The day was here! Our second Veopolis event… and it was a BIG ONE! I hopped on my train from Leeds, making my way to the Manchester Vegan Festival. Hosted alongside the wonderful Vegan Organic Network, this event promised to be a whole weekend of talks, music, vegan treats and inspiration at the Britannia Sachas Hotel. And, of course, some of our wonderful vendors like Los Antojitos, Yours Naturally Naturally Yours, and Sweet Revolution were there, too!
Arriving in the afternoon after a cheeky lie in, I excitedly queued (not for too long!) to get into the busy and lively events room; a bustle of ethical people and a myriad of spicy, sweet, and smokey smells greeted me. I felt instantly hungry. I met the rest of the Veo team. Joe was on the door passing the free copies of ‘Plantbased’ magazine available and flyers for the next events (and a Veo flyer too obvs!). Jade was on the till, taking the payments (all going to charity) and hand-stamping the excited revellers eager to come inside. Then we went to sit together with a very sweet and comforting hot chocolate (mine and Jade’s loaded with cream!) from the Viva stall. Yum!
Live music trickled up the stairs from the basement throughout the day, interspersed with poetry readings. Food demos tantalised crowds and relaxing yoga sessions went on upstairs. I was in veggie heaven to the point it was difficult choosing what treats to get myself, AND I forgot I was supposed to be working! Whoops! This is the kind of shopping I’m all about: ethical, independent businesses who pour their heart and compassion into every single product they make.
From handmade fabric creations like this by Kim Searle Crafts…
To the beautiful recycled jewellery by Silver Green Jewellery:
And, of course… the food!
Fajitas, noodles, meringues, brownies, cupcakes – there was too much choice (not something a vegan says that often)!
After scoffing my face, I made my way upstairs to the very busy talk by Fat Gay Vegan – managing to snag a seat.
Fat Gay Vegan on intersectionality (and his brand new book ‘Eat Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh1t !)
A highlight for me was for sure Fat Gay Vegan’s talk about his first ever book, and about the vegan movement as a whole. It was so inspiring to see a well-known vegan give his extensive platform for voices from organisations like Made in Hackney and The Food Empowerment Project – who spoke to us through video – and to hear him speak on the issues of racism, classism, sexism, and ableism present in the vegan community. In such a short time, he managed to tackle an overview of these issues, speaking to us with compassion and with activist fire lending strength to his words. His new book is a treat for newbie veggies, veteran vegans, and non-vegans alike. His journey through life, and of veganism, combined with his favourite recipes and some life lessons on compassion. The lovely Jade got me a copy to read (look out for our full review soon!) and, as a vegan of 7 years, I’m part-way through and already seeing things a little differently.
Full of food, activist optimism, and sleepiness, I packed up my camera and tripod and made my way home back to Leeds.
Psssst… we’re already excited for our next event, can you tell?
Also, check out our little video of our first events below to see if we caught a clip of you! And subscribe to our Newsletter and social media @Veopolis Twitter, Instagram, Facebook ♥ to keep updated on our upcoming events!