Deep in the heart of Texas, it's easy to eat all meat all the time. But deep in the heart of the little oasis that is Austin, it's even easier to find vegetarian alternatives.
So high is the demand for access to alternative diets, cooking and lifestyle tips that this weekend marks the first ever Texas Veg Fest.
Sponsored by a variety of health-conscious organizations (the most recognizable of which is Whole Foods), Texas Veg Fest is "a family-friendly festival celebrating plant-based foods, with a focus on getting healthy, fitness, the environment and compassionate living."
Angela Ramsammy, executive director of the Fest, tells CultureMap that Texas Veg Fest is an experience and discovery type of event, chock full of interesting activities at every turn.
"Activities include cooking demos — from cookbook authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and [Vegan Latina] Terry Hope Romero, as well as Whole Foods Market Healthy Eating Specialist Dan Marek — expert speakers, kids activities, product samples and music," she says.
"We'll also have over twenty food vendors, so attendees can taste delicious plant-based foods while listening to great local bands and drinking up the sun on the banks of Ladybird Lake."
The Veg Fest team is expecting to draw around 3,000 vegetarians and non-vegetarians from across the state. Consider this event an opportunity to dip your toe into the waters of a different lifestyle or simply to take away a few key learnings.
"Texas Veg Fest is not just for vegetarians and vegans," Ramsammy says. "Attendees will learn that in addition to its powerful health-promoting aspects, a plant-based diet can be both delicious and easy to incorporate into one's lifestyle. From cupcakes to kale, there'll be something for everyone!"
Texas Veg Fest will take place at Fiesta Gardens Saturday, March 31 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. There is a $5 suggested donation at the door.