9 Things I Loved about the First VegFest

Whoever went home from VegFest Pilipinas without a food coma isn’t a vegan.

I kid. But really, vegan food, whether you’re in it for health reasons or for the sake of animals, tastes SO MUCH BETTER than meals with real meat. As I’m transitioning towards a completely vegan lifestyle, I’m starting to feel detached from meat and getting more attached to the message veganism speaks of:

COMPASSION

Compassion is the foundation of VegFest Pilipinas.

Superfood Grocer at VegFest Pilipinas
Superfood Grocer at VegFest Pilipinas

The first of its kind here in the Philippines, VegFest Pilipinas celebrates the plant-powered, cruelty-free lifestyle. At the same time it felt like a “reunion” of sorts with people I’ve met from the internet. I also met the owners of the restaurant I buy from regularly! I’ve shaken hands with the Manila Vegan admins, and I was also surprised that some members of Manila Vegans knew me. This is one festival for the books—it was actual celebration. Everyone was happy. Everyone had an excellent sufficiency. Everyone felt compassion. It felt like a community rejoicing in all that is good.

But, aside from the reunion vibes I and others felt, here are 8 more things I liked about VegFest Pilipinas that are worth taking note of:

Greenery Kitchen at VegFest Pilipinas
Greenery Kitchen at VegFest Pilipinas

#1

Most of merchants are family businesses. Usually owned by a husband-and-wife team. These entrepreneurs are truly passionate about what they’re selling and their hard work comes out of the delicious food I eat on an almost daily basis.

#2

Merchants are extremely creative in ways to veganize something. They say no to the status quo and find something that is sustainable, healthier, and more fun to eat.

#3

Veggie Meat from VegFest Pilipinas
Veggie Meat from VegFest Pilipinas

Vegan products are affordable. Contrary to popular belief, when you buy vegan food that you can cook at home, it’s cheap! Most products last for weeks, which is already a big bargain if you’re into cost-effective home economics.

#4

Most vegan products are hand-made, locally-sourced, or organic. So you’re not only helping the world become a better place, you’re also helping the local economy!

Mushroom Atchara from VegFest Pilipinas
Mushroom Atchara from VegFest Pilipinas

#5

If not locally-sourced, merchants have suppliers from other countries that give them products to sell. Still vegan, still cruelty-free. Don’t you love it that compassion makes the world go round?

#6

You see how passionate people are about good health, saving the environment… or simply making the world a better place the best way they know how.

#7

There are people who are actually buying vegan stuff. I’m sure many of them aren’t the least bit vegan, but it’s heartwarming to see them trying something new. I hope they become more aware of what veganism stands for.

#8

A Short Lecture at VegFest Pilipinas
A Short Lecture at VegFest Pilipinas

VegFest Pilipinas also thought about big issues. While you’re surrounded by good food and great products, the organizers still remind you that the reason why veganism exists in the first place is because we protest against needless mass consumption and killing of animals, animal testing, cruelty against animal companions, and several health issues that are related to meat consumption. VegFest Pilipinas stands to be a delicious reminder that we are compassionately and peacefully toppling down a wall of ignorance towards all sentient beings.