1998 was the year of the first London Vegan Festival. It was the first of its kind, celebrating all things vegan. There had been other vegan fairs and festivals in London before, but none promoted as 100% vegan. The event was attended by about 1000 people.
Move forward to 2017, and we now have a multitude of vegan festivals taking place throughout the UK. In London alone there seems to be a vegan festival every month. So why attend Vegfest London when there are so many to choose from?
The answer is simple: It’s the biggest and the best!
With an expected turnout of over 13,000 people over two days, the event will consist of up to 300 stalls, a Vegan Food Village with 23 global caterers, cookery classes, and numerous talks and presentations.
There will be a Vegan Health Summit, a Vegan Athletes Summit, Easy Veganism sessions, an Animal Rights Summit, a Radical Veganism corner (Saturday only), an Environment, Food & Sustainability Summit (Sunday only), a Vegan Comedy Corner, a Cinema, an Activists Corner, a Living Raw Zone, a Teen Zone, a Mature Zone, a Kids Area, Live Music, an Art of Compassion Exhibition, plus VegfestUK's Award Ceremony for 2017 celebrating the vegan heroes and heroines of the year.
I'll be giving a presentation on the Sunday at 2pm in the Mature Zone about the London Vegan social scene and give suggestions on the best places to eat vegan food in London. The talk is open to all - you don't need to be 'mature' to come along!
Vegfest London takes place at Olympia, London on October 21st and 22nd October 2017
The event is open 11am - 6pm on Saturday and 10am - 5pm on the Sunday in the West and Central Halls on Level 1 and the Conference Centre on Level 3
Advance tickets (day tickets) are £12 for adults and £8 for concessions* + booking fees - advance tickets are available to buy now
Tickets on the gate (day tickets) are £15 for adults and £10 for concessions*. Kids under 16 can enter for free as long as they are accompanied by adult
Hope to see you there!
* Please note that tickets on the gate are limited in quantity and are subject to availability depending on advance ticket sales, so those who are travelling to London specifically for this event are strongly advised to purchase tickets in advance.
* Those buying concessions tickets are required to bring suitable ID for verification of their concessions status on the gate.
I'm the admin of the London Vegans Facebook Group. I find it interesting that many of the members are not yet vegan. However this forthcoming January there is the opportunity for non-vegans to go vegan for the month and get support from Veganuary.com
I am personally supporting Veganuary. They will be launching a major advertising campaign on London Underground on 19th of December and I expect more people than ever will sign up to try out veganism in January 2017.
This is an exciting time for vegans. The number of vegans in the UK has reached 1% of the population, and this is growing daily.
So if you’d like to go vegan in January 2017 and would like some support, here's the link https://veganuary.com/
For many vegetarians who want to go vegan, cheese is often the last thing they give up before making the change, and for many it's a struggle.
You as yourself why that is, particularly today when there are so many vegan cheeses available in supermarkets and health food stores.
Perhaps the answer is that cheese is so addictive.* And, interestingly, research has shown that the more processed and fatty food is, the more likely it is to be associated with addictive eating behaviour.
The key to cheese addiction is an ingredient found in dairy products called casein. Dr Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has even decribed cheese as "dairy crack".
So how do you get yourself off cheese addiction?
Replacing with plant based cheeses is the obvious answer, but for many this isn't enough.
In my day job I'm a hypnotherapist and I use hypnosis to help clients break addictions such as smoking and cocaine. I've been vegan for over 28 years and wanted to help others become vegan. So I applied my knowledge of hypnosis and created a self-hypnosis recording which is available to listen to for free: www.youtube.com/watch?v=01Xd6fa7_zk
If you have a cheese addiction please listen to the recording daily (while seated, undisturbed, with your eyes closed) and let me know how you get on.
Note: Brian Jacobs is a registered clinical hypnotherapist based in London. He has been in practice as a hypnotherapist over 16 years, and has been vegan for over 28 years. His website is www.hypnoticsolutions.co.uk
Animal rights group Animal Aid have just launched a great initiative to get the leading UK supermarkets to label all their own brand vegan foods as vegan. Often I go into the supermarket and a product is labeled as vegetarian but I don't known if it's also vegan.
