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So I’m just gonna come right out and say it: I love meat. I love cheese. I am, in some senses, the anti-vegan. But when I previewed this year’s DC VegFest, organized since 2009 by the group Compassion Over Killing, I had a flash of a future where I could, theoretically, be a vegan. And this was not only because of the pamphlets with baby cows on them– it was because all of the food I tried, even the vegan cheese was….really damn good.

I know a lot of people are freaked out by tofu. I used to be one of those people. But it turns out that when someone who knows how to make tofu makes tofu it tastes AWESOME. Seriously, if I could make tofu like the tofu I tasted at the VegFest preview, I wouldn’t need meat. And the texture is nearly indistinguishable from chicken. And if tofu is the chicken of the veg world then you’re in for a treat at VegFest.

Tofu, obviously, is not the only reason to look forward to VegFest. For those who have never been, this thing is huge. There’s going to be more free samples than any one person will know what to do with, cooking demos, pet adoptions, speakers (including vegan NFL player David Carter- “you don’t need to take a life to gain a muscle”-nice), live music and a beer garden. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?

Some of my favorite vendors that will be there include ‘Chups, a fruit ketchup seller (fruit ketchup is ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD!) and Be Clean, a vegan skin and bodycare shop with products that smell good even though they’re made of real ingredients instead of chemicals. Also, make sure you try the cookies at A Better Batch. I’m not lying when I say they’re better than any regular ol’ non-vegan cookie I’ve ever had.

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Coming from someone who appreciates vegetables but doesn’t indulge in them nearly as often as she should– even if vegetables aren’t your thing, VegFest will be. And get there early– the first 1,000 people to enter get a swag bag filled with great-tasting veg-friendly products!

DC VegFest takes over Yards Park on October 3 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry is free. Feature image from our 2014 DC Veg Fest coverage.

 

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