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VegFest Organizers Put Down Roots In Lexington

For the first time ever, Lexington will host a festival catering to vegetarians and vegans this Saturday – with the hope of planting a few seeds of doubt in the minds of meat-eaters.

While they’re a common sight in, say, Portland, Oregon, VegFests have started popping up in less likely locations in recent years. In 2016, Lexington joins places like Columbus, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania in launching a plant-based festival of its own.

And though the event takes some cues from similar gatherings across the country, LexVegFest organizer and health coach Katya Trent says she didn’t have to venture far to unearth this weekend’s lineup.

"I tried to see what will work here in Lexington for us," she says. "One of the things we decided to try is to make it a very local event. This is our first year and we have all the resources needed. We all the local speakers, all the local venders."

The necessity of eliminating meat from one’s diet – or all animal products, as vegans do – remains a subject of healthy debate among nutritionists, but supporters argue the perks extend beyond bodily benefits. In addition to discussing whole food plant-based eating, Dr. Debora Tallio says her talk will also focus on "animal rights, animal welfare, and how our food choices have an effect on animals' lives and the animal agriculture business."

Bookending LexVegFest will be two yoga sessions. Although the exercises might appear unrelated on first blush, festival participant Preeti Gupta tells WUKY a common thread runs through mindfulness practices and the plant-based lifestyle.

"It's all interconnected," she says. "When you eat a calming diet, you have calming thoughts."

Vendors will include Bluegrass Farmers Market, Masala, The Weekly Juicery, Sea Shepherd, Tattoo Charlie's, Village Trough, and many more.  LexVegfest runs from 11 am to 4 pm at Housewarmings on Palumbo Drive. 

Click here for a full list of sponsors.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.