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Comprehensive range of topics on veganism to be covered at VegfestUK Bristol 2017

Comprehensive range of topics on veganism to be covered at VegfestUK Bristol 2017

| by Editor

Over its past 14 years of existence, VegfestUK Bristol is renowned for its carnival atmosphere on the historic Bristol Harbourside adorned by some special headline musicians. But one integral component holding this community event together has got to be the educational talks and cookery demos which have provided many visitors with the tools they needed to embark on a vegan way of life after these shows. And this year’s corresponding event will be no different with nearly 50 excellent and dynamic speakers shedding light on an assortment of topics tailored to those at the beginners, intermediate or advanced stages of veganism.


After making its maiden appearance at the Brighton edition of VegfestUK, the Easy Veganism section is back at this year’s Bristol event, with the panel discussions at Brighton to be replaced by longer talks. Subjects to be covered include:

  • stepwise approaches to veganism (by Rob Masterson of The Vegan Approach),
  • the deadly impact of dairy on our health and wellbeing (by Juliet Gellatley, founder and director of Viva!),
  • how to remain sociable as a vegan in a non-vegan world (by Ben Martin, campaign director for Animal Aid on vegan issues),
  • the benefits of a starch-heavy plant-based diet (by Barry Orr, a senior clinical psychologist with Kent and Medway NHS),
  • how to get whatever nutrient you need if you’re vegan (by Dr. Stephen Walsh, Nutritional Advisor to the Vegan Society),
  • being vegan on a shoestring (by vegan vlogger Aisha Eveleigh),
  • how to keep your motivations high in staying vegan (by vegan vlogger Berty Justice), plus
  • an accessible introduction to the concepts of welfarism, abolitionism and intersectionality for newcomers (by Joe Brydon, vegan and LGBTQ plus rights campaigner), and
  • how the idea of a Vegan Camp Out originally materialised and the process of creating this amazing event (by Jordan Greiner Martin and Kate Louise Powell, co-organisers of the UK Vegan Camp-Out)
  • how to ensure our children grow up healthy on a plant-based diet (by nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston)


There will also be a 45-min meetup session hosted by vegan teenage social group Teen VGN which is brilliant for 11-19 year olds to mingle with like-minded people.


Veganism in the world of sports and fitness is increasingly becoming a hot topic in the mainstream and a group of highly achieving vegan athletes will be appearing in the Light Veganism section at the event. They include ultra marathon runner Fiona Oakes, powerlifter Pat Reeves, vegan cyclists Mick Walker and Rob Masterson. The latter duo will be cycling from the event on the Sunday morning, on a circular route of 60 miles around the beautiful Somerset countryside, with the aim of raising vital funds for a variety of animal charities including Animal Aid, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2017.


Tying in with talks about excelling in various sports on a plant-based diet, are further sessions on staying fit (by vegan fitness instructor Bryony Miles) and keeping our energy high on such a diet (by Dominika Roszko), as well as the potential benefits of vibrational raw foods (by raw lifestyle coach Gabriela Lerner).


Furthermore, those interested in campaigning and activism will not want to miss the screening on Saturday of Viva!’s most recent documentary production SWINE, in the Light Veganism section. The use of antibiotics in factory farms and its potentially deadly impact is investigated in this latest documentary. The film showing will be followed by a short talk from Viva!’s campaign director Justin Kerswell and a short Q&A afterwards. Speaking of the potentially life-altering effects of a motion picture, “Babe” certainly made its mark on viewers worldwide in helping them recognise the inherent moral value of animals and make the connection and change the way they live as a result. Vegan event organiser and blogger Jessica Stella Fox will be speaking on how this famous movie inspired her en route to becoming an activist herself. The budding activists will also want to keep an eye on the self-care talk by Hippocrates Health Educator Judy Barber on why vegans, including activists, need to know about Plant-Based Nutrition.


Plus, the medical benefits of cannabis for MS and chronic illness will be discussed by Clark French from United Patients Alliance too.


