Vegetarian Summerfest

Posted on 25. Jun, 2008 by Yvonne Smith in Blog

I just got back from the North American Vegetarian Society’s Vegetarian Summerfest and I can honestly say it changed my life.  I have felt passion for veganism, animal rights, health, the environment, etc., for a long time, but I can’t even begin to tell you how inspiring it was to spend five days with 600 other like-minded individuals who genuinely care about the same things I care about.  The beautiful thing about Summerfest is that I didn’t just get to meet people.  I got to have in-depth conversations with people I have long admired.  I was able to talk about my TV show and my film project and gain support from folks who wanted to know more and help promote what I do.  I was in class for several hours each day learning about nutrition, cancer, heart disease, protein, fats, antioxidants, how to read food labels, etc.  I learned about subjects ranging from vegan athletes to the horrors of factory farming to how animals think, feel and relate to each other.  I watched cooking demos and sampled foods from amazing chefs and learned how to use a pressure cooker.  I bought books and had them signed by the authors, many of whom I now consider good friends.  I ate healthy vegan meals three times a day with a different group of people each time.  It was truly wonderful.

I felt very emotional the last two days.  I was nearly brought to tears every time I thought about how beautiful it was to share this time with this group of people who are smart, compassionate, loving and friendly.  I never went to summer camp as a kid, but I now know what that must have been like for those who did.  Here we were, grown adults staying in college dorm rooms and tearfully hugging each other goodbye upon departure while saying, “See you next year!”  Every time I was asked if I will return to Summerfest, my answer was “Hell yeah!”  I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year.  If any of you are reading this, thank you.  Thank you for an incredible, inspiring experience.

See you next year!

Gene and Me

Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur and me at Vegetarian Summerfest

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One Response to “Vegetarian Summerfest”

  1. [...] I attended my first Summerfest last year and it definitely changed my life.  I blogged about it here. [...]

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