Inaugural St Albans Vegan Fair launching this summer
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:29 11 May 2018
A Lithuanian vegan festival is coming all the way to St Albans for the first time.
Vente Viteikaite first organised a vegan fair in her home country of Lithuania and was delighted by its success - about 5,000 people enjoyed the event.
Now living in Luton, Vente wants to replicate the event at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre on Holywell Hill.
The festival will feature more than 60 stalls, cooking classes, and a chance to meet other members of the vegan community, which Vente describes as big and active in St Albans.
She is excited to launch the St Albans Vegan Fair: “Some of the businesses will come from far away but I have tried to invite as many local vegan-friendly businesses as possible.
“It will be indoors, but if the weather is nice people can buy things and go to the park to eat. The venue is in a very convenient place for people to walk from the high street and from the park.”
The 36-year-old became a vegan six years ago while studying communications science and psychology in Turkey, partly because her housemate refused to allow animal products in the house: “It wasn’t difficult because when I was in Turkey there was a large choice of vegetables, and everything was fresh and very cheap and my house mate loved cooking.
“She cooked for me the first few months and I learned a lot from her so I now still eat a lot of Turkish food.
“I don’t find it difficult at all because there’s a big choice of products and I am so used to doing it I don’t feel I am doing something different, I don’t feel I am restricting myself or anything. I feel great. I love cooking.”
She said veganism is ethical and has made her feel healthier - she is sleeping better, has more energy, her allergies have disappeared, and she does not catch illnesses so often.
Although there is evidence people have been choosing to avoid animal products since 500BC, modern day veganism was founded in 1944 by Donald Watson.
The fair is on August 27 from 10am to 4pm. Entrance is £3 on the door. Vente is still looking for volunteers to help organise the event and businesses to get involved. Anyone who is interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or see their Facebook page.