Go meat-free at the first Ipswich Vegan Festival this Sunday

Try vegan snacks at Ipswich Vegan Festival. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Try vegan snacks at Ipswich Vegan Festival. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sample animal-free food, drink, beauty products and clothing at Ipswich Vegan Festival.

Veganism is an ever-growing life choice. One recent survey found that veganism has grown by an incredible 300% since 2010.

Determined to show others how to lead a life without animal products, Shena Lou (a proud Suffolk vegan and animal shelter operator) has organised the first ever Ipswich Vegan Festival at Portman Road football ground this Sunday (October 15).

More than 50 stallholders selling vegan food, drink, clothing, beauty products and more will gather over two floors, filling the Bobby Robson Suite and Legends Suite.

“I feel so passionate about it [veganism],” said Shena. “I want more people to learn about it and try different foods. There are lots of myths about it being all salads, twigs and leaves. But things like vegan cakes are amazing. That’s my main reason for organising this. I’ve got an animal sanctuary as well, and we’re giving free stalls to local animal rescue.”

Complementing the stalls and street food on the day will be a series of talks from vegans including triple Guinness World Record marathon runner Fiona Oaks and personal trainer Hench Herbivore, who’ll be talking about the benefits of plant-based nutrition for sports performance.

“You don’t have to be vegan to come along,” Sheena added. “I want people to come and try the food, get information and advice, and be open-minded.

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Entry is £2 on the door, from 10am to 4pm, and there will be free parking on the day opposite the football grounds near Gate 17.

What can I try?

No Baloney – sample their ‘Dog Bites’. These addictive snacks see seasoned soy sausages mixed with caramelised onion and tomato sauce, wrapped in thin bread and griddled.

Badgers Dairy and Egg Free – completely vegan alternative sandwich fillings and side salads sold in totally biodegradable packaging (which is even made with animal free glue and ink). Try the egg mayo alternative with noodles and chickpeas, potato salad with spring onions, chives and black pepper, and coleslaw cabbage made with egg and dairy-free mayonnaise.

Greek Vegan Deli – all-natural, preservative-free Greek breads, bakes, pastries, cakes and mezze.

Naked Greenz – supercharge your smoothies, juices and raw snacks with pure organic wheatgrass powder, grown in New Zealand. Harvested while young, the blades of grass are filled with minerals, enzymes, B vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.

Norwegian Bakers – a regular on the Friday market in Hadleigh, this bakery specialise in homely Norwegian breads and cakes, crafted with vegan butter alternatives. Expect apple studded buns and icing smothered cinnamon rolls.

Debs Pantry – homemade vegan bakes and cakes that don’t compromise on taste. Expect to find lots of biscuits, muffins and slices such as apricot and ginger cookies, banana and walnut muffins, carrot slice and even cherry Bakewells.

Little Vegan Cookie Company – completely dairy, egg and palm oil-free cookies, wrapped in biodegradable packaging. Flavours range from chocolate chunk and triple chocolate to salted caramel and pecan, and cinnamon and sultana snickerdoodles.