Perhaps veganism has been pushed down the throat of society a bit too much. Perhaps society considers it exhausting, aggressive or even annoying. For some, however, it is the backbone of what fuels them in life.
For the first time, the Vegan Block Party in Miami took place on Saturday afternoon. The festival is a product of the increasing popularity of veganism that’s sweeping over today’s society.
As this lifestyle movement gains momentum around the world, many vegans believe it’s important to demolish the negative stereotypes around the plant-based diet. Slowly but surely, veganism is developing a more positive implication.
“It is events like these that make vegans as a whole community feel truly appreciated and welcomed,” Rosie Vanderplas, an attendee of the event, said. “I love events like this. Everyone just has one shared common interest, and it gives the whole thing a huge sense of community.”
The event celebrates plant-powered lifestyles that improve the lives of animals, our health and the planet, according to the Vegan Block Party website. Vendors selling handmade jewelry, skincare and clothing lined the Miami streets.
“The vendors are happy to be here, and the people are happy to be here,” Marie Silva, an attendee of the event, said. “On top of that, I’ve gotten to try a ton of new foods. It’s crazy what you can do with plants. It’s unimaginable.” Silva has been following a vegan lifestyle for eleven years, and she doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.
Events like the Vegan Block Party help the plant-based lifestyle increase in following. Not only does it expose the endless possibilities of a meatless or egg- and dairy-free diet, but it shows how easily attainable it is as well.
South Florida has its fair share of vegan dining options with new ones popping up every couple of months. On top of this, more cafes and diners are adding plant-based milks to their menus to accommodate vegan eaters.
“What truly inspired me to turn vegan is still unknown to me,” Silva said. “Whether it was my attempt at reducing my carbon footprint or what, it doesn’t really matter anymore. What’s important is that my food bill shrunk a ton.”
The Vegan Block Party portrayed just how simple it is to enjoy a vegan diet. Along with the sense of community, positivity and self-love, veganism will continue to prosper.
“When I think of the best version of myself, I imagine myself now,” Vanderplas said. “I’m happy and healthy, and I 100% owe that to my decision to become vegan.”
By Sofia Jas, Elvanice Previlmae