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Feature: A Perfect Vegan Day

Published on: 20 May, 2017
Updated on: 23 May, 2017

Dragon reporter Megan Wilman centre and her Guildford Animal Save colleague Olivia Stewart, with Peter Egan at the Surrey Vegan Fair

By Megan Wilman

If I were to describe a perfect Saturday I doubt the first thing that would pop into my head is an early start, then heading out to try and convince strangers to stand outside with me, in the cold, to blockade a slaughterhouse and prevent giant trucks from entering.

But last Saturday (May 13) that is exactly what I did and it turned out to be the start of a perfect day.

The perfection came later at the HG Wells Conference Halls in Woking where I experienced the second annual Surrey Vegan Fair. I was there as both a Dragon reporter and a stall holder with my activist team, Guildford Animal Save.

Having attended several vegan events in the past year, including the behemoth that is London Vegfest, I can honestly say this was the most enjoyable of all. The atmosphere was electric and the room was consistently packed from the moment the doors opened at 10am.

Despite the fast growing pace of the vegan movement, it’s incredibly refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded people and do what most vegans like to do best: eat! And then buy more goodies to take home so we can eat some more.

Contrary to popular belief, the options were not a choice between grass or twigs.

Contrary to popular belief, the options were not a choice between grass or twigs. A late breakfast of a Caribbean vegetable patty set me up for an initial wander around the stalls, which offered everything from cruelty free make up to uber cool clothing brands. Things I never knew I needed are now at the top of my wish list such as a tofu making kit and a handbag made of cork.

I had a chat with the wonderful actor and animal rights speaker Peter Egan after he gave his opening address and was floored by his graciousness and his desire to help promote our group to his large following. It was a reminder once again that veganism has no ego and that we are all fighting the same cause.

I also sampled a curious cupcake from Guildford based bakery, The Zebra Kitchen

The day of feasting continued, including stroganoff, hotdogs and doughnuts which could have (and did) fool the most devout omnivores that they were the real deal. I also sampled a curious cupcake from Guildford based bakery ‘The Zebra Kitchen’ labelled as a “peanut butter and jelly” cupcake, only without containing any peanuts, but tasted just as good as if it did.

Artisan “cheese” company ‘Lettices’ have given me fresh hope

After resigning myself to never finding a satisfying cheese alternative, artisan “cheese” company ‘Lettices’ have given me fresh hope with some genuinely impressive blue, feta and camembert imitations.

Nick Bean, passionate activist and founder of Vegan Global News

Aside from over-indulging, I did manage to waddle into the conference room to hear a rousing talk from Nick Bean, passionate activist and founder of Vegan Global News. He explained that he has been a vegan since the age of five, highlighting how we are born with the innate desire to be compassionate towards fellow animals.

I myself have flirted with vegetarianism and veganism all of my life, until at 20-years-old I finally made the permanent switch to veganism, knowing it was the best thing to do for the animals, my health and the environment. Nick’s speech reaffirmed my conviction and sparked a desire to re-double my efforts in the movement even if, for now, we are still seen as a little weird.

After stuffing my face all day and having some amazing conversations, I tip my hat to organisers Louise Simpson and Steve Swindon, who put together such a fabulous event I am already looking forward to the next one. It may have been a room full of strangers, but for one day it certainly felt like a big vegan family.

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Responses to Feature: A Perfect Vegan Day

  1. Louise Simpson Reply

    May 20, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Brilliant – what a fantastic account of the day. Thanks to Megan Wilman so much for this and for being part of the movement. Big love to her. xxx

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