Several people know that I am a huge animal lover and also an unhealthy vegan. I have been vegetarian for a year and became vegan two weeks prior to the festival. Being half Filipina, my diet always consisted of rice and meat. It was a difficult transition but when moving to university, things became so much easier. I was in control of my own food and I was in control of my shopping. When I heard about The Portsmouth Vegan Festival, I was ecstatic. I planned to go two months ahead but silly me put off purchasing the VIP ticket, luckily they were selling tickets at the door. With a £30 budget and two lovely friends by my side, I was ready for all the cruelty-free goodness!
Upon entering the festival, we were surprised by the number of people who attended it. Masses of people were already inside but I was so excited to discover all the vegan goodies that I left all my anxieties at the door. We entered the first room which seemed the quietest. There were a lot of tables for charities, organic fruit and veggie subscription boxes and even a stall that sells everything you need to know about gardening. It was a very interesting place and not as busy as the rest. It does make sense that it as quiet as there was nothing specifically vegan about the stalls in this room (except for the one table that sells organic skincare items).
The hall is where all the magic happens, rows and rows of food stalls, vegan printed badges and clothing, charities like She Shepeard were there. It was heaven. The first place that drew my attention was a lovely stall selling badges and shirts (I cannot remember the name of the stall, but once I do I will give credit). I took home 3 badges
and there is where I discovered my new favourite thing – I bought a pin with an image of a pig and a slogan underneath saying ‘Mistaken for Bacon’. This really hit hard for
me, I know a lot of people wanting to go vegan but they always use the excuse ‘but bacon though’, personally bacon was the easiest thing to give up and when you think about the innocent piggies being slaughtered it will be easy to give them up too (little jab for the omnivores out there). After purchasing all my new lovely pins we began exploring more.
Working for Lush, I have heard of numerous charities like ‘Save the Badgers’ protecting innocent Badgers from inhumane culling and ‘Sea Shepherd’ another famous charity that helps to preserve the ocean. It wasn’t a huge surprise that I spotted the famous Sea Shepherd stall. Different bits and bobs in black and white (my aesthetic) laid neatly on the table with a black cloth on top, I oogled and ogled all the Sea Shepherd merchandise. I decided to purchase a patch to sew onto my favourite tote bag and then I had a lovely chat about Sea Shepherd with the lady at the stall.
The last place we visited was something straight out of my dreams. After walking for ages, we felt our stomach grumbling. We saw this stall selling nachos and rolls using jackfruit! It’s a well-known fact that pulled jackfruit with seasoning tastes exactly like pulled pork. So, of course, I had to get myself a beautiful roll.
Being a vegan student is a lot of hard work and it is quite expensive. It’s not easy for me to just go to Tesco or Sainsbury’s and purchase a sandwich. I have to take the time to meal prep if I have a long day at uni or if I’m going to work. But when I think about the countless animals I am saving, it is all worth it. The next Vegan Festival in Portsmouth is going to be on the 17th of September 2017. This time I’m buying the VIP tickets in advance and I hope to catch some of you there!