Yesterday Leeds Town Hall played host to the Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival, one of the biggest vegan festivals in Yorkshire. It featured a massive 180 stalls, live cooking demonstrations, animal rights discussions, plenty of yummy, vegan samples to feast on and the entry fee was only £3. Hundreds of people queued up outside to enter the building and inside the venue was packed, but it was such a wonderful day and I'm glad I went. I have been vegetarian for over 10 years now and often wondered whether I could go fully vegan, hence my fascination with this particular festival. Vegans regularly get a lot of scrutiny from people who eat meat about their lifestyles and what they actually eat, but this festival just goes to show how far veganism has come in the last few decades and the variety of food now available.
There were hundreds of stalls featuring a variety of food from delicious vegan cakes to vegan pies and even vegan 'steak kebabs'. My husband who is as carnivorous as they get, enjoyed feasting on his vegan hotdog and I thoroughly enjoyed my schnitzel. It was a fun day for all the ages - I saw young kids being mesmerised by all the food and likewise older, retired looking people also enjoying the atmosphere.
There was something for everyone and a lot of opportunities to try vegan food not just from Leeds, but from around the country. The atmosphere was great - the people were incredibly friendly and it was nice to envision what it is like to be part of the vegan community. Although I'm not ready to take the plunge just yet and go fully vegan, after this festival I will be trying more vegan food and making a conscious effort to limit my animal products - not because I felt pressured, it's because I want to be more experimental with my food and I've realised there's so much out there to try.
Have you been to a vegan festival before?