Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cruelty Free Festival

vegan cupcake
Detail from a vegan cupcake (from crafted3).
On the weekend we attended the Cruelty Free Festival in Alexandria. Had I known dogs were welcome, Phil would have come along (he caught a nap instead). I like the CFF as it is a gathering of like-minded people – although just as with any group there is great diversity.

It has been said before that people often express their ethics by how they eat, and nowhere is this more apparent. There were vegans, high vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, dumpster divers and meat-eaters at the event, engaging in interesting discussion. Whatever your dietary persuasion, it is easy to perpetuate harm to animals or the environment by not asking questions about how food is sourced, prepared and processed.

The Medical Advances Without Animals stand (check out the MAWA trustees at
It’s one of the few festivals were vegans are spoilt for choice, with vegan sweet and savoury snacks (including hamburgers and hot dogs), groceries, pre-prepared meals and even wine available.

Here are a few highlights from the day…

I had an interesting discussion with the Veganpet people. If any discussion polarises people (at least in veterinary circles) its the topic of putting pets on a vegan diet.
Vegan cat food is particularly controversial, as cats are "obligate carnivores". A debate I won't enter here, but I always welcome the opportunity to discuss the topic.
I'm not sure because I couldn't ask her, but I have a feeling this is Millie the greyhound (see story here)

Award-winning chef Suzy Spoon and colleague with some of the vegan and vegetarian products from "Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher" 

This little dog was hanging out below while her owner did some organic wine tasting. (I confess I did not know that many wines utilise animal products as fining agents - things like fish oil and gelatin etc. This info and wine courtesy of Macquariedale Organic Wines)