Jane and I had the opportunity to attend WorldFest 2008 yesterday. As you might expect, the weather was perfect, sunny and warm with just the slightest breeze. We arrived in time to hear Karen Dawn talk about her new book, Thanking the Monkey. She's promoting the book as a way to introduce animal rights issues to your non-vegan family/friends. It sounds like a worthwhile read!
Then it was off to the food court. We'd heard that the food would be all vegan, and we were excited by the prospect of being someplace with multiple vegan options. Jane headed straight for the Rahel Ethiopian restaurant booth. We don't get to their restaurant nearly as often as she'd like, so she didn't even want to consider looking at any of the other vendors. I had Indian food, something I'm always happy to indulge myself with. There were places serving Thai food, and others offering Samosas. Whole Foods had a booth selling Gardein Chicken sandwiches. Tofurkey also had a booth and they were selling a variety of different sandwiches. One of the vendors was making grilled sausage sandwiches which smelled delicious, and there was a raw food booth too. It was a vegan's dream... many food choices!
After we finished eating, we sat in on one of the talks, given by Lorri Bauston, of Animal Acres. She mentioned a number of reasons to go vegan, from animal welfare to environmental issues. She gave some horrific statistics about the impact factory farming has on the environment, and how much water is both wasted and polluted by agri-business. Nothing we hadn't heard before, but Ms. Bauston is an engaging speaker, and we enjoyed her talk.
There were a number of exhibitors at WorldFest, too many to talk about here. But there was information on everything from animal welfare, to environmental issues, to green energy solutions. We picked up a ton of literature to read, and talked to a few people. And, of course, there were shopping opportunities. We wound up buying Nutiva Coconut Oil and Hemp Protein Powder, which we haven't tried yet.
At one point we made our way back to the main stage to listen to some music. People were dancing, flowers were dancing, but the main stage was right next to the beer garden, so that might have had something to do with it! (Not really, there were two flowers wandering around the festival on stilts.)
The best part of the day was Gene Baur's talk on animal rights issues and factory farming. Gene Baur is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, and author of Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food. I'm looking forward to reading this book, if it's written as well as Gene spoke yesterday, it will be a worthwhile read.
– We’re getting ready to close down our petition to Oprah, asking her to do a piece on factory farming. If you haven’t already signed, please consider doing so. We can all work together to make a difference.