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Thousands expected to attend annual Montreal Vegan Festival

Montreal Vegan Festival returns with former CFL star spokesperson
WATCH: Thousands attended the sixth annual Montreal Vegan Festival on Saturday including spokesperson and former Montreal Alouettes star Marc-Olivier Brouillette.

An estimated 20,000 people are expected to roam the over 160 vegan and vegetarian kiosks over the weekend at the sixth annual Montreal Vegan Festival.

Held in the Palais des Congrès, the festival will run all weekend long.

Montrealers get a chance to discover all different kinds of plant-based products, from cheese made from walnut and cashew paste to soybean sausages.

READ MORE: Is a plant-based patty always better for you than beef?

While there is no meat in the food, former CFL safety — and vegan — Marc-Olivier Brouillette says that doesn’t mean there is no protein.

“I myself am a living example of the dispelling of that myth,” Brouillette said.

He is one of many professional athletes who have made the shift to the vegan diet.

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Athletes who adopt a plant-based diet can outperform their meat-eating counterparts on the field, Brouillette said.

READ MORE: Vegan festival feeds Montreal’s ever-growing demand for plant-based food

Food isn’t the only thing on the menu.

Beauty products, such as nail polish, reusable and biodegradable household products, clothes and even winter jackets were all on display for the public.

“Its definitely not as popular or as big as this,” Olivia Donahue said about vegan events in her home city of Boston.

She and her friends were impressed by the amount of people at the Montreal event.

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Both Olivia and Reilly Donahue said turning over the leaf and becoming vegan was difficult and didn’t happen overnight.

While they said it was good for their health and soul, they added that it’s equally good for the planet.

“Being vegan, part of it is for the planet,” Donahue said. “A lot of us care about animal agriculture and reducing plastic waste in the environment.”

READ MORE : Vegans, vegetarians may have higher risk of stroke — but experts argue balance is key