Just back from a wonderful trip to Australia where I attended the Melbourne and Sydney Vegan Festivals, had lots of meetings concerning Cruelty Free Super and caught up with our lovely Aussie friends.
Unfortunately, my schedule didn’t allow me to get to the excellent (I’ve heard) festivals in Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide – there’s so much choice in Australia nowadays.
World Vegan Day in Melbourne was, as always, a crushed, noisy, frantic and a perfectly brilliant day. There were thousands and thousands of people at the event, slowly grazing from stall to stall and everyone, and I mean everyone, had a smile on their face.
The quality of the food available was exceptional and whilst I did my best to try something from all the stalls I just couldn’t physically do it. So much choice, so much variety and so many different tastes.
To some extent it is always great to see faces you recognize at these events but it is a testament to the phenomenal growth in veganism that even for someone who just clocked up their 7th World Vegan Day most stall holders and visitors were new to me. That’s great because I don’t want to reach the point where it is the same stall holders and same visitors going year after year – we need more and more people to discover the vegan lifestyle and to come to events like WVD and to get excited about all the positives associated with their new lifestyle choice.
The Sydney Cruelty Free Festival was one of the best ever I have been to which not only made the day fly by but it must be lovely for the organisers to see all their hard work paying off – thanks to Lara and her team for a great day.
It is good to see Cruelty Free Super pass its 6th birthday and the figures show that the number of people joining is running at 4X the rate compared to previous years. It shows that the holistic vegan lifestyle, when it incorporates choice of financial product too, is just as popular as the other, often easier, changes to lifestyle. As more people recognize that their financial choices can avoid animal exploitation, real change in financial markets will come. In the same way as the fossil free movement is impacting within the biggest financial institutions around the world, it won’t be long before animal welfare issues are taken seriously and changes are made to the way investment companies choose the companies in which they invest. Exposure to meat and dairy production is going to be just as unacceptable and unjustifiable as investment in fossil fuel businesses.