Last Saturday, the vegan/vegetarian group that I manage, Vegas Veg, did a “feed-in” booth at a local dog festival. The festival attracts a lot of “animal people” so it’s a great opportunity for vegan education. We set up two tables, one with literature about vegan living and the other with free vegan food samples. We offered the food for free to people with gentle encouragement to choose vegan by saying things like, “We know that people are here today because they love animals. We want to remind people to think about animals when they choose their meals.”
One of our posters features a photo of a cow reflected in a human eye. The poster says, “See her as more than a meal.” (You can get this poster here.)
We had at least 500 vegan food samples. Here are examples of the food we gave out:
- peanut butter cookies,
- chocolate almond milk,
- vanilla soy milk,
- chocolate cupcakes,
- lemon cupcakes,
- egg-less egg salad sandwiches,
- tofurky sandwiches,
- tofuti cuties,
- savory pastry puffs
If you’re going to do this yourself, I’d recommend sticking to just one or two kinds of foods. But beggers can’t be choosers and since we “begged” for food donations, our food was quite diverse. The variety can be helpful for attracting many people, though, since many express particular food sensitivities or preferences.
How did we pay for it all? We got food donated from two vegan catering businesses and from volunteers. My husband and I made and bought 300 food samples which we found funding through VegFund.
We got the literature from Vegan Outreach, which also kindly helped us out with some of the other logistical issues.
Many people sampled the food. We ran out of food by the end of the day, so that means it was well received. Many people remarked things like “Wow, I didn’t know tofu could taste so good,” or “These are great!” Lots of people asked for recipes.
We had 6 volunteers (including my husband and I) lined up for the day. But on the day of the event we had many people show up wanting to help. So we put them to work handing out food samples or literature. Overall, the volunteers were very happy and enthusiastic. There’s something about free food that really excites people!
The myriad of volunteers helped ensure that anyone who came anywhere near our booth received a vegan pamphlet and some personal attention.
For more on doing an event like this yourself, I recommend reading these websites: