News

MMU Veggie and Vegan Fair

Off 204

Untitlefd
By Sojourner McKenzie

It has just gotten easier to go Vegan in Manchester. On Wednesday 8th October, Humanities in Public (HiP) hosted the first Veggie Fair, in which Manchester Metropolitan University societies and local animal rights campaigners came to the university to promote and raise awareness of all things animal loving. Co-convenor of the event, Gervase Phillips told us, “This is about the humanities meaning something and going beyond the walls of the university”, which they succeed in doing by bringing in outside voluntary animal rights groups and vegetarian groups to talk about animals and how an everyday student of MMU can help animals.

In the building stood around ten stalls, all with their own attractions and activities. The RSPCA stall promoted animal welfare in shelters and advertised their new charity shop, selling jazzy shirts, located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, as their representative told me, whilst the MetMunch and Cordon Vert, as an offshoot of the national Vegetarian Society, both offered food cooked on the stalls themselves, filling the atrium with an amazing smell of home cooked food. MetMunch in particular put a Victorian spin on the event by cooking recipes from nineteenth century cookery books, which were also on display at the Special Collections stall.

Also in attendance was the new campus VegSoc, who as well as hosting socials, gather together campus Vegetarians and Vegans to go to animal rights panels, similar to the ones at the centre of the event. One MMU student, Francesca, said, “I didn’t know about the wide range of vegan and vegetarian things you can actually eat!”

Un1titled

There were two panels and a few speakers coming in to talk about veganism and animal rights. The first panel consisted of Martin the Mod of the Manchester Vegan Society, Lynn ‘Veganchick’ Mottershead, and John Robb from the bands Membranes and Gold Blade, who were there to talk about veganism and the vegetarian lifestyle, answering a few questions on going vegan and the rumours surrounding veganism. On the rumour that being a vegetarian is expensive, John Robb blamed the meat corporations, arguing that ‘they come up with little handy slogans like ‘vegetarianism is expensive’ and they make it up, so we have to counter accusations that aren’t even true.”

In my interviews with the stalls I found that the vegetarian and vegan societies were keen to promote the cause, of course, but also to dispel the argument that being vegan is weird. Lynn Mottershead of Manchester Vegans told me “We don’t want people to see Vegans as other, we’re you! We just happen to be Vegan.” In addition to promoting veganism, Unicorn Grocery of Chorlton’s stall offered ethical and locally grown produce, from fruit and vegetables to hand made moisturisers.

Untitsssled

As well as vegan stalls, there were also a host of animal rights activist groups, most of which gave talks on their charities and hosted the second panel, such as Captive Animals Protection Society whose work is currently focussing on Animal Captivity in Zoos, Sea Shepherd who focus in civil disobedience and on the ground group action and The Blackfish who concentrate on overfishing.

After the second panel, Dr Dan Lyons gave a talk about his work for Centre for Animals for Social Justice. He said, “Our aim is to conduct research and promote advocacy for animals to be recipients of social justice. The problem that animals face at the moment is that their welfare is not considered in public policy, never mind protected.”

The event concluded with a screening of the affecting and harrowing documentary Blackfish, which tells the story of the orcas in SeaWorld who are badly mistreated in their conditions in captivity. This documentary I found to be a perfect ending to the event, showing evidence for vegetarianism and animal rights on screen.

Overall, the event was a huge success and as the co-convenor for the event, Wahida Khandker, said, “Today has been amazing. There’s a lovely atmosphere, there’s lots going on, there’s a good turn out and its just been really successful.”

Photographs by Callum Willmott

About the author / 

Sojourner McKenzie

More News Stories:

  • Creative Writing Summer School 2018 at The Manchester Writing School

    By JP Burns The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University hosts the annual Creative Writing Summer School at their current base, Number 70 Oxford Street. It’s a two day programme organised by manager of the Writing School James Draper and academic director Adam O’Riordan. It’s made up of a series of workshops and talks…

  • Parklife 2018: Glitter, Girls and Rock ‘n’ Roll

    By Georgina Hurdsfield Photography: Georgina Hurdsfield  This weekend saw the annual return of Parklife festival, catering to fans of electronic, dance, indie and grime. The curators of Parklife have certainly found their feet at Heaton Park, stepping up their organisation of the site and increasingly impressive line-ups. This year music fans from all over Greater…

  • Don’t Blame Jack: A short-film exploring self-love and acceptance

    By Pierangelly Del Rio 2017 saw the rise of acclaimed LGBT movies such as Call Me By Your Name, God’s Own Country and the award-winning Moonlight. Similarly, it was a winning year for mental health awareness with the #HereForYou and UOKM8? Inviting people to open up about their mental struggles and asking for support an…

  • The Lapsed Clubber Audio Map Launch at The People’s History Museum

    By JP Burns The Manchester rave scene was an internationally known cultural phenomenon through the 80s and 90s, with such famous icons and exports as The Hacienda, New Order, The Happy Mondays, Primal Scream and 808 State. Films like 24 Hour Party People and books like Dave Haslam’s Manchester, England have served as popular testaments…

Instagram Feed

Cannot get other user media. API shut down by Instagram. Sorry. Display only your media.

Categories