For the Red & Green VegFest, the goal per their website is “to inspire and empower healthier individuals through veganism; and end animal suffering; while healing the planet.”
This year’s event takes place on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Albuquerque. The in-person festival will have vendors, speakers, cooking demonstrations and more.
“The hope is to get more involvement with the community outreach program and to get more people involved to give people resources so they can do their own research,” said Nancy Arenas, festival founder. “Because it not only affects their physical health, it affects the mental health as well, and we just need more compassion in this world and people who have a place to go to get the information that they need.”
VegFest is a community outreach program promoting all the positives of a vegan lifestyle. This event is for vegans, vegetarians and anyone interested in learning about how to improve the planet and protect their health, Arenas said.
Arenas founded and put together the first VegFest in New Mexico in 2016 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
“I became vegan, around that time about two years before 2016 and I found that all of a sudden, these ailments that I had, like, fibromyalgia all went away,” Arenas said.
With VegFest, Arenas and company invite you to listen to knowledgeable speakers intent on promoting veganism and helping improve the world for the future.
According to Feeding America, 20% of children in the state face hunger while just over 12.5% of New Mexicans in general struggle with hunger.
“Food insecurity, especially for the youth, I think is the second worst here in New Mexico,” Arenas said. “And there are so many people here suffering from diabetes and heart disease and other things that can be either alleviated or turned around completely.
Currently, over 40% of households utilizing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program have children.
“I think it’s very important to actually try to help our community to be healthier because New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment,” Arenas said. “It is supposed to be a wonderful, holistic place that we should be in the forefront of.”
As kids head back to school, keeping them well-fed is a critical priority.
“If you want to care about society as a whole, this is something that we need to address as we are at a point in our lives where we have to make a change for the planet,” Arenas said. “I have a grandson as well that I want to live in a world that is not so chaotic, and it’s not going to happen unless we start making changes.”