Whatever the reason—healthier eating, saving animals, joining a like-minded community, or sustaining our planet by devaluing factory farming—more and more people are choosing to embrace a vegan lifestyle.
“With all the delicious options out there—and more appearing every day, today’s vegans have it so easy!”
— Christine Small, Vegan Transition Coach
At last year’s first ever Mississauga VegFest, which hosted more than 80 vendors, founder and organizer Shannon Baldwin says she was overwhelmed with the number of people curious to know what it means to be vegan.
“We were expecting maybe a thousand people,” Baldwin says, “and we were stunned when we had over 7500.”
For this year’s 2nd Annual Mississauga VegFest, taking place May 11 at the Port Credit Memorial Arena, there will be more than 100 vendors—and Baldwin says her dedicated team of organizers are ready for a large crowd.
“We’ve secured outdoor space and rearranged the indoor vendors to make it easy to get around,” she promises. “The idea is that the day is completely free and accessible to anyone, even if you’re in a wheelchair or you’re navigating a double stroller.”
Anything to spread the idea of veganism.
“It’s the single greatest thing you can do for your health, the health of your family, the planet and the animals,” says Baldwin.
MVF’s promise: to offer a family-friendly event where anyone can learn about what veganism means, who it affects, how to participate, and then experience it for themselves for an afternoon of fun, food, and fellowship. Kids of all ages are invited to explore the KidSanctuary where the whole family will be entertained with veg-inspired activities and games.
Come to Mississauga VegFest on May 11 at Port Credit Memorial Arena and taste for yourself how fulfilling, delicious, fun—and easy—transitioning to a vegan lifestyle can be.
Local Vegan Grub
1065 Canadian Place, Unit 104 | studio.89.org
On top of offering free space and a 100 per cent vegan fair-trade café, Studio.89 is meant to be a community hub. A social enterprise project of Youth Troopers for Global Awareness (YTGA), a youth-led non-profit mobilizing and empowering young people for social justice through the arts, Studio.89 also provides programs for local schools. Every month, Studio.89 holds a Plant-based Potluck to promote sustainable environmental and dietary lifestyle choices to the community in an accessible way that fosters networking and shared information.
The Cold Pressery
4310 Sherwoodtowne Boulevard, Unit 5 | thecoldpressery.com
Established in May of 2015, The Cold Pressery is one of Mississauga’s first 100% vegan cafés. They work closely with other small businesses to provide delicious vegan beverages, snacks and food with an emphasis on flavour and health. Aside from sourcing their products from local businesses, they also lovingly handcraft a variety of items on site to ensure quality and freshness.
The Copper Branch
Heartland Town Centre, 6055 Mavis Road | eatcopperbranch.com
Calling itself the new Food Revolution, this growing franchise features great tasting and signature plant-based foods, prepared with only the freshest and most wholesome ingredients, served-quickly by friendly staff while being completely responsible and ethical in the entire process.
Raw Aura Organic Cuisine
94 Lakeshore Road East | @rawaura_organiccuisine
With a menu billed as “familiar, delicious, nutritious and environmentally friendly,” everything at Raw Aura is indeed raw, which means nothing is heated above 43 C. The theory behind raw cuisine is that eating plant foods, which are natural, is our most wholesome choice because the body better retains the digestive enzymes, vitamins and mineral content. You’ll also find a list of organic wines and beers at Raw Aura—even some organic cocktails.
Take the challenge
Challenge 22+ offers participants a free, supportive online framework for trying veganism for 22 days. It all happens in a joyful and supportive atmosphere—upload pictures of your dishes, share recipes and cooking tips, talk about your daily experience, and all in all, live a great adventure together with other people in the same spirit.
“Challenge 22+ is a great opportunity to enrich your diet with a variety of vegetables, fruit, grains and legumes—and to learn how healthy food can be delicious and satisfying,” says Christine Small, Vegan Transition Coach and founder of The Plant Life Canada. “Many converts have expressed they wish they’d done it sooner!”
While similar programs around the world are based on vegan starter-kits and email guides, Challenge 22+ is an interactive program that offers a unique combination of group support and personal mentoring. More than 100K people from all over the world have participated in the project since its launch in March 2014. Visit challenge22.com
BY KRISTY ELIK
The Plant Life
Simple Happy Kitchen
What the Health
The China Study