Seattleites Veg out at Vegfest



The Vegetarians of Washington held their 16th annual Vegfest this Saturday to show off the latest advancements in plant-based and non-meat based foods. The event also featured chefs and clinicians from around the country to educate attendees about the health values of vegetarian and vegan diets.


Vegfest goer’s VEGAN with a list of reasons to be a vegan

Hundreds of vegetarians and vegans from around Seattle crammed into the Exhibition Center to sample free food for the plant-based diet. With over 500,000 samples to choose from, attendees could indulge in options ranging from curry to vegan birthday cake ice cream.

In addition to the 200-plus companies handing out food, Vegfest placed a large emphasis on the holistic and bodily benefits of a vegetarian diet. This year featured a range of doctor’s speaking about the benefits of incorporating vegetarianism into mainstream healthcare, and a medical seminar specifically for doctors to learn about plant-based diets as a form of treatment and preventative care. The event also featured free health screenings for attendees, where one could get their arteries scanned and have their blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol tested.

“We found that a lot of people come to this event just for the food, and they don’t even really know anything about being vegetarian, and so it’s a great opportunity,” said Vegetarians of Washington President Amanda Strombom. We’ve got a lot of doctors really supporting and encouraging people to go vegetarian, so they’ve been willing to lead that area.”

Dispersed among the crowded aisles of samplers, there were a few organizations present not handing out food, but rather advocating for awareness of the unethical factory farming issues that play a role in people’s reasoning for becoming vegetarians or vegans.

“The long-term goal is to eliminate the suffering of animals in factory farms,” says Jonathan Rosenberry, a representative from Compassion Over Killing. “We focus on reducing and eliminating suffering in factory farms, and we do that by having undercover investigators that we work with… We uncovered they were doing an accelerated kill program, called HIMP, and that allows them to oversee their own operations, so that they can speed up the operation.”


Wai Lana Lime Chili chip samples at Vegfest

The event was hosted by the Vegetarians of Washington, which is the largest Vegetarian organizations in the North West. President Strombom and Vice President Stewart Rose have been running this event a decade and a half, and it has grown substantially since its beginning.

“There are many different aspects and reasons people go vegetarian.” Strombom siad. “We as an organization have raised all reasons and we welcome everyone, whatever their reason for being a vegetarian.”

Strombom explained that the event each year has been growing, and there are sponsors who say they are the best Vegfest in the country.

“Companies have just learned that we are a good organization to sponsor or participate with. We have had sponsors tell us we are the best Vegfest in the country,” Strombom said. “Each year we got things a bit better organized, and it’s just kept growing, but I don’t think we can grow anymore than this, we are maxxed out.”

For more information about the Vegetarians of Washington and Vegfest, or to sign up to be a member, the organization can be found at

Madeline may be reached at
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