Veggie Fest 2017

VEG OUT Y’ALL  NOLA VEGGIE FEST 2017 by Julie Holman

Louisiana Local Leah Duncan, the Vegan JH- Leah, can you tell me to connect with their community Outreach Director with Humane Society what inspires and motivates through compassionate living and of Louisiana has made a dent in the local your choice to be a Vegan and not feel alienated.
Vegan scene since spearheading the festival proponent of eating a plant- Once I researched and real-

with plant-based love since 2012. The Veggie Fest based diet? ized all the untruths that we are

,originally conceived in 1990, has drawn national accolades and continues to pick up momentum as more people embrace a plant-based and cruelty-free lifestyle. I had the opportunity to connect with Leah and learn about NOLA Veggie Fest.

LD- I was raised vegetarian from birth in a small, bayou town in Louisiana. It was a very lonely expe- rience. I want my kids to have a very different experience and to be able

taught as fact in schools, and in our culture, I became motivated to expose it. It’s an issue of self and community empowerment to be able to make informed decisions

for ourselves and our families about health and food choices.

Let’s not forget Animal liberation. I feel no being on this planet is ours to use or exploit for any reason.

What’s in store for NOLA Veggie Fest 2017?

First I wanted to share that Nola Veggie Fest 2016 was very successful. We had a record-breaking attendance as the weekend festival is free for the whole family. We have so many ways to interact, engage, and to educate our community. Last year, former CNN correspondent and Animal Rights Advocate Jane Velez- Mitchell was our keynote for both days, in addition we hosted local and national leaders who represent healthy lifestyle choices by advocating for plant-based diets such as vegetarian and/or vegan foods. Since the inception of Veggie Fest in 1990 the Humane Society of Louisiana has produced the ever-evolving annual event, and each year we continue to grow.

As in the past, for NOLA VF 2017 the Humane Society of Louisiana will continue to host a small cruelty-free animal petting area, and volunteers with the organization will be on hand to

provide education about their numerous programs. Additionally, we have local and nationally recognized inspirational speakers that can share information about plant-based diets, being vegan or vegetarian in Louisiana, and how it has changed their lives!

We have an abundance of new and returning vendors, musicians, artists, animal rescuers, raffle and silent auction, interactives for the whole family, includ- ing cooking demos. We piloted all-levels and all-ages yoga last year and the re- sponse was outstanding! We plan to have some all-level and all-ages yoga o erings sprinkled throughout the weekend.

Last year we launched our VIP Lounge... you pay one price and included with your wristband you are allowed access to our private Lounge with some tasty bites, craft beverages and a few other perks!

You have kids, and as a parent I am sure you are concerned about them obtaining the proper nutrients. Is it challenging to provide them with a plant protein-based diet?

Not more challenging than getting ANY kid to eat a balanced diet! But they are pretty savvy—they love to boast

when they know they have made good food choices and even tell their friends everything they think they know about being plant-based. I have always made sure they are informed about their food—where it comes from, what’s in it, and how it is made. They know all the reasons why we do not eat animal products. I have even had other parents THANK me for my kids’ compassionate in uences on their children!

Good rule: Lots of raw veggies and fruit is lots of colors on your plate—the wider variety of color, the wider the vari- ety of nutrients and vitamins in the foods!

What are your two must-have “Louisiana Local” products, foods, or services?

“Tony’s” seasonings! Always in the pantry and we love Hanley’s salad dress- ings (most are vegan).

If you were stranded on an island, what are your three must-have survival food items?

NOOCH! (Nutritional yeast), Avo- cados, and Eli’s Earth vegan “treasure” candy bars #drooling.


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