While it’s true that vegans and vegetarians will find a whole lot to do — especially eat — at the inaugural Pittsburgh VegFest, they’re only part of the audience organizers hope to attract.
“VegFest is all about education,” says Leila Sleiman, a co-founder of McKees Rocks-based Justice for Animals, which is sponsoring the event. “I ate meat once. We all did. But to get people to think about moving toward a compassionate lifestyle, it’s important to do it one step at a time.
“We want to show the thinking that being a vegan or a vegetarian isn’t convenient is out the window.”
The free, six-hour event is happening after several similar VegFests have taken place across the country. It will feature cuisine from dozens of vendors, including a food truck from Randita’s restaurant, vegan comfort food from Onion Maiden, and grilled-potato tacos from El Burro on the North Side. Additionally, the owners of the Allegra Hearth Bakery will be debuting vegan fare from the menu of its yet-to-be-opened Lawrenceville vegan spot called B-52 Café.
Expanding the concern for animal welfare, there will also be informational tables from many of the region’s animal-rescue organizations. The hope is to inspire festival-goers to become involved by adopting animals, donating or volunteering some time.
“This is going to be a great gathering,” Sleiman says. “Not just for vegans and vegetarians, but for everyone.”