Kathmandu: The Himalayan Vegan Festival-2022 has been rescheduled for coming September in view of adversities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathmandu (September 15-17) and Thimpu of Bhutan (September 18-20) will be hosting the festival subsequently.
Earlier, the event, billed as the first and historic of its kind in the region, was scheduled for April 15-17 in Kathmandu followed by April 18-20 in Thimpu.
The festival to be organised by the World Vegan Organisation and supported by many other organisations including the Nepal Vegetarian Association aims to promote ‘ethical living’ with a vegan lifestyle and create public awareness about it, said World Vegan Organisation Nepal Chair Suresh Prasad Sharma.
According to organisers, the festival is dedicated solely to introducing, educating and promoting a plant-based lifestyle and its benefits to the general public.
As Sharma shared, it is not mandatory to be a vegan who just eats plant-based diets and abstains from animal and dairy products or a vegetarian to be eligible for joining the festival. Anyone else wishing to be part of the festival is heartily welcomed to the event, he said. The event is non-profit and entry is free.
It is said vegan lifestyle is close to nature and the objective of choosing Kathmandu and Bhutan, both Himalayan nations, as the festival venues are to spread the message that they could offer proper vegan diets.
The festival will feature vegan food stalls and consumer products. Likewise, live band music and dance, demonstrations by international and local vegan chefs, film exhibition, free cookery training, fitness and fashion workshop, training in the preparation of plant-based milk and mock meat are among the highlights of the festival.
Over 100 international vegan speakers, distinguished guests and personalities are expected to join the festival and vegan Everest climber Kuntal Joisher from India who is taking charge of one of the key speakers at the festival is presently in Nepal to promote the event.
The 42-year-old athlete, photographer and fitness trainer has been part of the vegan society for the past 19 years. Kuntal who describes himself as an ‘ethical vegan’ highlights the need to practise a vegan life due to its health benefits as well.
Highlighting the significance of the festival, rights activist, journalist and vegan Prakash Ajaat said the practice and promotion of a vegan lifestyle were necessary for the ethical treatment of all living beings on the planet.
Defining the vegan movement from the rights-based approach, he argued, “The planet is for all, not just for humans. Animals too deserve to be loved and cared for. They need good treatment.”