The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Vegan Soulfest

Posted on September 07, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

soulfest

By Casey Brown, Alicia Hückmann, and Marissa Thobe

Recently we, Casey Brown, Alicia Hückmann, Marissa Thobe, and Matt Baker, had the opportunity to volunteer at The VRG’s booth at the third Baltimore Vegan Soulfest. It was a great event, which combined the innovation of the first festival with the size of the second. From sticky buns to “mac & cheese” to freshly made vegan pizzas, it was difficult to taste everything because there was so much food! Dozens of vegan chefs, bakers including Scotty Cakes, tailors such as Compassion Co., and nonprofit organizations including The United Poultry Concerns came together to share their enthusiasm for the vegan movement. There were also speakers including David Carter (“the 300 Pound Vegan”), cooking demonstrations, various children’s activities, and music performances such as a unique rap show about kale.

At The VRG booth, we spoke with many people hoping to transition to a vegan diet, long-time supporters of The VRG, and innovators in the vegan community. Of the people transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, many of the common questions were nutrition related. One man asked us about B12 intake since he was interested in how much nutritional yeast he should consume on a regular basis to meet his RDA. We were able to refer him to our Simply Vegan book to determine the answer for his question. Another lady asked us about the potential health risks of soy, and we were able to answer her question as well as refer her to our website for additional information. Multiple people were interested in learning more about vegan and vegetarian diets for their children and teenagers, so we referred them to our “Vegan Nutrition for Teenagers” brochure and our “Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood” brochure. Marissa, one of our teen volunteers who has recently begun powerlifting, was able to provide herself as proof to parents and concerned non-vegans that teenagers and athletes can be vegan and thrive.

It was great to meet so many fellow vegans at the festival, but it was also awesome to see how many people were interested in the lifestyle. The majority of the people there were interested in general advice for transitioning to a vegan diet. We were able to share advice from our personal transitions, answer their questions, and refer them to many of our resources, specifically our “Vegan Diets in a Nutshell” brochure, our “My Vegan Plate” handout, and a copy of The VRG’s Journal, which has a lot of information as well as some great recipes to get them started. People were very interested in the cookbooks we were selling as well since they were all looking for some great new recipes to help them begin the transition. Meatless Meals for Working People and Vegan Soul Kitchen were popular among the crowd. Our Baltimore Dining Guide handout was also a great resource, and the children’s coloring books were a hit with the kids.

Through this festival, we were able to see how big The VRG’s network is since we met with many friends and long-time supporters of this organization, including a past intern of The VRG. We also were able to help the network grow by connecting with innovators who were interested in using our materials and resources within their own organizations. We spoke with individuals who ran nursing homes and religious groups that were hoping to use our resources to educate the people they work with. We also met with individuals from HaVen, which is a new organization within Baltimore that serves as a vegan community for people to hold meetings, workshops, or just relax. They were interested in using our resources within their group to promote veganism, health, and ethics so we can support each other’s endeavors.

The festival was a great experience, and we are all looking forward to the fourth annual Vegan Soulfest. We are also excited for our next opportunity to volunteer with The VRG at a booth for Eat Well Stay Well in Columbia, MD on September 18, 2016.

To support VRG booths and other outreach, please donate at www.vrg.org/donate

1 to “Vegan Soulfest”

  1. Patrick Vég CASTRO says:

    Hello !
    I’m french vegan 60 yo.
    I’m looking for à few weeks or months staying in an english speeking country to practice.

    Thank you for helping

    Patrick Vég Lightwalker Jacquet



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