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Inspirations for budding vegan activists at VegfestUK London 2016

Inspirations for budding vegan activists at VegfestUK London 2016

| by Editor

If you’re vegan and itching to get out there to promote veganism in your community, but scratching your head for inspirations on how best to do that, make sure to visit the Vegan Activists Summit at VegfestUK London 2016, on the Saturday October 22nd 2016 at Olympia London.



Sponsored by Vegfund, a non-profit vegan organisation in the USA that give out grants to vegan projects all over the globe, the Activists Summit sees a number of creative vegan activists shedding light on this area in a number of sessions tailored to the budding vegan activist. Full schedules and descriptions below:



12.00 - Marta Zaraska - Meathooked: Why are humans obsessed with meat?

1.00 - Klaus Mitchell (Plant Based News) - progress towards a vegan world

1.30 - Rachida Brocklehurst - Normalising veganism in 2016

2.00 - Ben Shaberman - My Vegan Girlfriend Loves Her Cats More Than Me (But It's OK)

2.30 - Maddie Lynfield - Veganism - How to Reach People's Hearts

3.00 - Rebecca Fox (The Reasonable Vegan) - How to be a Reasonable Vegan

3.30 - Roger Yates - the funding structure of the movement

4.00 - Raffaella Ciavatta - Artivism: Turning Art into a Powerful Tool for Activism

5.00 - Manchester vegan advocacy group 

- Starting a Save Group in your area by Jon Smith,

- Organising an Earthlings Experience in your home town by Kate Hutchinson,

- Organising an Awakening Compassion in your home town by Jon Smith,

- Inititating conversations with non vegans during outreach by Dave Lee


Marta Zaraska - Why most people don't want to stop eating meat?

If humanity truly wanted to solve its climate change woes, we should stop eating meat overnight. Of all greenhouse gases, 14.5% comes from livestock - about the same as emissions from all of transportation combined. And yet most people don't want to give up meat. Why? In my talk I'll present several reasons for why most people don't want to stop eating meat. Among them are protein hunger and protein myths, symbolism of meat, our psychological wiring, industry lobbying. I believe that without understanding the reasons behind humanity's obsession with meat, it will be hard to convince the vast majority of people to stop consumption of animal protein, even though such reduction is necessary for the sake of our planet. 


Klaus Mitchell - Veganism: A Growing Movement

Klaus from Plant Based News takes a look at the progress the vegan movement has made in the last year. Through showcasing the most important moments, he will provide a birds-eye view of where the vegan movement is at and explain the challenges we face. 


Rachida Brocklehurst - The contemporary vegan: normalising veganism in 2016

Touted as ‘the year of the vegan', 2016 has started off with a vegan-shaped bang in the way it has been covered by various media outlets. With Veganuary achieving record results, and The Guardian, The Metro and even ITV news following the popularity of veganism, we are really starting to notice a shift in the landscape.

As a journalist, I want to discuss why veganism is receiving such a surge in popularity, from not only members of the general public but also the press and the impact that this potentially could have. I want to explore what a contemporary vegan is, breaking away from stereotypes and how to ensure that we don't feel like we are missing out, whether it is fashion, cosmetics or food.

Part of what The Green V will be doing this year will be to work with restaurants and manufactures in making dining out a more vegan-friendly experience. From incorrectly labelled foodstuffs in shops, to eateries not knowing what a vegan is, let alone offering suitable options, often going out for dinner can be a stressful experience, when it should be a pleasurable one. Being vegan has so many benefits - saving animals, improving health and of course the environmental impact, it is time it was no longer seen as a lifestyle of the minority.

Finally, a look at what we can do to normalise veganism further. This will include more practical advice and suggestions, from setting up a blog, getting in touch with local cafes and asking about vegan options to organising vegan meet-ups. For this I can also have some literature/handouts that people can take away and refer to at a later date. 


Ben Shaberman - My Vegan Girlfriend Loves Her Cats More Than Me (But It's OK)

A humorous, insightful presentation on vegan life and relationships, while paying homage to the dedicated women who drive the movement and influenced Ben. Ben will also read an excerpt from his new book, Jerry's Vegan Women - a fun, poignant, and occasionally steamy collection of fictional stories that follows the adventures of Jerry Zuckerman as he makes his way through the shelters, sanctuaries, and bedrooms of an eclectic assortment of vegan women. The book is by no means a vegan manifesto. Rather, its characters reveal the virtues, imperfections, and idiosyncrasies of those who go meat-free. It's stories about love, work life, and the search for identity and meaning of those committed to the vegan lifestyle. 


