Angel Yu went to Vegfest UK 2018 to tell us all about the latest and greatest vegan goods.
At the end of October, my friend invited me to attend the 2018 London VegfestUK, an annual vegan exhibition. We spent nearly five hours walking around, experiencing vegan culture in London. Because London is such an open and diverse city, people are getting more and more familiar with what it means to live a vegan lifestyle. Vegfest was founded in 2003 and now holds large-scale vegan exhibitions around Europe every year. This was the sixth year in London, taking place at the London Olympic Stadium. It spanned three floors and showcased all kinds of stalls, from vegan food, skin care, clothing and handicrafts, to workshops, sharing sessions and live music. There was so much to see and explore.
According to official statistics on the Vegfest website, the number of visitors last weekend reached 14,500 in total. Along with this increase in visitors, we have also seen an increase in people choosing a plant-based diet. Compare the Market conducted a survey this year demonstrating that 3.5 million British people have chosen a plant-based diet, which accounts for 7% of the total UK population.
Among the stream of visitors, there was an old lady looking carefully at the shelves of vegan bags, a child holding her mother’s hand and happily tasting the vegan chocolate sauce, and groups of friends wandering around stalls of vegan cuisine from all over the world, discussing which dessert they should try next. This event brought together a vast and diverse group of people. There were a number of enthusiastic and friendly young people that impressed me the most. Some were sharing their experience with the vegan diet and some were entrepreneurs who make vegan food or handicrafts. They live their life in their own way, showing people the possibilities of a better world.
Maddie, a kind and energetic young woman, is a blogger on YouTube and Instagram. She came to Vegfest with a plant-based brand called Vivo Life, to share this delicious, milkshake-like protein powder with more people. Together with an increasing number of influential figures in health and fitness circles, Maddie owes her wellbeing to the vegan diet, which has been purifying and refreshing her body both physically and mentally.
AJ is the founder of a cruelty-free fashion brand called Zessoo. He spent three years developing a wallet that is made from neither animal nor artificial leather, using only using fallen leaves as raw material. AJ told us that each handmade wallet of Zessoo takes an average of 6 weeks to make. Moreover, every time they sell a wallet, they plant a tree. Similarly, Aldijana attended the exhibition in her spare time in order to introduce vegan leather products to visitors.
Michael came along with his team and their new app, Veganist. It is specially designed for vegans, providing a convenient platform to share recipes and order food delivery.
I felt truly happy and impressed to attend the vegan exhibition in London for the first time. How lucky we are to live in such a prosperous era and be able to witness and participate in so many meaningful things. I often think of the words of Jane Goodall: “Remember, every food purchase is a vote…Each meal, each bite of food, has a rich history as to how and where it grew or was raised, how it was harvested. Our purchases, our votes, will determine the way ahead.”
In this day and age, we are pursuing life with a higher quality. Everyone wants to live in the world of truthfulness, kindness and beauty. This can only happen when all of us make an effort and every individual should develop him or herself because our life is intrinsically connected with all the other lives. Every choice and every voice matters to our common future.