The very first Liverpool Viva! Vegan Festival took place recently.
Here is Jennifer Jones to tell you about the event and what you missed.
Independent vegan business owners nationwide came together to take part in the Liverpool Vegan Festival on Saturday 10th September.
Stalls were set up in the Friend’s Meeting House, School Lane where customers sampled and bought products ranging from cruelty-free cosmetics to vegan pepperoni.
Cooking demonstrations, free recipes and one-to-one nutritional advice were also available.
The event attracted around 1500 people, welcoming everyone from strict vegans, to those looking for a few non-meat alternatives to add to their diet.
David, aged 72 from West Kirby was looking for some new recipes to try at home.
He said: “I eat meat but my wife is vegetarian and we need more ideas on preparing food from scratch, so we know exactly what we’re eating.”
The festival particularly catered to people wanting to learn more about the accessibility of vegan products. Philosophy student, Robbie Short, aged 19 is currently making the transition from vegetarian to vegan.
He said: “This is my first vegan festival and I now have much a better understanding of the range of foods available.”
Customers were also invited to attend informative talks held throughout the day. Martin Menehan, the owner of YouTube Channel: ‘Vegan Geezer’ was one of 6 guest speakers. He discussed YouTube as a positive vehicle for anyone passionate about educating people on veganism.
He said: “I hope people learn they are not powerless to spread the word about what being a vegan is.”
Poppy Lettice, Founder of ‘Lettices’ has found that a good way to promote vegan alternative is to give people the option to try her food and leave them to make their own choice.
She said: “Some people now buy my egg-free mayonnaise to put with their steak because they prefer the flavour.”
Andy Davies, Owner and Chef at ’No Balony UK’ started his business in June this year, after noticing an opening in the market where he could encourage people to try meat-free products.
He said: “People are exploring the ethical factors and becoming more aware of what they eat”
The Liverpool Vegan Festival was organised by Viva!, a charity which was established in 1994, and has held vegan events across the UK for the past 12 years. Roddy Hanson, Vegan Festival Organiser for Viva! was very positive for future festivals in Liverpool.
He said: “Events like this have a long-lasting effect and we will definitely be coming back to Liverpool next year.”
Some photos from the festival: