On Nov. 25, Griffith Park hosted its annual Tofurky Trot Fun Run. The 5K run consisted of adults, children, and four-legged furry friends.
At the finish line, a vegan food festival took place. Also open to the public, the festival vendors consisted of many local vegan restaurants, companies that sold vegan products, and pop-ups that sold vegan merchandise. Each vendor brought something different to the festival.
One vendor that seemed to be a favorite was "Compton Vegan." Specializing in Southern style comfort food, "Compton Vegan" brought a plate of ribs made of jack fruit, macaroni and cheese, BBQ beans, and cornbread. To say the plate was amazing is an understatement-the jack fruit ribs tasted so real, it could fool any meat lover.
Another vendor wasn't selling an item, but a service. Everlasting Vegan Events is an event planning service that solely plans vegan events. On their table, they had many different facts about weddings. One that really stuck out to me was the fact that a single vegan wedding can save the lives of up to 50 animals. The planners explained that not only the food is vegan, but they also make sure that the makeup the bride wears is vegan, and also the dress-many wedding dresses tend to have silk.
As the day continued to go on, a costume contest for the runners took place. People lined up by the side of the stage to show off their creative costumes. As the judges reviewed the contestants, they decided that a turkey would be runner up while avocado twins took the 1st place prize, which was a goody bag filled with a variety of items.
Besides vendors and service, many speakers were present to talk about their struggles and accomplishments with the vegan lifestyle.
The last speaker to talk was vegan Chef Babette Davis. Owner and chef at the restaurant "Stuff I Eat" in Inglewood, California, Davis is definitely not one that has been through an easy life. Being raised by a single mother, Davis never knew how to properly feed herself.
"We were unaware…my mother did the best she could with what she had," she said.
In her adult years, Davis was sexual molested by many of her domestic partners and was addicted to crack cocaine. She describes how she felt when she was on the ground looking for rocks on the floor to use to suppress her feelings. When she turned to the vegan lifestyle, everything changed for her. Davis now refers to meat as "death" and plants as "life." Being in her 60s, she has never looked and felt so good.
The event that many people, okay, mostly me, were the most excited for was the dog costume contest. One by one, the owners walked, or carried, their furry friends in front of the stage to show them off. Each dog brought something different to the judges as they showed off their either quiet or big personalities. The winner of the contest turned out to be Lucy, a cute tiny dog with a homemade turkey skirt that said "Go Vegan" on it.
As the sun continued to beat down on the people of this event, it was time to go. This event brought a lot of perspective me, someone who is trying to eat less meat and opt for the cruelty-free options when shopping for certain items. It taught me that being vegan is not a diet, but more of a lifestyle with an amazingly huge community behind it.