Veganism is a lifestyle choice that is growing in popularity, day by day. With an increase of 360% over the past decade, according to a survey carried out by The Telegraph, could it be that the stereotypes are finally being overlooked?

Although this research clearly shows the amazing increase in acceptance and the embracing of an alternative natural way of life throughout the UK, smaller towns are still very reluctant to embrace the change in lifestyle. Prejudices are still so common; rarely a day goes by without someone asking “What, so you just eat lettuce?”. It isn’t the case, (just in case you were thinking the same) in fact, veganism is far from restricted with so many alternatives now available to buy! Although, what beats the satisfaction of making your own food from scratch, choosing the ingredients and spices that you enjoy, making them perfect; just the way you like them.

However, the stereotypes and prejudices are still at the forefront of society in the small, traditional city of Lichfield, in Staffordshire. A place filled with local farmers and butchers and steak house galore. But on Sunday 6th August, a huge step away from the false presumptions were made, as this Victorian city said hello to a vegan fair. Amongst the eager vegans, the fair welcomed many stalls, selling vegan chocolates, cheese, protein powders and nut butters; t-shirts, jewellery, make up and badges, all sustainably sourced; all naturally produced, with open arms… or maybe gates, is more appropriate for this city surrounded by fields.

Having been a vegan for almost a year and a half, I was determined to go and prove to my carnivorous mom that there really are other vegans out there. Prove that this is not a “fad”. However, the actual turnout was incredible! It took me by surprise, as we reached the hall, and had to queue and dodge small children to get in, let alone my mom who was expecting a quiet affair, with one or two “hippies” covered in tattoos and flowers…

There was a sense of excitement and simple joy in that room. The delight on young children’s faces, as they devoured chocolates and sweets, was mirrored in the faces of their parents, as they had their own bags full of treats. Young and old, men and women alike, all dived straight into this experience, with no hesitations at all. And rightly so. There were no ridiculing onlookers, or criticising passers-by, just a large congregation of people all enjoying themselves, with the added knowledge that they were doing so, without placing any other animal in harm’s way.

It is safe to say that this fair was an unprecedented success! It was later reported that the majority of the stalls sold out, and with such an amazing response, hopefully we won’t have to wait another 9 years before the next one comes around!

This weekend sees Liverpool Viva! Vegan Festival take over The Bluecoat on Saturday 12th August! With talks and stalls and, of course, plenty of food to indulge in, it would be ludicrous to miss out! So, if you’re around, why don’t you go and have a look, a wander, and wonder, at the marvel that really is super.

You’ll see for yourself that restriction really isn’t in these vegan’s diets!