I’ve entitled this post ‘ruminating on veg fest,’ since I am aware it was a month ago, and I’m trying to pass this post off as something to do with Easter… but there’s no time limit on memories and the scraps of my haul still live on (well some tea and an essential oil..I think?). And I have reason to believe Marc ordered some hemp tea online yesterday…so the festival is obviously still producing some profound after effects.
Meanwhile back in the past… most of our focus was on the phenomenal abundance of vegan food ranging from vegan versions of caviar, battered fish and peppered steak to ice cream cones, Easter eggs and toffee.
We were vaguely aware of several talks going on but frankly, I find the nutrition and fitness side of things reserved for the more gung ho of our kind, a bit of a yawn. I don’t believe we need to justify and prove our health as vegans. You can ask me about it, but I ain’t gonna run no marathon to satisfy the moronic assumptions of closed minded meat-eaters! Besides with a belly full of pies and macaroni cheese among other delicacies, we’d have felt a bit out of place.
We did walk into an X-Factor style musician scene where someone was assertively strumming and screeching ‘exterminate’ over and over. I could see why this was very much an aside to the main floor.
One thing I slightly regretted, was not attending the activism talks. But it’s very easy to want to explore the fun side of veganism (and it is very) and avoid all the serious shizz (which also is very very). You want to think what you already do is enough, but while you might have preserved the souls of a few chickens, the ones you didn’t save are still being ground up. To say you have no part in the suffering just feels… not enough.
Then again, you can’t save everyone and everything. There was an array of charities haranguing their cause and where a simple donation of coins was welcome we obliged.
A guy plying his hemp wares, a brilliant source for building and clothing material, (and a surprisingly good tea substitute) tried emphatically to plug his expose to us. We might have attended except, although I believed his assertions of the benefits of hemp, I doubted that his daily two hour meditation in the midst of his expansive field of crop, really made his produce more effective. I think it was something about his obviously sculpted beard…
Another practice that induced some mild sniggering was the ‘pranic healing’ method, we witnessed in an annex filled mostly with frenetic diners and their polystyrene aftermath. The specialised healing method from Asia is thought to repair an individual’s dislocated or disturbed energy field. The lucky recipients sat obediently for what seemed a painful length of time, with their eyes closed as the practitioners lobbed supposed energy balls at them, then smoothed them into place with comical nonchalance. A real case of the Emperor’s New Clothes if I ever saw one.
Attending veg fest was great in a number of ways. It fueled my passion for choosing this way of life; especially being among so many who feel the same way. I’ll be honest, we were slightly anxious of feeling too ‘normal,’ against assorted generations of hippies and millennial types with articulately lop sided hair.
However when we joined the queue, I felt a little ashamed of my perhaps slightly prejudice assumptions. One thing I did glean is that as with people in general, vegans come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and costumes. And everyone around us was always so friendly and engaging.
I felt almost giddy with some kind of binding affinity, special to the ephemerally unique space enabled by Veg Fest. A bit like a land at the top of The Faraway Tree. And with literally everything vegan, it really did feel like the land of Take-What-You-Want (except at a price- but its all for a good cause)!