooner or later. Some individuals may select to grow to be vegan. However no matter individuals get out of this, we’re simply completely satisfied to be there and to assist unfold the phrase.”
Winnipeg VegFest runs till 6 p.m. Saturday on the College of Winnipeg.