Veganizing the World, One Incredibly Delicious Meal at a Time

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a fantastic vegan educational event, where I joined fellow Gentle World volunteers in serving delicious food to hundreds of people, many of whom were unfamiliar with vegan food and the philosophy behind the practice of veganism.

Every year, in the beginning of October, Gentle World volunteers set up a ‘vegan restaurant for a day’, smack in the middle of a fairly typical Country Fair, an event where almost every other booth serves ‘Standard American Fair Food’.

Because we have learned over the years that ‘a taste is worth a thousand words’, we take great care in providing a beautiful selection of lovingly-prepared, wholesome, incredibly delicious food. The result is that our booth attracts not only vegetarians and vegans, and those who want to eat more consciously, but even folks with a standard diet who come simply because they have heard about how good the food is, and they want to see whether it’s true. What’s amazing is that when people experience really good vegan food, their hearts and minds are more open to learning about the reasons for being vegan, and the benefits of vegan living.

On the menu this year were two types of veggie burgers offered on a selection of healthy burger buns, Kung Pao “Chicken” (an amazing mock meat dish that” everyone went absolutely wild over – including myself), and a mouth-watering array of Gentle World’s signature dishes such as “Better-than-Beef” Seitan Barbecue, Creamy Coleslaw, Cashew-Carrot Pate, and Tofu “Eggless” Salad wrapped in two types of tortillas. The deal was then sweetened with a wide selection of desserts and beverages (including our world-famous banana bread, baked by yours truly).

Alongside the food, we displayed vegan products, recipes and nutritional information. Most important, we provided diners with the opportunity to learn more about the reasons for being vegan, as outlined in the highly recommended vegan advocacy pamphlet produced by the Boston Vegan Association: Respecting Animals Means Being Vegan.

Free samples of snack foods, teas and grain coffees, and a huge array of other vegan products such as toiletries and cleaning products were there for the taking, thanks to the kind support of our sponsors. These were offered not only at the counters, but also in a basket carried around the fairground by one of our volunteers, helping to spread the joy (and the message) well beyond the boundaries of the booth.

Gentle World’s presence at the annual Country Fair provides us with a unique opportunity to educate many different kinds of people, from those who are aware of the benefits of veganism, to those who have never given it a thought. By providing them with the information and tools they will need to make the transition, we spark a conversation that brings out the best in human nature and moves people at least a little closer to understanding the vegan concept.

This kind of educational event is not only fun and exciting to participate in, but it’s a great way of spreading the word that vegan living doesn’t have to involve deprivation or bland, boring food. Changing the current perception of vegan cuisine as being ‘rabbit food’ or ‘rice and beans’ is an essential part of inviting others to join our movement toward a more peaceful, non-violent world.

Was it a success? One diner said that ours was the best food she had ever tasted. You can’t get much better than that.

Learn more about Gentle World and our educational program by visiting our website, www.gentleworld.org.

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86 comments

Akin Adelakun
Akin Adelakun4 years ago

interesting article! thanks

om Joshi
om joshi4 years ago

Vegetarianism is based on health, naturopathy and non violence. Gandhi said Taste is based on mind not on tongue. Be vegetarian and remain healthy.
O.P.Joshi

Michele G.
Past Member 4 years ago

And once again Sarah D. has made her painful presence felt. Leave the vegetarians and vegans alone. Prat.

Alicia N.
Alicia N.5 years ago

Good luck guys and gals who are volunteering for the event. I looked at some of the recipes and they are just fantastic. You are more than welcome to come to Reno and bring that yummy food !!

Stefani S.
Stefani A.5 years ago

I would love to go to that booth at the country fair! Wish I lived nearby!

Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

Not everyone's taste buds are the same - same way no one's body is the same. If you want people to eat the food you're advertising you have to find a way to make it taste better. I've tried vegan food and it didn't taste very good - even the ice cream was bad. No one's going to eat the food you eat unless it tastes as good as it smells. You need to be creative and make it look like an omnivore dish.

Most people on this blog are sick of and familiar with the vegan fanatic agenda and will probably be hesitant or not as likely to try vegan food if they know it's vegan. Why don't you try being a little more subtle and not so open.

Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

"why are meat eaters even on this forum anyway??? "

Is it too hard for you to say "omnivore" or do you not know what an omnivore is? How would you like it if people called vegans names like "Dirt snorters" or "grass munchers"?

Yvette T.
Past Member 5 years ago

I've been lacto-vegetarain for 27 or 28 years...and only last year discovered THE LOVING HUT on a visit to San Francisco. I then visited both LA and Phoenix, where more Loving Huts as well as frozen products were available for taking or mailing home to myself. I also mail order from NY the same products that are in a distribution center in LA. Please view these amazing gourmet vegan foods! They store forever and are so cheap (made in Taiwan) http://veganforall.com/ http://www.vegecyber.com

Petra Luna
Petra Luna5 years ago

It's good to eat healthier.

John Carbonaro
John Carbonaro5 years ago

Here is an interesting essay that questions the whole taxonomy of humans as 'omnivores'

http://www.ecologos.org/mcardle.htm