Nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a city that’s long been known for its vegan-friendly approach to food. Now, the progressive haven is taking the concept to another level and launching its first-ever VeganFest.
Dreamed up and hosted by the renowned no-kill non-profit, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue (BWAR), VeganFest kicks off on August 16 and features over 50 vendors, a health challenge, notable speakers and more.
Brother Wolf is a vegan organization, which means it’s committed to “uncompromised compassion.”
“As we look at what that means we cannot leave out farmed animals from our circle of compassion,” says Leah Craig, Events Director at BWAR. “We are excited to work on behalf of all animals and to bring the message of veganism to our community members who love their dogs and cats like family. Asheville is the perfect town to celebrate vegan living and we are excited to bring this event to Asheville.”
In addition to its current, lifesaving work, the group is in the process of building the Brother Wolf Animal Sanctuary, an amazing, 80+ acre sanctuary for dogs and cats in need. Proceeds from VeganFest will go to support the sanctuary.
VeganFest vendors will include top culinarians and restaurants from across Asheville, including Bean Vegan Cuisine and Veganized, Mela Indian Food, The Hop Ice Cream, Gypsy Queen, French Broad Chocolates, Farm to Fender,
Rita’s Italian Ice, Buchi Kombucha, Plant, Addissae Ethiopian, Catawba Brewing, and a new vegan brewery: Sanctuary Brewing. Speaking at the event will be Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete, Erica Geppi of HSUS, and several others.
The VeganFest in Asheville will also showcase a 14 Day Health Challenge. 38 Ashevillians (volunteers and staffers at BWAR and their families) signed up for a two-week trial of a plant-based diet. Participants are doing health screens before and after (blood chemistry, blood pressure, weight loss, etc.) Dr. Amy Lanou, Chair of the Health and Wellness Department at UNCA (and Full Circle Farm Sanctuary board vice president) will unveil the results at the event.
“The switch to a plant-based diet is not usually done overnight,” says Denise Bitz, Founder and President of BWAR. “With VeganFest, we’re wanting to introduce this way of living to a community whose interest in healthy living, environmental protection, and kindness to animals is right in line with what the vegan lifestyle is all about.”