NYC Veg Fest: An animal-free feast

Tori Cappo

Thousands of food lovers gathered at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City this past weekend to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet of vegetarian and vegan food that stretched the entirety of the venue, all for the price of $32.

The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, nicknamed “Veg Fest,” is a five-year-old annual event founded to be the headline event for the brand U.S. Veg Corp. The event promotes the “local vegetarian and green movement” in order to address timely issues of the vegetarian market and new technologies, according to nycvegfoodfest.com.

Due to the variety, the NYC Veg Fest draws a large crowd of vegetarians and vegans (and yes, even omnivores). While each individual makes choices sometimes guided by preferences and/or ethics, the vegetarian lifestyle generally involves not eating any meat, and sometimes not eating fish and fish products as well, according to vegsoc.org.

Veganism is even more selective and relies heavily on personal judgment, but generally does not involve the consumption of any animal products, according to vegansociety.com. Said WHS senior Lexi Holzer, “The vegan lifestyle doesn’t harm you or any person [or] animal around you.”

Among the visitors were other WHS seniors Carlie Fasano and Gali Moritz, both of whom, like Holzer, are vegan. Fasano, who became a vegan for her Senior Project, said that she “learned a lot about factory farming” at Veg Fest.

After being a vegan for almost a year, Moritz said, “I feel better mentally when I am not negatively impacting the world’s ecosystems. Also, [as a vegan] you get a huge supportive community of like-minded people.”

The community turned out in full force at Veg Fest. Fasano said, “There were a lot of animal activists and they also had dogs who were saved from medical testing.”
For Moritz, the promise of endless food samples piqued her interest in the NYC Veg Fest. Both Fasano and Holzer said that they were interested in the event “to experience new things.”

Their favorite foods at the event? Fasano said that she particularly enjoyed the macaroons. Holzer said her new-food takeaway was simple and surprising: “I ate grass, and it was good.”