They’ve done it again. Alison and Robin of the Campaign Against Leather and Fur (CALF), this year joined by Caroline of Vegan Campaigns, ran a top-notch festival and conference in London this past Sunday (the 19th of August). It started early and people were still enjoying the festivities at 9 p.m. The festival officially concluded at eight, but vegans obviously have a great deal of energy, especially at a great event such as this.
Most of the talks were filled to capacity; in the main hall, where all types of vegan food and drink abounded, attendees were weaving in and out of the crowd, actually jostling a bit to move at all. And this was the case all the way from before noon on into the evening.
There were many great workshops and we wish we had space to cover many of them here. We’ll have more on them in the Winter 2007-08 issue of ActionLine. As for the people pictured here:
Sharon NÃºÃ±ez from Igualdad Animal, a Spanish animal-rights group, presented a talk and slide show on animal-rights vigils and outreach in Spain. The presentation illustrated the way children are indoctrinated through textbooks to comprehend nonhuman animals as objects. For example, a tiger is typically portrayed as an animal one sees in the zoo, a chicken as an animal one eats. Thus the importance of change at the basic level of early education.
Lee Hall of Friends of Animals presented a workshop on Whole Foods Market and the controversy on whether that corporation’s influence in animal-advocacy, and vice versa, should be celebrated or resisted.
A great thing about this festival is its dedication to principles. One does not see corporate sponsors that sell animal flesh, as the festival is dedicated to bringing vegetarianism to its logical conclusion, as Donald Watson would have said it.
This attention to principles has obviously not slowed anything down. Remarkably, it seems the annual London Vegan Festival has actually outgrown London’s Kensington Town Hall. Return visitors could be heard saying that they had become vegan due to past editions of the London Vegan Festival, and wanted to return to appreciate just being in the community. This festival has inspired a newer annual festival in Bristol, England, and also one in Sweden. Australia may be next.
The facilitators merit the gratitude of vegans everywhere.