Vegfest in Maryland has been a huge hit. Credit: Balance Photography
Vegetarian and vegan food in Philadelphia will be celebrated for the first time this Saturday at the Humane League’s Philly Vegfest.
To explore the benefits of a plant-based diet as well as vegetarian and vegan options in Philadelphia, the event will feature guest speakers, cooking demonstrations and live acoustic music at the Headhouse District at the Shambles on Second and Pine streets.
The Humane League noticed that while this type of festival has occurred in several major cities on the northeastern seaboard, Philadelphia was one of the few that did not have one.
“It's basically a way to showcase all of the vegan and vegetarian options we have in this city right now," said Lydia Chaudhry, volunteer coordinator for the Humane League, "because there's just never been a better time than now to eat vegan or vegetarian in Philadelphia and we want to highlight that."
This free event includes cooking demonstrations from natural foods chef Christina Pirello, host of the PBS series "Christina Cooks," certified natural chef Sara Glassman, owner of Vine Dining, and Rachel Klein of South Philadelphia's Miss Rachel's Vegan Pantry.
Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, owners of the soon-to-open V Street in Rittenhouse Square and the award-winning Vedge, are among the popular food vendors in attendance.
While Vegfest may be a celebration of plant-based food, Chaudhry promises it will be an educational experience for all.
"A non-vegetarian will learn that there is a surprisingly wide range of vegetarian and vegan foods available that are all as delicious and as satisfying as any dish based on meat," Chaudhry said.
David Coman-Hidy, executive director of The Humane League, will be speaking about the conditions of animals on factory farms and the impact of changing one's diet.
“About 99 percent of animals that humans interact with are on farms right now," he said, "so our thinking is that if we want to have a really big impact for animals, the best thing that any of us can do individually is to change what we eat.”
If you go
Philly Vegfest Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The Shambles 2nd and Pine For more information, visit www.thehumaneleague.com/phillyvegfest.
Schedule of events
11:00 a.m. — Welcome & entertainment from Evan Cline Music 11:30 a.m. — Cooking demo by Chef Sara Glassman 12:00 p.m. — Cooking demo by chef Rachel Klein of Miss Rachel's Pantry 12:45 p.m. — Speech by David Coman-Hidy, Executive Director of The Humane League 1:15 p.m. — More music 1:45 p.m. — Cooking demo by Chef Rich Landau of Vedge Restaurant and soon-to-be opened V Street 2:30 p.m. — Cooking demo by Chef Christina Pirello