Veganism is officially mainstream. If you asked for vegan food at a restaurant a few years ago, you might get a surprised, even annoyed look in return. You might have had to explain that it meant “no dairy, no animal by-products, no egg” – and be met with a muted “uh-huh” or exasperated look. But nowadays, the number of people choosing to cut meat and dairy out of their diets is significant, due to a whole plethora of reasons, from ethical to environmental, not to mention health concerns. Veganism is no longer considered a “hippie” lifestyle or alternative dietary choice. And with veganism becoming mainstream, vegan events, especially vegan festivals are on the rise.
No, it isn’t just those bearing a flower-crown over their heads and wearing an animal lover t-shirt who are plant-based. You’ll find plant-based folk, or “vegan-curious” people practically everywhere. With scientifically-backed research continually highlighting the devastating effects the animal livestock industry has on climate change and more medical studies showcasing the chronic diseases associated with consuming meat and dairy on the regular, more and more people are choosing to cut their intake of these products.
Whether they’re branding themselves as “flexitarians” or fully dedicated vegans, the acceptance and recognition of plant-based lifestyles has indeed grown exponentially in recent years. Last year in November, the official month of the vegan, saw the forced resignation of a UK Waitrose Food editor after his damning comments to a writer pitching a plant-based story went viral – and was met with harsh criticism. A poll conducted by Kellogg’s in May 2018 revealed that much of this is driven by young people, with 56% of 16 to 29 year olds having tried a vegan diet in Britain.
And where trends become popular – especially amongst the younger generations – businesses follow. We’re seeing even the typical fast-food “big meat” industries go vegan. Take McDonald’s, for example, who started selling plant-based “McVegan” burgers in some Nordic countries and have recently launched a trial partnership with Beyond Meat in Canada.
So it’s no surprise that with veganism on the rise, we’re seeing vegan festivals popping up everywhere, including right here in Asia. To save you time and maybe even inspire you to check some of these out, here is our round up of some of the best upcoming vegan festivals the region has to offer.
Kyoto Vegan Gourmet Festival
Kyoto hosts a vegan festival every year, which attracts more than 4000 visitors and 60 vendors over the course of the daytime fair. All the food at the Kyoto Vegan Gourmet Festival is plant-based, with natural, organic, macrobiotic and raw options too! Expect lots of small family-run local Japanese plant-based companies offering delicious culinary inventions. From handmade soybean milk to matcha flavoured black sugar plant milk teas, expect lots of plant-based delicacies with a Japanese twist.
When: Sunday 3rd November 2019, 10.00am – 4.00pm.
Where: Kyoto Vegan Gourmet Festival, Umekoji Park, 56-3 Kankiji-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8835, Japan.
Tickets: Free Admission.
Saigon VegFest 2019
Song Thuần Chay in collaboration with La Holista have just announced the Saigon VegFest 2019, which will take place this November in the heart of Ho Chi Minh. The festival, which they expect will attract 1,000 visitors, will feature a range of community-oriented plant-based activities, workshops, films and yoga classes. Of course, the festival will also be serving food from the plant-based kitchens in Vietnam.
When: Sunday 24th November 2019, 11.00am – 7.00pm.
Where: Saigon VegFest, Nha Van hoa Thanh nien Community Centre, So 4 Pham Ngoc Thach, P Ben Nghe, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Tickets: Free Admission.
VegFest Philipinas 2019
Organised by Vegans of Manila, VegFest Pilipinas 2019 is happening this November BGC Arts Center, the first large-scale 100% plant-based event in the Philippines. Over the course of the weekend, vegan businesses, products and services – from food to beauty and fashion – will be highlighted to spread awareness about living a plant-based lifestyle in the Philippines.
When: Saturday 16th November – Sunday 17th November 2019, 8.00am – 10.00pm.
Where: VegFest Philipinas 2019, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines.
Tickets: PHP 100/day.
Bali Vegan Festival
The Bali Vegan Festival is a yearly three-day event held at Paradiso Ubud, which involves celebrating animals, the planet and our health. Open to all – vegans and the vegan-curious alike – the festival hopes to inspire more people through education about living a plant-based lifestyle and low impact living. While they haven’t announced dates for their upcoming festival, stay tuned for more information!
When: More details about 2019 coming soon.
Where: Bali Vegan Festival, Paradiso Ubud, Jl. Goutama Sel., Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia.
Singapore Vegan Festival
The inaugural plant-based festival in Singapore, SG Vegan Fest, just happened over September. The aim of the festival to showcase the best vegan food the city has to offer, from all cuisines and cultures. In addition to reputable high-end restaurants offering their best take on vegan fare, a range of smaller local cafés and sustainable businesses also joined this year’s vegan marketplace. Stay tuned for more details next year’s event!
Lead image courtesy of Unsplash.