Monday, September 19, 2011

Vegan at the Sustainable Living Fair

As many of you know, Mike and I have a little vegan company called Cruelty-Free World. We set up at festivals, farmer's markets, holiday gift markets and fair-trade shows and sell our vegan goods and cookbooks. Then we donate the profit to animal rights and human rights groups. We always try to carry the coolest vegan bags, purses and wallets as well as our favorite vegan cookbooks.

The Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, Colorado is always one of our best times. This year we came up on Friday to set up early and meet other vendors. We are so grateful to have our dear friends Christa and Dave in Fort Collins, who open their home to us.

We began our Saturday with several wonderful folks from the local vegan group, Fort Vegan, who loved our array of bags and left with several cookbooks. We met April who we had connected with on Twitter (and added her blog, Epicurean Vegan to our resources list) and she brought us vegan cookies! What a great group of people. We especially love selling vegan cookbooks (as opposed to passing our veg starter kits which we do) as when someone buys a cookbook they make an investment and they will most likely use it at least once.

Throughout the weekend we have a lot of conversations around veganism and animal rights, and are able to help people who have never cooked vegan in their lives (on purpose) pick out a cookbook that is best for them. The vegan community is alive and well in Fort Collins, and they were so wonderful to us. On Sunday we even got a plate filled with vegan coffee cake that didn't last long!

We also spend a lot of time with the usual anti-vegan banter. That's where our love shines through. Especially with the guy who told me they were the opposite of where we were as they are chicken farmers. I told him that we all have more in common than not and him and his wife actually hung out for a few minutes. And Mike's great conversation with a cattle rancher, who left with a veg starter kit. My hope is that the way they think about vegans and animal rights people changed for the better and perhaps one day they'll take a good look at their chickens and cows. It is so easy to quickly slam people, yet as a voice for the voiceless I don't like that way.

The vendor food at the Fair this year was better than last year. Several vegan options including vegan sweets! vegan doughnuts on Sunday. On our way to the Fair Sunday morning we dropped by Mugs and they made us AMAZING vegan breakfast burritos with vegan sausage. The people who run this Fair have always been so kind and welcoming to Mike and I, and we have always loved being here.

The best meal we had over the weekend was at Nyala Ethipian Cuisine! WOW! I was blown away by all of the flavors and the owner came out and offered some of what she had made herself for her lunch which was a tasty tofu dish. This is a not-to-miss place whenever in Fort Collins!

Local fairs and festivals are great places to promote veganism. More to come on that. We'll see you next year at the 13th Annual Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins!

Thanks for reading!

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