World Vegan Summit Proves Education Is The Key To Our Vegan Future
I’ve been to a lot of vegfests in my short life. Always coyly popping in and out from lecture series on sharing your household with non-vegans or learning how to cook without oil, I figured substantive learning could only come from taking the time to navigate essays and books. After all, there were vegan donuts to be devoured. But the opportunity to learn from speakers at the World Vegan Summit changed my perspective on vegan education, and now I’m inspired to do more.
MARLENE WATSON-TARA – macrobiotic food demo
In Berkeley, California last weekend, well-known vegan advocates took to the microphone to share their knowledge on everything from The Abolitionist Approach to veganic gardening. In three short days, I’d learn more about intersectionality, macrobiotic eating, and effective advocacy than all my researching and keyboard jockeying has permitted me; combined.
GENESIS PALACIO – great great niece of Cesar Chavez
But when I wasn’t scrambling to record the protein levels of puma milk to add to my dairy free argument or trying to learn the words to the song a brilliant eleven year had penned and performed, I was happy to observe the direction veganism can go.
VANI KADAS performs her vegan song
Without booths asking for donations or groups demanding that veganism is not the most important step, there was honest grassroots education. There were discussions on how to reach people effectively and how to be sure we were doing as much possible individually. There was shared experience of trauma, and more support for new vegans than I’ve ever found on the threads I frequent. Truly, immersing ourselves in a shared space, often sitting as close as the zip-tied chairs allowed us, had made it possible for our combined love of animals to radiant outwards without the intervention of the companies that work so hard to take our individual power away from us.
BENJAMIN MacELLEN – video presentation
Nods of approval for the moral baseline were there. Standing ovations for art that brought slaughter houses forward in a way graphic videos never could were there. Genuine tears and transformations that didn’t require “baby steps” were so close, I could feel them. And all around me, there was a believed energy that the world is vegan if we want it, and that it was easy to understand that veganism was so much more than just a choice. For all of us last weekend, it was who we’re meant to become and inspire other’s to become, too.
Grassroots Vegan Advocacy Workshop – Gary Francione and thirteen panelists
Some broke bread together, and other’s marked their skin in commemoration. All hugged, danced, and vowed to take fresh purpose in to their work for showing their circles exactly what it means to live non-violently, and mean it. We don’t need to protest, boycott, or act out at all to be heard. It just takes convincing one more person, who can convince another, and another following that. Sitting together in the lecture hall of that university, we were doing what so many others have forgotten is so important to do; show the world it’s not a question of why we’re vegan, but why they are not.
A photo is taken of ANITA MOOS at the “Abolitionist Veganism and Intersectionalism” Panel Discussion
I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Bob Linden and all those who helped orchestrate the crowds, AV issues, and expo vendors. I want to share my deep appreciation for all who spoke, on stage and through question and answer periods. And lastly, I want to thank each and every vegan individual who makes education their priority, and for facing the “how do you get protein” question with decorum.
If you’re not already, please go vegan.