Arts food festival review

Free vegetarian food and a community brought together

Boston’s annual Vegfest returns

6326 vegfest
The Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, an exhibition of vegetarian and vegan food, clothing, and other products, was held on Saturday and Sunday.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech

The 18th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

Roxbury Community College Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont Street, Boston

Oct. 26–27, 2013

You know those old Star Trek episodes where Kirk, Bones, and Spock beam down onto an alien planet, and find themselves in the middle of some big marketplace, where people are selling strange foods, and wearing bright colored clothes? Well, walking into the 18th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, held at the Roxbury Community College Athletic Center last Sunday, was quite a bit like that.

The Vegetarian Food Festival (VegFest) annual convention, held in most major U.S. cities, is a two-day gathering of all things vegan and vegetarian. Packed into the festival are over one hundred vendors and organizations, each advertising their food and campaigns. Popular veggie chefs and authors lead cooking demos and classes, and speakers share wisdom on topics ranging from personal wellness to environmental ethics.

The venue runs at full tilt, with hundreds of local people at any time circulating the booths, sampling and buying the latest and greatest in vegan and vegetarian fare. Most popular are, not surprisingly, the dessert booths, selling decedent vegan cupcakes, cannoli, ice cream, donuts, and exotic gourmet dark chocolates, to name but a few. Also present are vegan belts and shoe companies, advertising and selling stylish wares made from faux leather. Proud vendors grill up the cutting edge of faux meats. The May Wah Vegetarian Market came all the way from New York to give out samples of what seemed like two dozen varieties of faux seafood. Attendees chat with the myriad of animal rights and environmental wellness advocacy groups while munching on chia seed and chocolate raw energy bars.

Now, I’ve been vegan since I was four, and it’s still quite the unique cultural experience to visit a VegFest. Vegetarians and vegans are a minority, and many lead lives fairly independent of their dietary choice, but at VegFest the real culture emerges, and it is truly a great experience. I would highly recommend visiting the next VegFest, either in Boston, or elsewhere. If you’ve ever been curious about vegetarianism or veganism, a VegFest is the perfect place to learn more and experience the wonderful community built around these ideas. For me, it’s similar to coming to MIT — suddenly I’m in a place where everyone is as excited about science and engineering as I am (at VegFest they’re excited about food, and have free samples!). In fact, some of the founding Boston Vegetarian Society coordinators were MIT graduates, and the very first Boston VegFest was held in the MIT Johnson Athletic Center.

1 Comment
David Wishendrad almost 9 years ago

Great article. I hear you on the experience. I do feel I need to point out to you, and get your at MIT an all, that it does not appear anyone has ever sat with you and reminded as to why people choose this lifestyle. The reason is that Life is Most Important in Life. That's the Most Important Truth.

Perhaps you may want to knock on a few doors over at MIT and ask the people running the place why The Most Important Truth in Life is not a required for a proper education. If you do ask them why The Most Important Truth in Life is not reaffirmed within all people that work and learn there they probably won't have a decent answer because they didn't receive the reminded either.

Yet, Life is Most Important in Life. Quite factually so, this Truth is more important beyond any other Truth. This Truth is the perfectly defined mutually experienced observation of everyone. We can't argue it's Truth without committing hypocrisy, as we require Life to challenge it. Such an attempt is as silly as saying we can change our own past. That's how solid and eternal the Most Important Truth in Life is. From this Truth we are told we are Life and Most Important and Equal. So, you see, the undisputed Most Important Truth in Life states we are Equal. That means to call ourself a vegan or vegetarian is lying. When discussing the Most Important Truth in Life semantics are not acceptable, as nothing else is more important. Hope that made sense to you because it's 100 spot on reality. Veganism is great, so long as we understand the reason why we choose it. It the Truth of a cause that gives value to a cause because it's the Truth the promotes and encourages that which is Truthfully Most Important in Life: Life.

The fastest and surest way to turn someone away from real veganism (a lifestyle) is call anyone a vegan and impart the lie of inequality.

We are not doctors. We practice medicine. John is not a bad boy. He did a bad thing.

People are not their actions. Nor are our actions an accurate representation of who we are. Our actions are only an indication of our capacity of a certain behavior. That's it.

People are, per The Most Important Truth in Life; Life is Most Important in Life, Most Important, Life, and Equal.

Mad props for real. Just watch the words. Keep it real.