Maddie Lynfield - Veganism - How to Reach People's Hearts

Veganism isn't just about food and animal rights. Its the path of Deep Compassion on all levels and how to unleash the heart to create more practical constructive change in the world. This talk explores realistic ways to do this and how to move through what gets in the way. 


Rebecca Fox (The Reasonable Vegan) - How to be a Reasonable Vegan

Veganism is a reasonable position for anyone who has the evidence and critical thinking skills to assess it. That's why Rebecca advocates promoting reasonableness first, veganism second. This workshop will explore cognitive quirks that prevent people from thinking clearly, and empower you to be confident approaching difficult conversations with non-vegans. 


Dr. Roger Yates - Grassroots! The backbone of the Animal Advocacy Movement

So why do we let grassroots groups starve to death? A critical talk about the faulty funding structure of the animal movement.

As with many other social movements that engage in community education to bring about meaningful cultural change from below, the grassroots organisations of the animal advocacy movement are its backbone. The grassroots is where the action is. Why are grassroots groups so poorly funded while rich national groups duplicate each other's work and waste resources? 


Raffaella Ciavatta - Artivism: Turning Art into a Powerful Tool for Activism

Art can be a form of self-expression, a way of challenging power dynamics, an opportunity to make political statements, and a tool to channel cultural values and even change them. Join a conversation where we will explore opportunities to merge activism and art. 


Manchester vegan advocacy group:

Jon Smith - Starting a Save Group in your area

Manchester Pig Save formed at the beginning of this year and is part of a global movement called the 'Save Movement' that originated in Toronto with the inception of the Toronto Pig Save in 2010. The Save Movement is comprised of groups around the world who bear witness of pigs, cows, chickens and other farmed animals en route to slaughter. Our goals are to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals, to help people become vegan, and to build a mass-based, grassroots animal justice movement. 


Kate Hutchinson - Organising an Earthlings Experience in your home town

The Earthlings Experience started just over a year ago and events are now regularly created in cities and towns all over the world by local vegan groups. Originally the concept involved showing the graphic movie 'Earthlings' on laptops to passengers on the London Underground, the hosts of the event always wear masks and maintain silence throughout in order to let the powerful film speak for itself. Different groups around the world add their own unique twists to this core concept in order to maximise it's impact in every possible public situation. 


Jon Smith - Organising an Awakening Compassion in your home town 

The Awakening Compassion vegan outreach event originated in Poland and was first brought to this country by a London-based activist. Since then it has spread to Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. The event uses people holding large placards depicting positive and eye catching animal imagery along with messages such as 'I am someone, not something, I want to live' to draw members of the public in and compel many of them to stop and chat and take flyers. 


Dave Lee - Inititating conversations with non vegans during outreach 

One of the most difficult parts of any outreach event is finding the right conversation starter. Often passers by will slow down and even stop and look, their body language will signal that they may well be interested in learning more, but how best can we approach these people and make them feel safe and welcome? There is no single best approach for every situation, we have to be flexible, prepared to try new things and not be disheartened when we miss an opportunity.


The Activists Summit talks add to a huge vegan extravaganza at Olympia London on the weekend October 22nd 23rd 2016. The event also includes 250 stalls, 15 caterers, plus a Vegan Athletes Summit on the Saturday, a Pro-Intersectional Vegan Conference on the Sunday, a Vegan Health Summit, plus Kids Activities, Cookery Demos, Living Raw Zone, Performances, a Teen Zone and a Mature Zone. 

Find out more about the whole event in the event programme: 


Advance tickets are priced at £12 (adults) / £8 (concessions) per day, plus small booking fees. These tickets can be purchased in the widget at the bottom, or at the link here: 


Follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VegfestUK and #VegfestUKLondon2016 #BringAFriendToVegfest


A selection of recorded videos from the event will be released on VegfestUK TV afterwards: 


Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include your focus on in the site, then please just contact us at with details!

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