VON has had a busy time traveling the length and breadth of the country from as far south as Cornwall Vegan Fair to the first Glasgow Vegfest which attracted 7000 people over two days.
Vegan events are growing exponentially, people are interested for health, compassion and the survival of humans on the planet.
Give it a go, have your own vegan fair, all you need is a village hall or community centre (we can help with flyers), and you might be surprised as to how successful it is.
Below are the events that the VON team attended with our stall, each event is a story in itself. The volunteers have given time and a lot of effort to make the VON voice heard.
Sept 5th – Viva! Incredible Vegan Roadshow Portsmouth, John Curtis plus volunteers.
Oct 10th 11th – VegfestUK London, Robert, Salim plus volunteers.
Oct 17th – Northern Vegan Festival, Robert, Lloyd, Nick, Dan, Zaina, Simon, Izaak and Cherry
Oct 24th 25th – West Midlands Vegan Festival, Robert, Cherry, Dan, Jill, Izaak and Simon
Oct 31st – Cheltenham Vegan Fair, John Curtis plus volunteers.
Nov 7th – Dorchester Vegan Fair, John Cutis
Nov 15th – North East Vegan Festival (NEVFest), Cherry, Robert and Jenny
Nov 22nd – Winterfest, Leeds: Cherry and Paul King
Dec 5th – Cornwall Vegan Festival, John Dale plus volunteers.
Dec 5th 6th – Vegfest Scotland, Robert, Cherry, Keith from Arran, Chris and others
Dec 12th – Swansea Vegfest Christmas Market, Tony Martin plus volunteers.
The Vegan Organic Network annual fund raiser, raised over £6,000.00 thanks to all the walkers and their sponsors.
By Jill Sandra Phillips
Brimming with excitement we all headed to Snowdon once more for the annual Vegan Cake Eating Mountain Party, which fell on July 31st- Aug 2nd 2015. Full of the memories of 2014…engaging conversations, vegan food and drink, late night dancing with pirates and general merriment without waking dorm-mates on our way back to bed, sunshine…. Well, if we exclude the last word, all to plan!!
Friday saw most people heading across, up and down country to the Pen-Y-Pass Youth hostel or to their camping and wild camping spots, some stopping in Bangor or Chester for vegan fayre before arriving …just in case there wasn’t any when we got there…er…no…because we take every opportunity to eat, us vegans, didn’t you know! Must be the lack of nutrients in all our lovely food…
Anyway, arrivals commenced, seeing old friends and new, handing over donations, getting goodies (vegan bite size snacks, don’t mind if we do!) and checking in, wondering who snores and who doesn’t etcetc and generally relaxing and getting info for the next day.
Saturday was met with clouds and rain. I tried to shoo them away with yoga and energy movement but my powers are still growing and I’m not quite there yet, even though we did all combine our magic. Katie led us in a wonderful opening circle, respecting the mountain and asking for its safety for us, bringing in the directions and generally making us all smiley and loved. There was joy in the air, mixing with the rain.
The walk was tough. Let’s not kid anybody. Slippery rocks, mud, wet feet ten minutes in – come on, admit it, I wasn’t the only one with cheap rubbish boots! Mind you, I did see someone climbing in pumps, if my knees weren’t so shot I would have carried her. However my knees were indeed troubling and a piggy back had someone offered would have been wonderful…wonder why no-one offered…maybe shouldn’t have eaten all those vegan snacks and stopped off in Bangor..…
Yet we made it. It was hard work and some turned back out of necessity. I asked at the top if I could get the train down. No. Train full. ‘Mountain rescue Miss if you need assistance’ No. That wasn’t happening. It’s only downhill after all. Plus at the end there may be beer. Vegan beer. So onwards!
We ate cake at the top. I don’t know if we counted numbers to beat the world record. It was an effort not to be blown off the top of the mountain to our death so the cake eating, smiling, photograph moment happened most swiftly before people took shelter and then quickly began a decent. There were warm showers at the hostel and did I mention beer? I think I mentioned beer.
A Katie special energy massage followed after the shower. This women. Sent by the universe to just cheer people up and stop you complaining.People strumming guitars and chatting all around.One big family. Gareth played some songs, about girls and some more songs about girls, our own vegan Bob Dylan, then Mobius Loop treated us to their wonderful blend of Gypsy Rap Folk and I got up and danced a lot, forgetting that my legs didn’t work. By that time there was more beer.
