World Vegan Day is gearing up for its biggest Melbourne event to date
30.10.2019

World Vegan Day is gearing up for its biggest Melbourne event to date

World Vegan Day
Photo: Anil Jain
Words by Augustus Welby

World Vegan Day Melbourne is a reminder of why so many people are now choosing a cruelty-free, plant-based diet and lifestyle.

The free event will attract vegans in the thousands to the Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday November 10, ranging from the flexitarian and vegan-curious to the upholders of a holistic vegan lifestyle that stretches well beyond diet.

“There is something special about celebrating the act of choosing a kinder lifestyle with many people, vegan and non-vegan alike,” say event organisers Malia Donovan and Mark Doneddu.

The clichés about vegans are now so worn out, you can find them in the op shop giveaway bin. Yes, vegans tend to tell you that they’re vegan; it’s pretty hard to keep your eating preferences a secret. But for the most part, the sniggering of the past has been replaced by a surge in empathy for a cruelty-free, plant-based diet and lifestyle.

“Apart from saving animal lives, being vegan also saves human lives and the environment,” say Donovan and Doneddu. “The vegan diet has been shown to be beneficial in helping to prevent and reverse some of our biggest diseases and illnesses such as heart disease, certain cancers, type two diabetes, arthritis, as well as lung and kidney disease.”

World Vegan Day Melbourne was inspired by similar vegan community events in the UK and USA. It’s grown considerably since its first instalment in 2003, which was essentially just a picnic in Albert Park.

“This year we are celebrating the theme ‘their future is in our hands’,” say Donovan and Doneddu. “This brings together a conversation and awareness of the positive impacts of going vegan for the animals, the environments and children of the future.”

Not only does choosing a vegan lifestyle eliminate cruelty and harm to animals, but it’s one of the simplest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, along with limiting air travel and ditching your car in favour of public transport.

“We are at a crucial point where we need to make changes that will help reduce the negative impact we have made on our planet,” say Donovan and Doneddu. “It is now known that the animal agriculture industries are impacting the environment on a huge scale.

“This year we are working towards bringing everyone a much more environmentally friendly event. We have a Green Warriors team who are implementing new initiatives into the event to help reduce our plastic usage and promote sustainability.”

World Vegan Day Melbourne 2019 marks the second year of the event’s Indigenous Zone, an educative area with information on bush foods and how using Indigenous plant foods will help our environment.

“We also look at Aboriginal peoples’ agricultural practices of cultivating crops on the land, such as kangaroo grass and yams. We will also be holding a Welcome to Country for the first time at World Vegan Day Melbourne.”

Elsewhere, World Vegan Day Melbourne will showcase a diverse range of worldwide vegan food, cosmetics, clothing, footwear, belts, bags, accessories, pet food and a huge range of other vegan goods and services.

“All products and services are 100 per cent vegan. Not for profit groups promoting animal rights, environmental issues, vegan health and fitness are a central part of the event,” say Donovan and Doneddu.

There will also be talks covering issues such as the ethics of our food choices, animal treatment and exploitation, health, the environmental impact of animal industries, vegan fitness and the economic issues regarding human food choices.

“Food demonstrations will show how vegans can prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, including everything from health food and raw food to comfort food and deserts,” say Donovan and Doneddu.

There will also be live music from a range of vegan artists including Tess Guthrie, Sense Offence, Medicated Love and Charlie Lane.

“There are fashion parades, speed dating, an arts area and an education zone,” say Donovan and Doneddu. “We expect this to be the biggest World Vegan Day ever.”

World Vegan Day Melbourne is happening on Sunday November 10 at Melbourne Showgrounds. For more information, head to worldveganday.org.au.