Last Saturday, the free outdoor festival “Vegan-Vegetarian Summerfest” took place in Berlin for the fifth time. After it had rained all day during last year’s event, approximately 10,000 visitors were graced with sunshine and hot temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) this year.
The animal rights alliance “Berlin Vegan” and the organizations Albert Schweitzer Foundation and VEBU (Vegetarian Union) organize this event each year to celebrate and promote a compassionate and sustainable diet and way of life.
This year the festival featured a total of fifty vendors providing an assortment of products ranging from literature to personal care products to cruelty-free clothing and shoes. Restaurant and market stands presented plates as diverse as Japanese onigiri, Turkish doner kebab, German sausage, green smoothies, and bakery delights such as cakes and strudels. Several non-profit organizations made sure that visitors could not only explore plant-based cuisine, but also find more information about the cruelty involved with animal production, and of course receive tips on how to take steps to live an animal-friendlier lifestyle and how to get involved with helping animals. But this event wasn’t just for adults, younger visitors had fun as well: the children’s area at the Summerfest had a variety of fun activities like face-painting and a bouncing castle.
Furthermore, there were several showcases on stage, such as a cooking demonstration and book signing with notable vegan chef Björn Moschinski, several authors and speakers, auctions for a good cause, a “muscular” performance by the Vegan Strength Germany team, and live music with artists coming from as far-reaching places as Finland, England and Australia.
“Berlin, London, or New York: vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming increasingly popular in metropolises and attest to the trend to eating a more conscious diet, for our own health, and for environmental and animal protection”, comments Wolfgang Schindler, president of Albert Schweitzer Foundation. Last year alone, Berlin has seen a rather large increase in vegan and vegetarian options including many newly opened restaurants and cafés, a vegan-vegetarian hotel, and the vegan supermarket “Veganz”, which altogether portray a growing demand for compassionate living in Berlin.