Why you’re wasting your time at Veg Fests

Why you’re wasting your time at veg fests pt. 3 // Consumerism

Dreaming of radical vegan meetups in London… Tell me, what is the veg community like in your neck of the woods? Veg fests there any good?

Hello exemplary vegetables of the world, in my last two videos I discussed how waiting in line ad VegFest wasn’t only a waist of time, we also missed out on a huge opportunity to build community, it reflected the deeper issue that VegFest don’t focus on building a community, they focus instead on the individual. But it becomes more annoying, disturbing, if you put it into a broader context.



So at Austin VegFest, buying stuff was by far the best organized aspect of the Fest and subsequently the most popular aspect of the feeeest. Yes there were animal rights organizations there, yes there are other related organizations there that were nonprofits and also activisty. But I’m talking about the focus, that is what I saw at Austin VegFest that day was both by where all of the people were, where all the crowd was and by the way that the Fest is organized, an emphasis on consumer goods and services, instead of the political implications of a rejection of consuming animal products.

This is what Aph Ko outlines as white veganism or mainstream veganism and I made an entire video about that really recently, [1] So with the Fests focus on consumer goods, veganism is expressed at the Fest as product-oriented – ladies and gentlemen you’ll buy the broccoli, you will buy the broccoli, buy – but veganism is more than just about consumer goods, it’s more than the latest innovation out of Tofurkey.

But based on even just the vegan society’s definition, which is not the only relevant thing here, but veganism rejects the animal category as one that enables exploitation, particularly in a capitalist context. But if we only focus on one aspect, to feed into the…



If we focus on lifestyle and veganism is sanitized of any political implication, that is, it fails to be critical of the context that allows animal exploitation to thrive in the first place, instead we mainly focus on purchasing our way to veganism, which effectively positions the way we practice veganism very smoothly inside capitalism.

I know, it’s understandable that people would organize the VegFest to make it very palatable to mainstream, perhaps that’s why the organizers scrubbed the word vegan from the website and marketing materials for the Fest. [2]

Texas VegFest is a free public education event that celebrates the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a plant­-based diet. The sixth annual Texas VegFest is scheduled for Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at Fiesta Gardens in Austin, Texas ​between 11am and 6pm. Texas VegFest is orchestrated by​ T​exas Veg Foundation, ​a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate individuals on the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits of a plant-based diet using public events as a tool.

‘[Scrubs clean mug which reads ‘Animals Have Rights,’] It’s not coming off, it’s not coming off.’ Now don’t get me wrong, we really should include vegan food vendors because they give people an example of what good vegan food looks like, bujji though I guess.

Now in my last video a Manuel Marquez commented:

What I think could be some already existing positive aspects of VegFest is for veg-curious people to try some good vegan food, debunking the myths of vegan food being flavorless or disgusting. This could be done by vegans or vegetarians, bringing their non-veg family or friends and also nonprofit organizations interacting with the community to let them know what they’re doing and how to get involved with them or support their work.

Very good points, it’s vital to approach the mainstream and appeal to it in some ways, particularly the large number of vegans and vegetarians that aren’t necessarily sold on the political implications of the veganism or are not aware of them. We need to have them be interested in come come to this, this does not mean we need to have the Fests revolve around consumer goods, no, no, no, no. It does mean shifting the focus to community, and human interaction and education. So just like we’re missing out on the opportunity at every single VegFest, think about how many businesses right now, I don’t even we miss out on the opportunity to foster a community of really tight-knit vegan people that reduce not only the rates of recidivism, but also the rates of loneliness, vegan loneliness is a thing, we also miss out on the opportunity to grow a community aware of the political implications of veganism. Such that their understanding of veganism is deeper, more than just, oh just, you know, seems like a cool thing to do. And it fosters a greater interest in animal rights and human rights too.


So what can we do?

What can we do? What has allowed me to connect with the vegan community in my area are events like Thanksgiving with the turkeys, massive potluck at this animal sanctuary, where all these people come and gather, and sit around on the grass and eat food while we worship our turkey overlords. This event is centered around the animals and it helped people just talk to each other. *Mutters How do you make that ooo what’s the recipe ooo*

So you can just make your own summit and maybe even get involved in your local VegFest and change some of the programming up, insert a bunch of really awkward icebreakers and then just watch it unfold with thousands of people, just awkwardness as far as the eye can see.

On my last video, part two of the series, Amy Schafer said:

I’ve been a vegan for seven years now and I’ve lived in a major city Philly for most of it, although the opportunity was there to go to my local VegFest, I never went because of lack of time, money or both, maybe Fests need an activity like pin trading or arts and crafts to encourage strangers to mingle, I always liked those ice-breaking bingo boards, with spaces like; find someone who speaks a foreign language, or find someone who plays a musical instrement.

There you go, so tell me how your local community fosters a good vegan zone and tell me in the comments below.





2. http://www.texasvegfest.com/2017eventinfo/