Recap: 2016 Richmond VegFest

Despite the heat, this year’s RVA VegFest went amazingly! It was the most attended to date, with anywhere from 13-to-14 THOUSAND people stopping by! Between awesome tablers and amazing food vendors, everyone who joined us at Bryan Park last Saturday had a blast.

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Beautiful artwork by Erin Hall, as always!

As the presenter of Richmond’s VegFest, we’re always looking to spice up our table. We tested out a few new things this year and were very happy with the outcome! This year, Vegan Action introduced:

Virtual Reality Technology

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Want to experience it? You can checkout iAnimal here!

We replaced our DVD and tablet pay-per-views of previous years with some more updated technology. With a Samsung VR headset, we were able to show iAnimal to festival attendees, and the technology enticed non-vegan/vegetarians who wouldn’t normally watch such footage to give it a shot! Lots of great conversations about animal cruelty and exploitation were had afterward, and we were able to squeeze 24 people into the headset between recharging sessions. The only cons? The footage, which takes place in a pig factory farm, could be a bit hard to stomach, and having only one headset led to a crowd patiently waiting to use it. We will continue to explore other VR footage in the future, and who knows, maybe we’ll invest in some more headsets! Curious about how animal rights and vegan organizations are using VR technology? Check out our article from a few months back.

A Call to Action

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“As patrons of Wegmans and citizens concerned with animal welfare Issues, we cannot continue to shop at Wegmans until this policy changes.”

Vegan Action invested in 500 postcards that asked for an end of live lobster sales by East Coast grocery chain Wegmans! The postcards were placed at the entrance tent and we left the festival with none remaining. Here’s hoping our call to action will convince the grocery chain that live lobster sales are unnecessary, unwanted and cruel. We hope that, if successful, other grocery stores will also consider ending their sale of live lobsters. Baby steps!

Photo Opportunities

Sk8r Vegan

You can check out other great stories over on our main and local Facebook pages

We snagged some dry erase boards and asked attendees to stop by and let us know why they went vegan or vegetarian! There were lots of great reasons, from not wanting to harm animals to helping recover from disordered eating habits. Though not too many people participated, we think it was a great way for vegans to help inspire each other, build friendships, and of course, keep discussion in the community open and fun! Thank you to those who participated, it was a blast to meet you, talk to you, and learn your stories.

Did you miss the VegFest this year? Fret not! Join us next summer. Maybe we’ll have even more new goodies for you guys.