Vegan festival in Adelaide to showcase benefits of plant-based eating

25 October 2018

YOU don't have to eat animal products to enjoy your favourite treats – that's the message behind the two-day Vegan Festival in Adelaide this weekend.

YOU don't have to eat animal products to enjoy your favourite treats – that's the message behind the Vegan Festival in Adelaide this weekend.

The festival, in Victoria Square on Saturday and Sunday, promises workshops, cooking demonstrations and tastings in a pet-friendly environment for young and old. Organisers said last year's festival drew 18,000 participants.

Indeed, some young people have taken the lead and will be running workshops to tell how they took up the vegan lifestyle – which rejects meat, dairy products, eggs and honey.

Jorja Madubuko, 10, will be championing "snacktivism".

"I don't feel like I am missing out and I know that I have better food," she said.

Organiser Lea McBride said that's the trick about a vegan lifestyle – there are plant based alternatives for everything that are increasingly easy to find.

"Your traditions don't have to change, it's just the product that changes. You can still have your barbecue, you can still have your curry nights and the Sunday roast."

Keynote speaker, James Aspey, said most people begin their interest in veganism for the health benefits of the diet.

"We can live a longer, healthier life by eating a plant-based diet. That doesn't just mean eating lettuce and vegetables – we can eat all of our favourite foods like ice cream, burgers, cakes and pizza, but a vegan version… which tastes just as delicious," he said.

Mr Aspey said a vegan lifestyle has concern for animals at its heart.

"There is a huge amount of suffering and animal cruelty [in the food industry] … we would never do it to a dog, so why is it OK to do it to a pig, a cow, a chicken or a fish?," he asked.

"It's about ending a huge amount of unnecessary violence in our society to the most innocent and vulnerable among us."

"There was a time that was totally necessary to do, but in 2018 it is 100 per cent unnecessary for us to obtain nutrients from animals when we can obtain all our nutrients from plant foods."

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