By Sarah Jost
While festival goers from around the country gathered in the Californian desert for Coachella this past weekend, I was busy making my way east for a lesser known festival: Worcester VegFest 2011. The only thing that could have made this event better was if it had taken place in Worcester, England instead of Worcester, Massachusetts. But at least they correctly pronounce their city’s name as \ˈwu̇s-tər\, which dreamily reminded me of when Geo and I lived near Gloucester Road in London. But back to VegFest. With speakers from Green is the New Red author Will Potter to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World author Terry Hope Romero, and edibles like vegan cinnamon rolls and Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss soy and dairy free ice cream, VegFest could have been anywhere and I would have been ecstatic.
As you would expect from an Urchin, my day started with a free sample scan of the festival grounds. This took about an hour and then I was ready to share a purchased plate of various vegan snackies and take in a ‘veggie circus’ (don’t ask.) While I mostly went for the food (duh), the speakers turned out to be my favourite part of the festivities. Terry Hope Romero demonstrated how to make seitan tacos with a beer, onion, and spices adobo and cashew sour cream, took audience questions, and then we got to EAT THE TACOS! They were amazing. I had two. Learn how to make the recipe here! Terry was adorably hilarious and feisty, and really knew her vegan cooking and baking. Her talk made me want to run out and rent a new apartment with a kitchen that didn’t used to be a closest and cook and bake strictly using her recipes. One day.
After the fun and treats from Terry Hope Romero, we moved up a few rows and snuggled in to hear Will Potter discuss the government attack on ‘eco-terrorism.’ Currently, animal rights and environmental activists are listed as the number one domestic terror threat in the U.S. Potter talked about how this labeling is being influenced by big pharmaceutical and agricultural businesses and what is means for the future of activism in America. I highly recommended checking out Potter’s book, website, and attending an event if you can.
And if you find yourself in Worcester, MA next year around this time, stop in for VegFest, or find a Veg event in your area!