The first Dublin Vegfest was held on November 1st and it was an amazing day. It was a huge success with long queues an hour or more before it even opened and loads more people showing up all throughout the day. I thought it was so wonderful to see so many vegans and people interested in veganism all in one place. When I first went vegan 11 years ago, most people where I live hadn’t even heard of it, so things have really changed since then. Ireland is evolving and people are getting more interested in veganism and animal rights than ever.
There was so much delicious food to choose from, including Koko coconut milk, Natasha’s Living Food, Buttercream’s Bakery, Magic Mayan chocolate, Little Green Leaf, Moodley Manor, Gourmet Spirulina, Art of Zen Foods, and many more. We didn’t have time to try everything but had some lovely cakes from Buttercream’s Bakery, which were amazing. I bought loads of chocolate from Magic Mayan, which is delicious. I got some Violife vegan cream cheese from Art of Zen Foods, which I used to make a great cheesecake. There were also beautiful salads, delicious looking vegan mock meats, veggie burgers, juices, and healthy raw treats.
NARA (the national animal rights association) and AFAR (alliance for animal rights) had stands there spreading the animal rights message and had petitions to sign for various causes. Back Into Daylight Sanctuary were also there. They are a sanctuary for farmed animals in County Meath.
There were talks on by people like Ailis Brosnan, My Healthy Living Coach, who is a plant-based nutritionist. I got to hear most of her talk and it was great, really showing the health benefits of a vegan diet. I heard the talk by Richard Deboo, an author and speaker about animal rights issues, was particularly good. Unfortunately I was so busy I didn’t get time to hear it but I had heard him speak recently at the ARAN march against animal cruelty in Dublin. I got to have a chat with him and bought his book ‘The Meat Delusion’ which is really informative and interesting.
There was also a yoga class, performances by Lambdancer, Pig Freud, and vegan pole athletes Michael Donohoe and Terri Fierce.
I did a talk with I’m a Little Vegan and Vegan Surfer, two other Irish vegan bloggers, about our stories of going vegan and starting blogging. It was very casual and nice, and great to meet people who follow our blogs and get to answer questions from people. I also got to meet a few people who follow my blog or Instagram or Facebook page and chat to them, which was lovely. I especially loved meeting other parents who are raising vegan kids. It was great to finally meet I’m a Little Vegan and Vegan Surfer (Louise and Gary) since we had known each other online for a while and like Louise said, it felt like we were all already friends.
It was amazing how successful Dublin Vegfest was, especially for the first one ever, and I really look forward to next year. It should be even bigger and better. The organisers did a great job and were so lovely too. Thank you to them and to everyone who came. It was a great way to spread the vegan message in Ireland.