Last weekend (Saturday 12th) Liverpool played host to the Viva! Vegan Festival. A vibrant and unique event across two different buildings, that showcases the vegan lifestyle in all of its glory.

With a mix of food, cosmetics, accessories and a few new age stalls- there really was something for everyone. There were also lots of opportunities to learn something new, whether about the vegan lifestyle, activism or local charitable projects.

Of course, the main draw to the festival was the food and I can totally understand why this is the case. There was a plethora of food tables with everything from Indian cuisine and pizza to cupcakes, cream eggs and Froyo. I have to admit, I probably did overindulge ever so slightly but I think that was the theme of the day for the majority of the attendees. There was certainly no lack of variety and I think this was particularly refreshing to a vegan crowd- as we usually have a choice between chips and chips.

I think my personal highlight may have been the dairy-free cream eggs but the red velvet cupcakes did come very close!

Beyond the food, there were many other products available, including T-shirts, badges, pins, coasters, books, mugs, candles, crystals and makeup- basically anything you could ask for but tailored for those looking for cruelty-free, all-natural and ethical alternatives.

These types of events are lots of fun but they are also great settings in which to showcase an important message. The two organisations present that resonated with me personally were Sea Shephard (https://www.seashepherd.org.uk) which is an organisation that aims to safeguard marine wildlife and Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre (https://www.freshfields.org.uk/) which rescues and re-homes animals. Both groups do fantastic work.

Viva! is a country-wide event and one that I’d highly recommend for those who have adopted a vegan lifestyle- or those who are just open minded and looking for a good day out with some great food.

You can visit the website (https://www.viva.org.uk/festivals) to view their calendar, with upcoming festivals in London, Brighton and Sheffield.

Jamie Lewis