This Saturday, fans of vegan food and animal advocacy can taste the latest meat-free cuisine, purchase organic health products and hang out with shelter cats at the fourth annual Pittsburgh VegFest.
The festival will feature food and drink from dozens of food trucks and other vendors, including some of the city’s biggest names in plant-based fare, such as Onion Maiden, Randita’s and Double Wide Grill. Crafts will be for sale, alongside activities for kids and live music at the North Side’s Allegheny Commons East Park.
VegFest co-founder Leila Sleiman said the real heart of the festival lies with the humane treatment of animals,”whether that’s animals being used for food, or animals being tested on for experiments, or being used for clothing.”
“The purpose of Pittsburgh VegFest is really to spread compassion and awareness throughout our city,” she said.
To that end, the day-long festival will also host groups who advocate or care for various rescued critters, from greyhounds and pit bulls to homeless cats and even pigs. Groups include Humane Animal Rescue, Pigsburgh Squealers Pig Rescue, Hello Bully, and Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary.
Sleiman said that the animal rescue groups are “a crowd favorite, not only because animals are cute but also because that's a way that people can get involved. So even if they think that they can't go vegan overnight, maybe they can help volunteer, [or] foster at a shelter that might not be too far from where they're living, right in their neighborhood.”
Shoppers can peruse goods from personal-care products to scented candles and crafted wood.
The kids’ attractions include a bounce-house and a climbing wall.
Musical performers include Dinosoul, Lexa Terrestrial, Little Good Bad, The Optimists and the Refresh Collective.
Admission to Pittsburgh VegFest is free (though attendees who’d like a goodie bag will be asked for a $5 donation.) The festival is rain or shine.
WESA is a media sponsor of VegFest.