Veganism, defined by The Vegan Society is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose”. As with all lifestyles, interpretations and practices vary per person veganism included yet at least one thing is clear: the consumption of animal products including meat, dairy, eggs and honey is avoided.
Although ‘going vegan’ can be approached by some as a fad diet or quick path to weight-loss, the lifestyle as a permanent change is becoming more and more mainstream. Whether people are ditching meat to reduce their carbon footprint or aiming to raise their level of physical health, it is reported that veganism now surpasses vegetarianism in popularity.
In the UK, VegfestUK has reigned supreme among vegan festivals and an organizer set out to carry that energy across the pond and deliver the first ever Black vegan festival in New York City. Being organized by Grassroots Artists MovEment, abbreviated G.A.ME, the nonprofit organization will ensure the festival addresses the socio-economic and political disparities in Black and Latino communities and how access to vegan options are effected.
The free event is scheduled to take place Saturday, August 11 2018 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn and organizers anticipate a crowd. Created by Omowale Adewele, Black VegFest was started after seeing few Black or pOC speakers on veganism and once Adewale notice the lack of multi-cultural influences and broad discussions around intersectionality.
“To see yourself is a wonderful feeling. It breeds hope, euphoria and positive vibrations to see another Black vegan. Black Vegfest is an event to nurture and support first year vegans and provide opportunities and new realities for veteran vegans.” states the BlackVegfest website.
Adwele who is an international speaker on veganism hopes that BlackVegfest provides a platform and solution for the lack of representation. Calling for presentations from POC and women, white vegans are not excluded. The website interjects that support from white vegans, especially those with significant platforms and resources is welcomed and wanted.
Exhibitions at the festival will cover topics ranging from animal rights, food and agriculture and race, sex and gender politics. For more information on this inaugural event, click here.