Published on August 31st, 2012 | by Joe Heinbaugh
Omnivores at Vegfest
By Rachel Heinbaugh
Indy Veg Society had their twelfth annual fundraiser, vegfest. As a family who is fairly eco-conscious, granola-esque we have never been convinced of a staunch vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. When asked why not, I generally assert my need to live by moderation in all things, not extremes, or the dangers of soy consumption (especially for my testosterone filled household). But honestly it just seems intimidating, and this from someone who cloth-diapered and did hypnobabies…
Vegfest seemed like a great opportunity to be around other supporters of sustainability and be challenged in my view of Veg-fare. Buying a ticket got us a plethora of vegan/vegetarian samples from vendors in the Indy area. As we waited in line, my son munched on a vegan brownie, and we people-watched. I love the diversity of these events; everyone part of the crunchy to yuppie rainbow. While in line we met another couple from the Westside of Indianapolis. They’ve been vegan for 2.5 years and love it, except for the lack of variety and convenience in the Indy area. Same concerns with quality farmers markets in the area.
What I witnessed at this event and seems to hold true across the “green” events. People are so passionate and wanting to connect, tell their stories, that they lose all efficiency. Instead of becoming a force for good and maximizing opportunity, we all group up talking about the amazing soy-blueberry shake we just had, or even how we our “greenness” surpasses the next person. Indianapolis is notorious for failed vegetarian restaurants, though there is a large following. It seems that we need better organization and dare I say, structure, though conflicting with our inner “fight the establishment” would lead to more good being done.
I digress, Vegfest, food. It took me by surprise; I actually enjoyed eating most of the food! There were tempeh sloppy joes, chili, buffalo tofu “wings”, sandwiches, cookies, soup, cupcakes, etc. I think if I were a full-time vegetarian I would appreciate the substitutes for chili, sloppy joes, tofu hot wings etc. As a non-veggie, I tend to appreciate veggies and fruits for what they are. So my favorites were fresh like the pita, hummus, tomato and sprouts sandwich, and some Greek thing I can’t recall the name. As a non-vegetarian, I wished there was more information/education on vegetarian/veganism. As well as a master list of restaurants and the foods that were provided.
All in all we had a good time! It was great to expand our horizons as a family! I definitely also felt more motivated to do a few veg meals at home every week. Though we didn’t convert to veg-isms we enjoyed tasting the foods and introducing our kids to this sub-culture. If you missed this year’s fundraiser, make note of it for next year, definitely worth trying and tasting!