Food & Drink

‘It doesn’t involve sacrifice’: Northern Vegan Festival visits Manchester for its third year

The Northern Vegan Festival comes to Manchester for the third successive year, showcasing 185 stalls worth of vegan food and products.

The event will start on Saturday 17 October and will take place in four locations across the city centre.

Omnivores and herbivores alike will be able to sample food from local vegan caterers, including Teatime Collective and Eighth Day.

A number of vegan orientated charities and organisations will also be in attendance, including the Marine Conservation Group, Sea Shepherd, The Greyhound campaigners and CAGED North West.

Roddy Hanson, one of the organisers, hopes that the festival will encourage non-vegans to see that the diet doesn’t necessarily involve as much sacrifice as people might assume.

He said: “Greater Manchester is second only to Greater London in terms of the overall number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants.

“There are so many alternatives to meat and dairy, and even to eggs and fish. They’ll certainly learn about a lot of new vegan products!

“It’s not just a vegan’s day out, it can really change people’s diets.”

Mr Hanson, who became vegan in 1987 after meeting animal rights activists at university, has watched veganism develop over the years.

“I was living in an area [in Birmingham] that was the most vegetarian and vegan orientated in the whole of the city.

“[But] the local Tesco would only have one half litre of own brand soya milk,” he said.

“Now, the average supermarket has a huge variety. Tesco even have their own vegan cheese! There are so many more products available.”

Mr Hanson also credits vegan celebrities with bringing the plant-based diet to the mainstream, suggesting that Hollywood names have the power to sway public perception.

The festival will take place in Sachas Hotel, Methodist Church Central Hall, V Revolution, and the Thirsty Scholar.

Admission is £2 and the event will run from 10am until 6pm.

Image courtesy of David Saddler, with thanks.

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