November 11, 2017 11:49 am
Updated: November 11, 2017 11:52 am

5th annual VegFest London touts community, compassion, and plants

VegFest London 2017 takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Metroland Media Agriplex at the Western Fair District on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017.

VegFest London / Facebook
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It’s a celebration of vegan living.

London’s plant-based lifestyle community is touting community, compassion and plants as they invite vegans and those curious about the lifestyle to explore the plant-powered world Saturday.

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“[It’s] a festival for the community to come and gather, learn, celebrate, eat good food and learn a little bit about the plant-powered community,” said social media coordinator for VegFest London, Ashley Hopson. “We try to remain open, so if people are interested or if they don’t want to take any information, that’s fine. It’s just an event to come, eat and celebrate. You can take what you want from it.”

READ MORE: Montreal Vegan Festival draws crowds at Marché Bonsecours

According to the festival’s website, VegFest is designed to celebrate the plant-based lifestyle and promote compassionate, sustainable and healthy living for all.

“The festival focuses on the community, it’s open to anyone who wants to come out. It’s very welcome to families, we have a whole children’s area set up. If you’re interested in just learning more, or if you don’t care about the information at all, and you just want to come stuff your face, there’s lots of opportunity to do that too,” said Hopson.

This is London’s fifth annual VegFest. The festival began in 2013 after the founder of VegFest London, Krista Kankula, saw the festival bloom in other cities and wanted to bring it to her own community.

“London didn’t really have any kind of event that really celebrated veganism, animals’ rights, nutrition and health and wellness all in one day. She saw the opportunity and we went with it,” said Hopson

Asked what this festival has to offer for those who don’t choose the vegan lifestyle, Hopson says it’s an opportunity to learn.

“We’re here to spread awareness about what the reality is about what happens to the animals and the food before it gets to our plate. We’re not here to push any political view on anyone, but we’re here to educate and allow people to have the resources to make the proper decision for them,” she said.

Hopson said it’s important to have this event, so those in the plant-based lifestyle community know they’re not alone.

“So often, vegans or vegetarians might feel like they’re the only ones in their community choosing to live this way. Often people come here and they’re quite shocked that it’s not just very popular and there’s this thriving community, but it’s absolutely taking over and there’s so many options. There’s so many local vendors who are creating alternatives to meat and dairy,” she said.

READ MORE: Youtuber Sam Turnball’s fuss-free vegan recipes

Last year 7,500 people came through the festival. Hopson says this year, they’re aiming for 9,000.

Among the more than 50 vendors are London locals Globally Local, Nuts for Cheese, and Plant Matter Kitchen.

“I don’t really know many people that I can say are against compassion, and that’s kind of what the whole ethos of the festival is about,” said Hopson

VegFest runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Metroland Media Agriplex at the Western Fair District.

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