Kathleen Keene, Fargo Moorhead VegFest
Recent trends in the United States reflect that veganism is becoming more popular and widely accepted. For Kathleen Keene and her team in Moorhead, Minnesota, they are eager to share their passion through VegFest, a festival that unites everyone from omnivores to vegans. VegFest offers awareness on how to reduce animal suffering, vegan-cooking demonstrations and expert guest speakers.
The first annual festival took place in October, and gave attendees the opportunity to actively engage with exhibitors to see if this was a lifestyle change they wished to seek. A $1,000 seed grant gave Kathleen and her team the ability to fly in expert presenter, Kristin Lajeunesse, secure a venue, purchase recycled napkins, plates and utensils and to print programs.
Kathleen’s meet-up group, Fargo-Moorhead Veg, is growing, with over 500 members. With these festivals, they expect to see that number grow to 2500. For Kathleen, this is the tipping point. It is where everyone will know someone who is vegan. She also wants to address the health benefits, as many people in the area are at risk of acquiring heart disease, cancer and diabetes. They are working to create greater vegan options at restaurants and establishing a restaurant of their own.
Kathleen’s life motto is to, “Live your life, so that if everyone on this world lived just like you, the earth would be paradise!” VegFest truly lived up to this and we at The Pollination Project are excited to see how subsequent festivals continue to share this message.
GRANT AWARD DATE: November 9, 2015