With it being National Vegetarian week and all … why not go and have a look at what the vegans are doing at VegFest?

So there’s this pretty huge event coming up at the end of the week called VegFest. Now, strictly speaking, it’s one of Europe’s largest Vegan festivals … but that doesn’t mean it’s just for vegans.

If you are vegan, or you do follow a plant-based diet, then it appears to be an absolute must … but for those who are either curious or have begun tinkering around with the plant-based approach my guess is it’ll be similar to the time you first visited a science museum on a school-trip … only you can eat almost everything.

Seeing the amazement in meat-eaters when they’re presented with meat-alternatives has got more fascinating for me … I’m not trying to convert anybody, whatever they do is up to them, I’m not a control-freak and I don’t want to oppress anybody … but when they struggle to tell the difference in, say, beef jerky and vegan jerky, which was my most recent experiment, their reactions are great – “It tastes like meat?”, “Are you sure this isn’t meat?”, “Well what’s the point in meat then?”.

I used to answer their questions but I’ve realised I’m not actually the one they’re asking … what they seem to be doing is asking themselves questions but speaking out loud … after a while I would ask whether they would consider turning vegan but this seemed to simply shatter their thought process and provoke the answer “no”. However, leave them to it and say nothing, and they seem to want to try more.

Again … I’m not trying to convert anyone … but I am really looking forward to going to VegFest for the first time … not just for the food, any old event promoter can jump on the band wagon of the veganism boom, whack up some reclaimed wooden shacks and make money on the bar whilst the food traders slave-away and hope to make a profit … but VegFest’s history runs deeper … it’s team is more entrenched in the movement and it’s been a passion since in the 1980s.

I spoke with the organiser, Tim Barford, who’s a pretty cool chap … deep-thinking, philosophical, funny … my kinda pub-mate … plus he likes football … Bristol City fan to be exact, (he must have known they weren’t going to make the play-off final when he booked the event on the same day as the play-off final … unfortunately for me, Villa did, so I’m royally screwed), but I’m betting there’ll be a television inside the venue … there’s a heck of a lot going on at the event.

There’s a deep chill lounge, a blues lounge, a live acts lounge, an electro lounge … there’s even a comedy stage and, would you believe it, they’ve even gone and got bloomin Judge Jules headling the Dance Stage … I mean, it’s a frickin Vegan festival … with food, entertainment, comedy … loads to try, loads to buy … products of all sorts from businesses, traders and best of all I’ve never once been nutted by a vegan … so, quite frankly, it should be an awesome day out and there’s still tickets if you fancy going. I’ll be watching Villa in one of the bars eating a dirty vegan burger. See you there.