VegFest 2017

Article by Natasha Lantz

Eleven members of Northern Vegans and Copper Country Vegans and two downstate friends participated in the largest single day vegan festival in the U.S. held in Novi, Michigan on April 30th.  Over 5,000 people packed the Suburban Collection Showplace for the 18th annual MI VegFest.  The energy, new information, inspiration, and opportunity to be surrounded by people of like-mind makes MI VegFest something to look forward to each year.  Dr. Michael Gregor of and Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States brought down the house with their presentations about health and animal welfare respectively.  The exhibit hall was packed with 60+ food vendors and 100 businesses all showcasing their vegan good and services.  Hopefully, there will be even more Yoopers who make the trip next year. Below are comments from those of us who attended this incredible event.

“For me Veg Fest was a complete success.  It gave me a renewed sense of all that I hold to be true about the whole foods plant based lifestyle.  They gave us a nice cross section of people in all the areas that count for me (health, animal welfare, environment).  It is a jammed packed day that I would highly recommend to all those that are invested or thinking about this lifestyle.  It gave me hope for the world.” –Mary, Northern Vegans

“The highlight of VegFest for me was thanking Emily from Bite Size Vegan for all of her amazing and informative videos on YouTube.  Her channel was a huge help to me when I first went vegan.” Tara, Northern Vegans

“We had a great time at what was our first VegFest.  There were a lot of great exhibitor booths as well as some great food vendors!  I opted to spend as much time as I could in the presentations.  While they were all good I especially enjoyed Wayne Pacelle and of course Michael Greger.  While I have heard a great deal of Dr. Greger’s material previously, seeing him in person was a real treat.  Overall it was a fantastic experience and I recommend it to anyone who has never attended.” Craig, Copper Country Vegans

“I feel lucky to have been part of VegFest.  Being surrounded by people of like-mind provides for an environment ripe for sharing and inspiration.  The networking opportunities for me were really beneficial.  And, having the opportunity to invite Dr. Greger to come to the U.P. with his family was a real treat.”  Natasha, Northern Vegans

“VegFest really brought an awareness of how many people, especially in Michigan are truly interested in a plant-based lifestyle. The plant based community is a very welcoming group of fellow animal lovers and health minded individuals.” – Carmon (Northern Vegans Wannabe and friend of Natasha and Mary)

“Attending Veg Michigan’s Veg Fest 2017 was a wonderful experience.  It was great to hear so many knowledgeable speakers who provided valuable information to people already living and new to a plant based/vegan lifestyle.  I am grateful that I found my way to a vegan lifestyle and that so much work has been done to help people who want to make positive changes that impact the health of people, animals and the earth.”  Karen, Northern Vegans

“I took away from Veg Fest a more solidified stance on veganism, and realized that there are far more than I thought and also that they DO come from all walks of life; superb.  I also decided that I really want to take my life in the direction of, either helping animals, helping to get the message out louder and clearer, (although how much clearer does it need to be,) to the people that can really benefit from it, or trying to make it harder for those at the top to just keep doing what they are doing, i.e., sending out mixed messages that literally lie to all of us.  I feel like with my passion, with Chelsea’s help of course, energy, and charisma, I can accomplish any of these goals, all I need is the place to start.” –Eric, Copper Country Vegans

“I enjoyed attending my first Veg Fest and to be surrounded by so many like-minded people was a very warm experience.  The speakers were especially interesting and convincing.  I left knowing that I have chosen the right path for me.” –Chuck, Northern Vegans

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