Sometimes it's obvious (by looking at the allergen info) that the item isn't suitable for vegans, but this isn't always the case. Some additives may not be allergens and may not be highlighted. So, for example, vitamin D3 invariably comes from sheep's wool. Or maybe there are bee products (honey or propolis) in the food that would make it unsuitable for vegans.
There is the added complication nowadays that a vegan product may be produced in a factory that produces dairy products, and so the label says "may contain traces of milk..."
To read more and to sign the petition go to
- IF POSSIBLE CHOOSE ORGANIC FOODS as these foods are free from pesticides
- BUY FROM LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS RATHER THAN SUPERMARKETS as the food is likely to be fresher
- WASH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES WELL BEFORE EATING to remove pesticides
- EAT A MINIMUM OF 7 PORTIONS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES A DAY
- EAT A HIGH PROPORTION OF YOUR FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN THEIR RAW STATE.
- CONSIDER JUICING OR BLENDING FRUIT OR VEG.
- MAKE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH OF THE FOLLOWING:
So, you're a vegan. But how strict are you?
The Vegan Society defines veganism as "a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose."
It is very difficult to avoid animal products completely. Some foods may contain insect or animal parts - have a look at The Food Defect Action Levels for more detail on this.
So this lead me to think of practical issues that vegans may face in their daily lives.
So here are some questions for you to ponder over:
Sitting on someone's leather chair isn't going to cause additional animal suffering, although I'm aware some vegans would feel very uncomfortable sitting on leather. However we can do our best to avoid purchasing products made from animals or that contain animal derived ingredients.
For those who aren't yet vegan, change will come from knowledge, education, understanding and compassion.
None of us is perfect. We do our best to avoid animal cruelty and educate others to do the same.
Many years ago I recall suggesting to a vegan restaurant in London that they shouldn't call themselves 'vegan' as that would restrict the number of customers they get, and instead they should call themselves 'vegetarian'.
I guess it's a bit like Vegfest calling themselves 'Vegfest' not 'VeganFest', so they can attract vegetarians as well as vegans.
Well how things have changed over the last couple of years. Veganism is contantly in the news, celebrities are embracing the vegan diet, and throughout the world more plant based cafes and restaurants are setting up. So why is it that some of these cafes and restaurants refuse to use the word 'vegan'? I even went to a vegetarian cafe in North London yesterday, which had lots of vegan cakes, but the words 'vegetarian' and 'vegan' were nowhere to be seen!
Veganism is cool. Veganism is popular. So come on guys, come out of the closet and state boldly "We are a vegan restaurant".... and you may be pleasantly suprised at how popular your establishment will become
Yesterday (Sunday) we joined the London Vegan Meetup group for a trip to Greenwich.
We arrived at the Cutty Sark DLR station and our first stop was to visit My Detox Diet, a therapy shop selling vegan salads and cakes. It was freezing cold and drizzling outside so I decided so purchase the green pea soup to warm me up. The soup tasted great - it was just a pity there was no was nowhere inside to sit and have it. Julie had the lentil burger which she said also tasted great. The vegan cakes on display looked amazing, but I wanted to save myself for the other vegan delights of Greenwich. The shop is open til 5pm on Sunday and I went back later to purchase some pear cake to take-away.
Across the road from My Detox Diet is Greenwich Market, a covered market consisting of a mixture of food stalls and craft stalls. The four vegan food stalls were all clumped together.
The Ethiopian Stall was labelled as vegetarian but as far as we could see all the food was suitable for vegans. They had a selection of hot dishes as well as injera bread.
Some of the group went to Greenwich's Pie and Mash shop which sells a vegan pie, but we felt we wanted to support the vegan stalls in the market.
I would also mention Greenlands Health Foods which is located at the side of the market and which sells a range of foods and snacks suitable for vegans.
Unfortunately the weather was miserable and there was no where in the market to sit down. Apart from that it was great to see so many vegan friendly places so close to each other. No doubt we will go back to Greenwich when the weather is better and also have a chance to visit some of the tourist attractions such as the Cutty Sark and the Royal Greenwich Observatory.