Veggies On The Road (April Edition)
Published: April 29, 2014 19:29 by Tally
The wonderful Veggies volunteer crew are still all hands to the pump as they continue their packed 2014 tour, catering at events around the country promoting social change, community spirit, care for animals and the planet. Veggies is an all-vegan, volunteer-led, social enterprise based in the Sumac Centre in Forest Fields, Nottingham. This month they have been catering at some very diverse events indeed! Starting the month was Awaken Inn, a spiritually-minded event, followed by the British Juggling Convention, the Liverpool ‘Live a Better Life’ fair, Nottingham food event ‘Melting Pot’, and then rounded off with this year’s ‘World Day for Animals in Laboratories’ march and rally, organised by the local grassroots group Nottingham Animal Rights.
Awaken Inn – Saturday 5th April in Wolverhampton
As Veggies were the sole caterer at the event, this meant that all the food that people were eating on the day was vegan – some great outreach! It was heartening to see that the organiser was so keen to promote the vegan message, as there was not only Veggies there raising awareness, but also the Vegan Society, Lakeside Ethical Treats and Tony Tofu with his range of vegan cookbooks. This was a small event so it meant that the vegan message was a very prominent one! A Veggies volunteer also wrote a new flyer ‘Animal Rights, Veganism and Spirituality’ to encourage people to make connections between issues.
Much respect to the Awaken Inn organiser who sent a lovely email to the team afterwards saying that she knew of at least one person who had gone vegan straight away as a result of the event, and we hope more since.
British Juggling Convention – Friday 11th-Thursday 17th April in Barnsley
One of the organisers attributes his vegan conversion to the bakewell tart that he had from Veggies when they catered the event at Harvey Hadden Stadium in Nottingham in 2007!
Veggies did displays about the Radical Routes network of housing & workers co-ops & social centres at this (and many other events). As a result of discussions at the 2013 event in Pickering a new women’s housing coop is intending to join the network.
Whilst the venue caterers did a pretty good job of providing vegetarian options, many others at the event clearly appreciated the special treat and ethical bonus of Food By Veggies! “Awesome Food” said the message delivered by the event’s ‘secret postman’.
The 6-day duration of the event also enabled the team to try out new ideas for meals that could be cooked with the Veggies Trailer facilities. Look out for chilli or curry & rice, fresh soup and even pan fried chips at appropriate future events.
Liverpool ‘Live a Better Life’ Fair – Saturday 12th AprilIt was the second year running for Liverpool’s all-vegan event, with a range of stalls selling cruelty-free food and lifestyle products and campaigning groups. The team had an adventure as they got to stay overnight beforehand in Liverpool’s volunteer-led radical social centre ‘Next to Nowhere’. It’s great to be able to link up with other activists around the country working for social change.
Melting Pot Festival – Saturday 19th-Sunday 20th April
Melting Pot was a celebration of the diverse and vibrant cultures and flavours in New Art Exchange’s locality of Hyson Green in Nottingham. In this cultural bank holiday weekend, NAE invited everyone to explore their local identity through an assortment of food stalls, live music, dance performances, artist’s events and family activities.
Veggies was there alongside up-and-coming Nottingham based tempeh business ‘Offshoot Foods’ to provide the vegan options and hopefully encourage more people to make the switch to a delicious plant-based diet!
World Day for Animals in Laboratories – Saturday 26th April
This annual event was hosted this year in Veggies home city of Nottingham, and organised by the local grassroots group Nottingham Animal Rights. Several hundred campaigners took to the streets of Nottingham exposing the horrific conditions laboratory animals have to suffer and calling for the scientific alternatives to be used.
Despite a torrential downpour as the trailer was setting up, the skies brightened in time for the arrival of activists from all over the UK and further afield. Campaigners maintained a visual presence in the busy public square all day and huge numbers of the public took leaflets to find out about what was happening. There was a range of excellent speakers and several campaigning groups with stalls in Market Square, helping to raise vital awareness about the horrors of vivisection and the scientific alternatives to animal testing. The day’s proceedings were covered by a local newspaper and were also the leading story on ITV Central, and the coverage was very positive.
Veggies was hugely popular with the crowd, selling out of burgers after shifting the 360 bread rolls that they’d brought with them. As ever, animal rights campaigners were delighted to see them and there was a wonderful sense of community.
Other links of interest:
World Day for Animals in Laboratories – www.wdail.org
WDAIL 2014 campaigning groups Save the Harlan Beagles – http://savetheharlanbeagles.com and AVC – http://www.stopvivisection.org.uk/
Liverpool LABL – http://www.labl.org.uk/
British Juggling Convention – http://www.bjc2014.co.uk/
Awaken Inn – https://www.facebook.com/AwakenInnUK
Radical Routes Network – http://www.radicalroutes.org.uk/
You can find out about adopting a plant-based diet for animals, health, other humans and the environment over on the Vegan Society website – www.vegansociety.com