Finding love, food, and family is one of the focal points of this year’s New York City Vegetarian Food Festival, running May 20-21 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan.
Kicking off activities at the festival’s Apple Stage on Saturday morning is Robyn Moore who will lead a panel on vegan parenting. Billed as a humane educator, she also happens to be a vegan mom to two children. She’s the creator of RaisingVegKids.com, the organizer of NYC Vegetarian & Vegan Families Meetup, and a book reviewer for VegBooks.
This year marks Moore’s fifth as the coordinator of the festival’s Kumquat Kid’s Area, a lively corner of the pavilion where children can play carnival games, curl up with animal books, go on a scavenger hunt, make vegan snacks, sing-along and make music, get a face-painting, and even practice some animal-themed yoga poses.
But wait! No kids yet, or even a mate? No problem. Maya Gottfried is another festival speaker, and her topic is “Vegan Love.” Gottfried just published a new book by the same name, which details the ins and outs of “dating and partnering for the cruelty-free gal.” Her previous books include Our Farm by the Animals of Farm Sanctuary. She is also a contributor to VegNews, People Online, The Huffington Post, and Lilith Magazine.
If festival-goers really want to kickstart their vegan dating game, there will be two sessions of Veg Speed Date, one on each day of the festival. Originated by Karine Brighten 5 years ago in San Francisco, the process insures that people have a great time, don’t need to worry about feeling rejected, and have the best chance of making that special connection. Brighten’s events have been known to result in life-changing matches for vegans and vegetarians, giving rise to long-term relationships and marriages across America.
As in past years, the festival will feature a wide variety of presenters with more traditional topics as well.
A number of world-class athletes will also speak, describing how they fuel their exploits on vegan food. Olympic cyclist Dotsie Bausch, professional cyclistChristine Vardaros, bodybuilder Ndem Nkem, and kickboxer Omowale Adewale are just the tip of the iceberg.
Those speaking on the animal rights aspects of a vegan lifestyle are Irina Anta (legal counsel for Compassion Over Killing), and Gene Baur (co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary).
On the Pear Stage, cooking demonstrations will be sponsored by Terri Restaurant. Celebrity chefs to be featured include Taymer Mason (Caribbean Vegan), Adam Sobel (of Cinnamon Snail), J.L. Fields (by way of Colorado and New Mexico), Dustin Harder (the Vegan Roadie), and many more.
For a change of pace, festival attendees can plan to enjoy a classical ballet performance by the members of Edward Morgan Ballet. They can also attend two screenings of the short documentary film Home on the Range, followed by Q&A sessions.
There will also be approximately 100 plant-based vendors offering food samples and wares for sale at special festival discounts. To name just a few: MoPweeze Bakery, Organic Nectars, Rescue Chocolate, Marty’s V Burger, Unicorn Goods, and Stoner Girl Treats and Eats.
The New York City Vegetarian Food Festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, a company which also produces festivals in California and Arizona. Additionally, it runs vegan food competitions, Vegan Drinks Brooklyn, and other smaller scale events around the NYC area.
For more information on the upcoming festival or to purchase tickets, please visit http://nycvegfoodfest.com/index.php.