Friday, October 3, 2014

Groovefest 2014

Strangely enough (hey...it's Oklahoma, right?) there is a gathering each year in Norman devoted to human rights. You can read all about the history of the event here and you will learn that it started in 1986 and is loosely affiliated with Amnesty International.

Various musical groups perform, sometimes politicians or candidates speak and other groups and/or vendors dispense information, food, face-painting, massages and even acupuncture.

This year's Groovefest marked the public debut of the Red Earth Vegans tabling effort. I've written about this local group of vegan supporters here. The group was formed as a result of several like-minded folks meeting while engaging in some animal advocacy at a circus protest. We had the opportunity to introduce our new banner to the public and to pass out information about veganism to those who were interested.

REV members Sandy, Amanda and Angie.
The weather was nice and there was a good showing of curiosity about our literature as shown by the rather surprising number of people who stopped by to chat and/or take copies of information that interested them.
REV members Brandon, Amanda, Sandy and Sherree.
I admit to opting out of hanging around most of the all day event. My musical taste sort of ossified back around the time the Beatles broke up, so I wasn't really looking forward to listening to the various sorts of genres served up by the different bands or performers (plus seriously loud music mostly doesn't appeal to me anymore).

So, I helped set up and sort of played back-stop in terms of making sure there were enough vegans available to be present at the booth throughout the day (I would have filled in for any gaps). Once the booth was up and going, I went home and did what all wise old humans do...took a nap...and then returned near shut-down time to assist. There were lots of folks willing to volunteer their time so the whole thing went quite smoothly and was a pretty pleasant experience.

What is, to me anyway, sort of intriguing is that there were other instances of vegan inroads into Oklahoma as shown by a booth offering vegan baked goods by Mim's Bakery.
Mim's baked goods.
There also was a food truck called the Loaded Bowl which serves up only vegan dishes at the festival.
Loaded Bowl Truck.
Loaded Bowl Sunday Menu.
The increased interest in veganism and the much more common availability of vegan foods in this area is really rather stunning. This has just sort of exploded over the past few years.

It is gratifying...as well as almost dizzy making. For example, the Red Earth Vegan group on Facebook now has over 150 members. It has grown way beyond expectations and such increases in membership can't help but provide hope to anyone despairing over the plight of our fellow Earthlings. If a group focusing on eliminating harm to all Earthlings can attract that many people in central Oklahoma...well heck. We humanoids just may eventually pull off the trick of behaving as if we were desirable members of the community of life on planet Earth.

If you're living vegan, thank you...if you aren't...it's never too late to start.

7 comments:

Laloofah said...

This truly does offer a glimmer of hope in what's been a very bleak week for news on animals, so thank you for sharing it! I love hearing of or seeing real interest in and devotion to veganism in the most unlikely places! (And you made me laugh with your comment about your "ossified" musical tastes. I totally agree with you about the loud music! I detest loud anything anymore. "And you kids get off my lawn!" LOL)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Laloofah. I'm glad you liked the ossified thingee...it's really not quite true but it's true enough. :-)

I really do think something big and significant ended about then. Not that it was hard and fast and clear but nevertheless I believe it to be so.

That's sort of my reference point for the end of the 1960s...the end of the societal upheaval...of the striving for something better. And I think we've been heading rapidly backwards ever since. And piss on us for that.

And I agree..."you kids get off my lawn" (except I don't have much of a lawn and I like it that way). :-)

joan.kyler said...

I think it's very encouraging that there are so many options for vegan food in the midwest. I'd love to eat at any of those places!

You might be interested in my latest blog post (http://planetjoan.blogspot.com). My husband and I have an adopted steer, Lawrence, at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. Our previous adopted cow, Rhonda, died a few years ago and we adopted a calf. We hadn't been to see him since he was less than a year old and, boy, has he grown! It was a wonderful day spent with amazing rescued farm animals. We left feeling refreshed and happy and covered with steer saliva from all the licks, but sad that these are just a few very lucky animals out of the hundreds of millions that are abused and slaughtered in this country every year.

Thanks for your blog. It's always interesting and real. It helps to know there are other like us and, I hope, more of us all the time.

Bea Elliott said...

What a "groovy" event indeed! Looks like the perfect venue for outreach. Not quite a "veg-fest" where it's mostly the choir --- But instead a public that is drawn to justice issues and social progress. That's exactly the spot where vegan advocacy should be!

I love that REV are successfully planting seeds in your community. I do believe that grassroots are the best way to halt those pesky weeds of apathy! Press on REV! ;)

D.E.M. said...

This is wonderful!!! I love the word groovefest.
P.S. My daughter and I are making a small, portable, animal-rights museum out of parcel board right now... and we are going to take it and put it next to the Ginormous Sickening Human Rights museum just slammed down in Winnipeg (on sacred native ground, right where native Canadian women's bodies are fucking fished out of the river... human rights? how about not putting all the money into a giant gross building??).
Anyway: we are going to do this soon and photograph it in proximity to the Big Stupid One and then put the pics on fb. Stay posted :)

Have Gone Vegan said...

Great name for a festival! And I think Bea's right about veg-fests and choirs (not that that's a bad thing as such), but yes, bringing vegan advocacy to other social movement events would spread those seeds even further. :)

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting Joan and Bea and DEM and HGV.

Joan: Thank you for your kind words and multiple thanks to you both for adopting Lawrence...he's a beauty! You blog is superlative and a link for it is now on the veganelder listing of blogs...sorry for my delay in getting it up.

Bea: The astonishing growth of REV has sort of caught us all off guard. Someone noted that there were apparently lots of closet vegans in the area and that the initiation of the group encouraged and supported them to come out into the open. It is a really encouraging thing...and getting to have face to face time with like-minded folks is incredibly heartening. I never realized there were so many people on the planet that I enjoyed being around. :-)

DEM: I laughed out loud when I read your comment. You would absolutely love many of the folks in the Red Earth Vegan group...and they would love you and your daughter. :-) Hooray for y'all and I'm looking forward to the photos! Thank you both!

HGV: Sort of a retro name that fits because the atmosphere is just pretty mellow. Astonishingly so when you consider where we are. We're going to table at an upcoming peace festival in Oklahoma City next month and I'm pretty excited just thinking about it. I've been to a couple of previous peace festivals and probably that is the biggest gathering of hippie-like folks that there is in Oklahoma. We're likely going to theme our table with the "It's not food, it's violence" mantra. :-)