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The Earth Festival 2018: A Vegan Experience

The Earth Festival is one of those events that buzzes with activity and laughter. This event was a promotional and informative festival about veganism, sustainably ethical and healthy living, as well as anti-animal cruelty.

Ethically-sourced clothing. Photo by Eliza Walker.

The weekend event took place over the 21st and 22nd of April, and in following with the theme and values promoted, it was hosted right in the heart of our native-centric Capital, in the outdoor setting of the Australian National Botanical Gardens.

Both days were gloriously sunny, with only Sunday bringing on a side of cooler weather. But with every inch of the venue packed with people from all walks of life, there really was something for everyone. Food stalls, live music, NGO-action groups and various trinket, book and even a massage store-front bringing diversity and excitement to each corner.

Market and ethical living stalls. Photo by Eliza Walker

Common misconceptions about vegans tend to include that they’re pushy or overly-vocal in their views, but the general atmosphere and each interaction was glowing with acceptance and non-judgmental vibes.

Melbourne-based tattoo artist, Carly VH uses all vegan products in her work, including selling all natural, vegan-friendly care-packs for treating your new tattoo as it heals. Carly pointed out that while a lot of people might eat vegan, they often forget about living vegan in other parts of their life, too, such as in buying animal-friendly clothing, and in getting tattoos.

Carly says that many inks used in regular tattoo parlors have traces of animal products. She wanted to make it easier for vegans to get tattooed from an ethical perspective, and so built her business on the principle that any tattoos done by her were vegan and cruelty free, from the ink used, to her equipment and after-care products. Her designs focus on these values, but also reach into other political areas she’s passionate about, such as feminism.


Vegan tattoo artist, Carly VH. Photos by Eliza Walker

Each year 80% of The Earth Festival‘s profit from ticket sales go toward a donation to a pre-determined charity of choice that supports what veganism stands for. This year the proceeds will be going to Lucky Stars Sanctuary, with the goal being to fund-raise $5,000.

Keynote speaker and vegan psychologist, Clare Mann. Photo by Eliza Walker.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a political-lifestyle festival without action groups, including animal justice lobby The Save Movement, marine life advocate Sea Shepherd, and human-rights NGO Amnesty International.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the event was the focus on nature and it’s beauty. Stall holder and artist, Julia Landford, opened her own art school in October 2017 after seeing how the arts were being de-funded in schools. She wants to encourage more people to discover and explore this passion. NatureArt Lab, Julia’s art school and studio includes courses and workshops all throughout the year on painting and sketching different aspects of nature using different mediums.

Artist Julia Landford with one of her paintings. Photo by Eliza Walker.

Megan Spiers, one of the artists employed as a teacher at Nature by Art, also enhanced the day by doing a live-painting in the middle of the venue. Although Megan had no formal training as a painter, her skills developed through years of practice and hard work, and now her portfolio is quite impressive and extensive.

Artist Megan Spiers in action. Photo by Eliza Walker.

A huge concern for non-vegans is how they can maintain their proper nutrient levels without meat and dairy. Having identified this mindset as an issue, The Earth Festival put a lot of time and effort into educating about health and diet. One of the many stalls present was Turmeric4You, a health food stall with a focus on the benefits of incorporating natural foods, such as the spice turmeric, into your everyday diet. Eri, the stall vender, explained some of turmerics many benefits, including being an anti-inflammatory and arthritic remedy.

However, those of us who also love to eat a few doughnuts to “keep a balanced diet” might also be interested to hear that this health-enthused festival had vegan-friendly doughnuts! Yes, that’s right, the Doughnut Department from right here in Canberra had a stall and were blessing buyers with the joy of silky smooth, iced doughnuts.

Doughnut Department selling vegan-friendly doughnuts. Photo by Eliza Walker.

For those who were worried their kids (or their inner-kid) would get bored, the festival included activities  including a giant, Velcro game of darts, a blow-up punching bag, and a cheery face-painter called Madeleine.

Unfortunately the festival has now gone again for another year. Sad you missed out? Then why not follow The Earth Festival Facebook page to see their updates as they progress throughout the year.

Hope to see you there in 2019!

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