Meanwhile, the Deep Veganism section, which has both theory and practical activism in store for the seasoned vegans, certainly will not disappoint with a large selection of topics to be discussed by some knowledgeable speakers. The concepts of “free-range” and “higher-welfare” animal products will be dissected (by Carley Betts, postgraduate student of Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare) in addition to rewilding rescued animals (by animal rights activist Ruth Hawe of Vegantopia) as well as the interconnection between race, class and species, plus the pitfalls of saviour complex veganism (both by Christopher Sebastian McJetters).


For activists seeking ideas for their outreach work, look out for the Deep Veganism talks on

  • the rise of the Save movement (by Bristol Animal Save),
  • how to advocate for veganism effectively abroad (by Australian author Leigh-Chantelle of,
  • how to effectively talk to children and the younger generation about veganism (by vegan blogger Claire Michalski of Grow Up Vegan),
  • what research suggests when it comes to key areas are for successful transition to veganism (by former SEN teacher turned researcher Trent Grassian),
  • the pros and cons of various approaches to activism (by vegan activists Dean Bracher and Vegan Geezer), and 
  • how to effectively use our time and energy to promote the positive aspects of veganism, and inspire others to lead by example online (by Leigh-Chantelle).



The talk by local sustainability specialist Martin Fodor on how sustainable and ethical vegan businesses really are will be of interest to those with one eye on sustainability in addition to veganism in their businesses.


There is still time for a yoga session by yogis Dunstan Bertschinger and Melanie Rodriguez after the Deep Veganism talks are over on each of Saturday and Sunday for you to wind down and relax.


Anyone who is struggling for ideas on what to cook on a plant-based diet – look no further than the Cookery Demos in store. They cover a large variety of tasty vegan recipes and cooking techniques, from the basics of juicing (by independent natural juice therapist Jackie Ahluwalia), sprouting, organics and sauces (by Hippocrates Health Educator Judy Barber), to the more sophisticated raw falafels (by certified holistic raw food educator Monica Williams), raw chocolate (by raw food coach Aradhana Kaur), jackfruit curry & coconut salad (by Sri Lankan chef Gayani Ariyaratne of Gayani’s Kitchen), vegan cheese making (by vegan fromagerie Mel Rogers of Mels Kindness Kitchen), as well as healthy dishes using beans and pulses (by Lizzy Hughes, head chef of Our Lizzy Cooking), right up to how to cook plants at a top restaurant level (by Richard Buckley, founding chef and owner of the award-winning Acorn Vegetarian Kitchen).


Parents bringing their children to the event, who wish to inject fun and laughter into plant-based diets, look no further than the Kids Cookery Classes, to be hosted by kids vegucator Captain James Tea Cook Pirate of the Carob Bean. Activities that will inspire your little ones to incorporate more fruits and veg into their diets, include: smoothie bike, 5 a day rainbow sushi making, pancake tossing competition, rainbow fruit and veg kebabs, Dragon’s Breath Mini Pizzas, High Protein Cannon Ball snacks, alongside a small number of science workshops for kids to get in the mix of creating their own vegan food.


And of course, in typical VegfestUK style, the educational talks and cookery demos come on top of altogether 200 stalls including 15 caterers and 5 bars for you to eat and drink the weekend away, together with a large selection of musical performances from 2 stages throughout the days and the evenings, plus a small circus stage, bubbleogists, balloon making workshops, face-painting, magicians, walkabout entertainers and other entertainment to keep everyone on a high throughout this huge vegan celebration.


Advance tickets are £6 per day and £10 for the whole weekend, plus small booking fees. You can buy yours now at: 

A limited amount of tickets are also available on the door at £10 (adults) / £4 (concessions). Kids under 16 (accompanied by adults) get free entry.

Join the Facebook event here: 


Get Involved! If you have a great Vegan news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include in The Vegfest Express, or if you have any ideas of new Vegan topics that you’d like us to focus on in the site, then please just contact us at with details!

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