Cheese tasting and energy bliss bites also happened as did a stretch out that Saturday evening. All was jolly and well with the world. Didn’t matter that it had rained and was a struggle – for you know what is a struggle? Being a human or animal oppressed and without a voice on this planet. Being denied freedom and allocated suffering. For this we are vegan. For this we stand together. For this we climb mountains and dance together as one.
As always, a privilege.
A dozen or so pictures below:
Welcome reception-VON team hard at work booking every one in.
Where did that water fall come from?
Sun is rising
Hope every one made it through the night.
See you next year 🙂
International Permaculture convergence September 2015 report from Tony Martin
Very pleased with the Permaculture event, lots of movers and shakers were there.
So many people were from other countries and who had trouble our language, i gave them some of our literature and DVD’s and they were very interested in the atrticles in Growing Green International.
Amanda came and helped for a couple of days, very knowledgeable and customer friendly. This enabled me to get away for the one and only lecture I managed to get to see (Aranyas)
I met about 5 current members and perhaps 30 vegans (that I know of) many of whom had not heard of us.
On another table I sold some plants and cakes (vegan of course) for which there will be a £37.50 donation to VON
This worked well as some people were interested in the plants, some the cakes and some the literature (about equal thirds I would say) and once you had them stopped at the table it was much easier to talk to them.
A couple of people complimented us on the nice advertising stand.
I sold a number of the books (I have to sit and count stock and work out how much VON took (Probably £100 or so.)
At no time were there any in depth questions asked which surprised me.
Generally the mornings were quiet and it didn’t pick up till about 11 am and I usually tried to “Person” the stall till about 7pm when it died down again as it got darker.
Generally people seemed interested including an African chap from Gambia whom I gave a mag and DVDs to. He was representing his area at the convergence and was very friendly and polite. He can be seen here accepting a suitcase Heather (my partner) and I had rescued from a rubbish pile. It just needed a bit of fixing to one wheel mounting otherwise it was almost like new.
I had one chap who refused a copy initially because he had written a book on how it was good for the planet to farm animals but even he opened his mind when I asked him to consider if he should not ignore information from any source such as the excellent article by Jenny on Nitrogen in GGI35. Sadly some other people came and interrupted otherwise I might have made some progress with him.
We were moved in to the main marque on the Monday(?) as there was some bad weather forecast. This I think, got us some more visitors than if we had stayed in the” Market” area in the fringe for the duration.
The food provided was excellent and all the meals had vegan options.
I would say that it was a very successful event both for the participants and VON and that at future Convergences it would be great for us to have a couple of workshops there as well as a stall.
Re Swansea Vegfest , yes I would be happy to run a VON stall again, I will need more mags, leaflets and it would be appreciated if VON could cover any costs.
I think some VON t-shirts would be very useful to sell and for wear on the stall.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All the best
Over 3,000 people at the Manchester Vegan Fair
The Vegan Organic Networks very own event the Manchester Vegan Fair in Chorlton had its second showing on May 16th 2015. The event has grown from a garden party to a small festival. The support we got from the local community was inspiring: the Chorlton Arts Festival included us in their brochure, local performers all played for free, people helped distribute flyers all around Greater Manchester and over thirty volunteers helped on the day.
There was entertainment throughout the day including; a Giant Pirate with a Policeman on stilts giving chase, Spokes-bicycle dancers, solar rickshaw rides for the children, Irish dancers, face painting, henna, juggling and a wide selection of bands and poets playing on the solar powered stage.
The talks room was packed out with people wanting to listen to David Graham (VON founder), the talk is available to watch on YouTube; Manchester Vegan Fair David Graham.
The sun came out and the ice cream sold out, as did many of the cake stands. Luckily Global Fusion who arrived three hours late had a van full of cakes (the day was saved). We had a wide selection of plants from a number of local growers and the VON stand did a roaring trade. There was a fantastic array of healthy, vegan foods on offer; including Pedal Powered Fruit Smoothies, Raw Treats and a wide selection of mouth watering delights from various stalls to choose from. They were joined by sponsors Koko Dairy Free, Veganicity, Moo Free Chocolate, Pulsin, Bute Island Scheese, Vegusto, Vegan Tuck Box, and Nakd– all of whom had supplied some tasty goodies.
Additional sponsors included some of the UK’s largest vegan brands and events; The Vegan Society, Viva!, Vegfest, The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival, Yours Naturally-Naturally-Yours, Ethical Wares, and Derma Enhance and local cafes Tea Time Collective and On the Eighth Day.
Manchester Vegan Fair 2016; have we out grown our current venue, should we make it a two day event-come along next year and find out!