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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

22nd Annual Boston Veg Fest

It was a sunny, pleasantly warm autumn day as hundreds of New Englanders flocked to the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center of Roxbury Crossing. The massive inflatable cow was not, in fact, the main attraction: on Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22, Boston Vegetarian Society hosted the 22nd Annual Boston Veg Fest, a massive convention granting companies the opportunity to showcase a myriad of plant-based products. The venue was packed with booths and bustling people ranging from fierce raw vegans to curious omnivores. Sponsored by a wide array of organizations, including Lakanto Monkfruit, Harvest Co-op, and The Stanford Inn by the Sea, the event was a lively occasion that explored the many facets of vegetarian and vegan culture and cuisine.
Starting on Saturday at 11 a.m., (10 a.m. for special preview attendees), the festival ran until 6 p.m. that night, and the following day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Restaurants from all over New England set up buffets and chafing dishes, filling the room with the smell of hot delicious vegan food of every cuisine imaginable. Companies advertised vegan hot fudge, plant-based protein bars, cheese dips, kombucha, chocolate—all of it cruelty free, complete with sampling platters. For a discounted price, it was possible to get a hefty takeout container filled to the brim with an assortment of dishes from a particular restaurant, ready to eat. In the name of environmentally friendly practices and sustainability, all containers were recyclable. Waste and compost bins were provided throughout the venue in an effort to keep the convention a zero-waste event.
Despite the fact that it is primarily a culinary event, other plant-based commodities were well represented. Merchandise ranging from tee shirts to shoulder bags featuring pro-vegan and anti-animal cruelty slogans were available for purchase; every thread of it, cruelty free and all organic. Guests were free to discuss the products with vendors, asking them questions such as where the concept for an animal-byproduct-free face moisturizer originated from. A whole separate room was dedicated to the sale of cookbooks, magazines, and information on how to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to the fullest. Advice on going out to eat, cooking at home for yourself and your family, maintaining a protein rich diet, and any other concerns were readily addressed.
At scheduled times, there were live cooking demos performed by world famous, vegan savvy personnel, such as Ellen Jaffe Jones and J.L. Fields. In addition, informational speeches were given by credible and established speakers, providing enlightening insight into being a healthy individual. Dr. Michael Gregor spoke to the public about “How Not to Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers,” while vegan film critic Noah Gittell discussed the use of animals in Hollywood movies, touching upon issues of treatment and detailing the essential role they play in film in the present day. There was even a speech made on Sunday by author Maya Gottfried on dating whilst being vegan—a topic that is interesting to consider in an intercultural world where lifestyles collide in search of romance.
Regardless of dietary and ethical choices, the Annual Boston Veg Fest was an intriguing, boisterous event, celebrating a plant-based lifestyle while promoting both local and international companies. Attendants are encouraged to return again next year for a weekend of appetizing samples and meals accompanied by a more than a brief education in the field. Make sure to leave room for dessert too—Like No Udder’s vegan soft serve is most certainly a cool, delicious way to conclude the day.