It was a damp and grey afternoon on Sunday, but that didn’t stop the crowds from celebrating after the Pride Parade at the Community Fair on Bank Street. The NCVA had a table set up right in front of the Herb & Spice, and, with the kindness of a stranger on the street, we even managed to borrow a tent to keep our paperwork, soy milks, and little noggins dry.
We hosted a giveaway which offers three lucky winners either a free NCVA membership card with all the perks and discounts that go along with it, coupons, or soy milk. Over fifty people signed up to enter the contest, and the winners will be announced later this week.
We also handed out a few brochures that simplify a plant-based diet, and shared free soy milk to thirsty party-goers.
Fany, Josee, Stacey, Carolyn and I took shifts at the table and greeted pedestrians telling them about what we do here at the NCVA. There were a lot of people who told us that they were already vegetarian, vegan, or very interested in embarking on a plant-based journey and yet they didn’t know that we existed as a resource in the city. I’m sure we’ve gained a few more members and Facebook followers because of it.
We showed our pride in a few ways. Animal rights are human rights, and there are so many intersections between LGBTQ rights and other types of social justice activism with the vegetarian lifestyle. We’re all just fighting for the oppressed in all their shapes, colours, sizes, genders, sexes and species.
The crowd was wonderful and we surely made new friends. Two very kind strangers even gave us their wacky, colourful balloon peacock tail. It served as a costume at first but then became a beautiful decorative piece with which to adorn our tent. Even a few skeptical vegetarians who claimed to be turned-off by “Why Vegan?” literature, ended up warming up to us and realizing not all activism is aggressive and said they would find us on Facebook. A children’s charity asked us for tips on how to keep a vegetarian child who uses their service well-fed even though their family relies on food banks. We offered some advice and helped them get in touch with people we know who are specialists at that.
All in all, the NCVA made new connections, helped others, and received help as well on Sunday. And, really, what could be more lovely at a Community Fair than building and strengthening community?