I’ve previously explained that I’m not a vegan, but I do like to make an effort (where I can) to spare the animals on our planet any suffering where possible (see here). I can see the benefits converting to veganism and I admire the commitment of vegans from removing meat and animal products completely from their lives. For someone who has grown up with meat and animal products featuring heavily in my life, I can fully appreciate the decision to consider the welfare of animals (and all living beings) is not a difficult choice to make.
I am intrigued by the vegan way of life and would like to make a conscious effort to choose vegetarian or vegan as much as possible. When I found out about the Vegan Festival in Edinburgh last weekend, the OH and I went along to find out more about the companies out there that provide amazing products for the vegans around Edinburgh.
Being vegan isn’t something you advertise and I can understand how a dietary requirement isn’t something you announce the first time you meet someone, so I shouldn’t be surprised how well attended the festival was on the second day (the festival was held at The Roxburghe Hotel on Charlotte Square from Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st August). There were a lot of stalls ranging from vegan gelato and sorbets from Affogato, artwork and jewellery, plenty of food and skincare ranges from Lush and White Rabbit to learning more about supporting vegan and animal cruelty activist groups.
My eyes only saw the variety of baked goodies and fascinating food available (hello Sheese, Cool Jerk Vegan Pies, Missy’s Vegan Cupcakes, Rawsmary and All About Patisserie!), so while I tried to take photos of the variety of stalls available, I apologise in advance that most of the photos will be of vegan food. I must say this though: whoever thought vegans are restricted in what they eat can think again!
A variety of raw vegan chocolate and nut butters
We demolished them before I remembered to take a photo, but we bought slices of the peanut butter brownie and pistachio and rose cake from All About Patisserie and they were delish!
Sampling a variety of Sheese
You can also get ice cream filled doughnuts from this stall!
Vegan deli slices
Dairy free, vegan toffee from Jeavons
After browsing the various stalls, I eventually decided to get an asparagus and mushroom pie from Cool Jerk Vegan Pies and the OH got a vegan hotdog. I truly believe the world of veganism has moved on leaps and bounds since I learned about it in high school and with the various vegan-friendly alternatives out there, it’s so much easier to replace meat or animal products with plant based ingredients and still achieve the same result without feeling like you’re missing out. The pie was amazing and the hotdog tasted as good as the real thing.
Vegan lunch for a change!
I also got a BBQ bun (char siu bao) from the Chinese vegan supermarket stall which made me really nostalgic about proper Chinese dim sum. The OH was also very pleased with his vegan gelato from Affogato. As I mentioned before, we also got baked goodies from All About Patisserie (the OH got a pistachio and rose cake while I got a peanut butter brownie), but I forgot to take a photo of it before we ate it. I can assure you they tasted even better than they looked (and they looked mouth-wateringly tasty!)
I very much appreciated the VeganEgg donations from Follow Your Heart. I’ve been using the carton I bought a few weeks ago sparingly to make the egg alternative last as long as possible, and now I’ve got 2 cartons!
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to attend the festival, but there is so much to learn about how our actions and our lifestyle choices can impact our environment. Plus, the festival is a good way to find out more about local companies that make great food without compromising on taste!
If you’re interested in visiting, the Aberdeen Vegan Festival has already been set for Saturday 3rd June 2017 (for more information see here) or keep checking back at the Vegan Festival site for more dates.