BrisVegan Fest changing the face of Veganism

MARIAN JOSEPH

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Market and food stalls were popular at BrisVegan Fest today. Source: Marian Joseph

The Brisbane Vegan Festival not only supplied attendees with yummy vegan food and market stalls, but also aimed to educate people about healthy vegan diets and lifestyle.

The festival, at the Leagues Services Club in West End today, had a series of speakers who talked about a variety of topics including nutritional information, supplementing and exercising for vegans as well as advice on maintaining a healthy plant-based diet.

Vegan fitness coach, Regan Smith, became an internet sensation earlier this year with his video ‘Why I Went Vegan’, which features his story about becoming a vegan through the use of food puns.

Mr Smith wants to break the vegan stereotype through education about the role that veganism has in living a happy and healthy life, including the benefits of living naturally.

“I became a vegan after I realised I needed to improve my diet because I wasn’t eating well at all and wasn’t feeling well, since changing to a 100% plant based diet in 2012, I am feeling healthier and fitter than ever,” Smith said.

Mr Smith talked about how he used to tell people that they should become vegan for certain reasons, but then realised that you need to let people make their own decisions through education.

“After I made my video, I received messages from people all around the world who wanted to become vegan because they’d seen the video, so it is about educating people and putting myself out there as an example,” Smith said.

Author and Executive of online vegan community Viva la Vegan, Leigh-Chantelle, spoke about the negative connotations associated with veganism in her talk, especially surrounding the diets of vegans.

“There is a perception out there that vegans don’t get protein at all from what we eat, but you can get plenty of protein from plant based foods such as beans, greens, tofu and tempe,” she said.

“Vegans eat well, we are not deprived in any way despite what people might think.”

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