Sunday, September 29, 2013

DC Veg Fest 2013

Everlasting Life Food Truck.
You know, I was very disappointed not to see a write-up in the Washington Post this morning about this year's D.C. Veg Fest, created and run by the group Compassion Over Killing. Yesterday was the first time I attended since this annual event was moved down by the Navy Yard. I was happily amazed at just how crowded it was. The line just to get the free goody bags being offered for the first 1000 attendees stretched nearly all the way to the Washington Nationals Baseball stadium. The sheer volume of people who attended surely warranted a media piece about the growing desire and interest for healthier, more compassionate vegetarian foods.

I recall when the DC Veg Fest started several years ago.  The group I volunteer for, RabbitWise, had a table there when it was held at the George Washington University campus. This event has grown in leaps and bounds and that gives me hope as a vegan that more and more people are waking up to the reality that there is a better way to eat both for ourselves and for the animals.

I certainly can't recall a time when I got to sample so much food because their new location allowed the DC Veg Fest folks to let in more vendors. Tofurkey was there, giving out samples of their new line of artisan "sausages" and the Better Meat folks were there as well, handing out samples of their "chicken". Folks from Sticky Fingers Bakery were doling out yummy slabs of chocolate cake.  It was harder than ever to decide on lunch, so I decided to get the long wait over with and hit up Vegan Treats first--my wait took forty minutes in the early afternoon, but I learned later that there was a half hour wait from the very beginning of the festivities. The long wait was worth it--yeah, that cannoli was SO worth it!

Vegan Treats and their wares

I chose eventually for lunch the hot plate from the Everlasting Life food truck. BBQ tofu, in strips resembling ribs slathered in a delicious BBQ sauce, collard greens, and the BEST vegan macaroni and cheese I have yet encountered. But there were many other choices as well. A truck called the Randy Radish offered veggie goodies; Bread and Brew was back with their vegan nachos served up on a souvenir Frisbee; Amsterdam Falafel Shop offered their delicious wares. 

There were also terrific lectures and cooking demonstrations at this event, to include the authors of the "Betty Crocker Goes Vegan" cookbook, Dan and Ann Shannon, who made the most scrumptious macaroni salad--those of us like myself sitting under the tent to watch were lucky to get samples. And the end of the day was perfect with a live performance by local folk singer Steven Gellman.  Come on, Washington Post, where were your people? This day deserved more media attention. I suspect next year it will be even more crowded because the word is getting out there--going vegetarian is the way to go for a longer life and a more compassionate lifestyle.

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