Why Events Like the Planted Expo Are Important for the Vegan Community

Uncategorized Mar 20, 2024

By Jonathan | Veggie in the 6ix

Planted Expo Toronto is this weekend and I can’t wait. I love going to events where veganism is on display and I get to mingle with so many like-minded people.

I’m here to talk about why I think events like this one are so important for the vegan community but also for the movement towards a more sustainable, ethical, and healthy way of life for everyone.

But first, my name is Jonathan and I’m from Toronto. I run a vegan blog and social media pages and I spend a lot of my time going to and writing about vegan restaurants, products, news and pretty much anything else that is related to veganism.

This year will mark my second time at the Planted Expo but I have been to many other veggie-focused events like the Vegandale Fest and Toronto’s Veg Fest.

Last year's Planted Expo was unique for me because I was able to mingle with a lot of people that I recognize from Instagram, or documentaries and even some authors.

It was also the first time at one of these events where I listened to the live speaker series. Notably, the insights shared by Michael Greger and James Wilks left a lasting impact on me. Not only do I love the film Game Changers, and pretty much all of Dr. Greger’s books, but I just really enjoyed listening to them live and seeing how many other people were really interested in what they had to say. Dr. Greger was treated almost like a rock star.

It wasn't just about their words but the collective energy of being surrounded by like-minded individuals, all united under the banner of compassion and sustainability.

This experience underscored the importance of such events in our community, and here's why.

A Sense of Belonging in a Shared Mission

In the complexity of our daily lives, where veganism can still viewed as fringe lifestyle by a lot of people, events like the Planted Expo serve as powerful reminders that we are far from alone.

Things have gotten a lot better recently and veganism is gaining more and more people as time passes but it can still feel lonely sometimes, especially for people just starting out vegan.

These events provide a physical space where our numbers are visible and vibrant, offering comfort, encouragement, and a sense of safety in numbers.

This collective presence is a forceful statement to the world and, perhaps more importantly, to every attendee that our movement is strong, growing, and supported by a community of passionate individuals.

Showcasing Innovation and Progress

Another key factor of vegan fairs and expos is the showcase of innovation within our movement.

Last year's Planted Expo provided a platform for everyone to see the ingenuity and progress of vegan products and services that are out there. I stay pretty up-to-date with the latest but I still found a ton of new companies and products I never heard of before.

The food is always one of the biggest draws but there is much more that keeps people interested like new clothing brands, activist groups, supplements and more.

All of these things are a clear sign that veganism is not just a viable choice but an increasingly preferable one, with options expanding and improving at a rapid pace.


Education and Inspiration

The educational aspect is also an important part of these events. Through talks, and informal conversations, we are offered a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

An amazing part of last years show was meeting founders and managers of small companies and learning about what they are doing within the movement.

But for me, my favourite part was listening to speakers for the first time. It was an enlightening experience, since I could meet people I very much respect and was able to ask them questions and hear them answer others’.

These learning opportunities make events like the Planted Expo invaluable, serving everyone who attends, which is not just vegans.

A Reflection of Our Journey and a Glimpse into Our Future

As we gear up for this year's Planted Expo, I am filled with anticipation not just for the innovations we I learn about or the speeches I’ll hear but for the opportunity to once again be part of a living, breathing testament to the vegan movement's vibrancy and diversity.

These events reflect our journey, from where we've been to where we're heading, and the ever-expanding scope of what it means to live compassionately.

They are our rallying points, our classrooms, and our showcases. They remind us of our strength in numbers, the progress of our movement, and the importance of our cause.

I hope to capture and share the essence of this year's expo through photos and stories, making it accessible to those who can't attend and furthering our sense of connectedness.

These events are a crucial component of the vegan movement, highlighting the beauty, diversity, and strength of our community.

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