First annual vegan fest Wilderfest celebrated with fanfare at VR Bengaluru
VR Bengaluru, the city’s favorite integrated lifestyle destination, received an overwhelming response for Wilderfest—the city’s inaugural annual two-day vegan fest—as a part of “VR Two anniversary celebrations.”
Wilderfest featured a wide range of activities – talks, workshops, movie screenings, flea market, vegan food extravaganza and a musical performance by versatile Bollywood artiste and vegan Monica Dogra. The unique flea market exhibited a range of vegan alternatives to popular foods and products. The most eye-catching products were vegan leather, (mock) meat, nut butter, desserts including ice-creams, Mysore Pak, and a lot more!!
In the true spirit for VR Bengaluru’s commitment to Connect Communities© by creating engaging experiences, the largest vegan fest presented a platform for vegan evangelism. Eminent speakers explained the nuances of positive benefits that veganism brings to health, fitness, climate change and animal rights.
Some of the star speakers were renowned Grammy Award Winner and climate conservationist, Ricky Kej, British vegan activist & athlete David A. Ramsden, health coach Nidhi Nahata from Sharan India, Aviram Rozin – co-founder of Sadhana Forest, Auroville, Amit Mehta – Founder, Unived award-winning animal rights activists – Dawa Liebe, and world-renowned animal rights activist Gary Francione who joined over Skype. The gala event concluded with a power-packed performance by famous musician, Monica Dogra, who’s also a vegan.
Jermina Menon, Vice President – Marketing, Virtuous Retail said, “VR Bengaluru focuses on bringing new and unique opportunities for our patrons. We have a specially curated events calendar to celebrate the VR Two anniversary. Reinforcing our core philosophy of Connecting Communities©, we always strive to get unique marquee events for the many different people of Bengaluru. By partnering with Wilderfest there has been an opportunity for the vegans of Bengaluru to celebrate veganism and also share it with others”
The first large scale vegan fest in the city was a success because it comprised a range of workshops which busted the myth that turning vegan is a difficult and cumbersome affair. The repertoire consisted of a workshop by Anushree Kamath on dairy alternatives to demonstrate how to make mylk (yes, that is how vegan milk is spelt) at home with everyday ingredients. Popular city restaurateur Susmita Veganosaurus & vegan blogger Rheea Mukherjee conducted a baking workshop. Vegan health coach Mariam Begg explained the benefits of eating raw vegan food and Achyuthan Eshwar conducted a session on whole-food plant-based diet.
Shweta Thakur, Director, Graffiti Collaborative, commented on the occasion, “Wilderfest aimed to open people’s minds to an alternate, more compassionate, efficient and healthy lifestyle through veganism. We wanted to share information in an extremely fun, open and approachable manner with people at a large scale because we believed people will make more informed choices when they know more. Hosting the event at VR Bengaluru helped us achieve this very effectively.”
And the icing on the cake (all vegan of course!) was the screening of world famous documentaries touted to have brought about large-scale transitions to veganism – Cowspiracy, What the Health and Forks over Knives. These movies promoted a holistic view on the impact of animal foods & agriculture on your own health and the environment.
Wilderfest showcased a complete perspective on veganism and answered lots of questions – where is the protein, is it all ‘ghaas-foos’, why no milk? It had been designed keeping in mind that the transition to veganism isn’t overnight or easy. The agenda was to have fun, and get to know how big and diverse the vegan world is!