All posts filed under: events

Vegan food at hardcore festival IEPERFEST, Ypres

Ieperfest is a 3-day hardcore music festival, just outside Ypres (Ieper, 75km from Bruges, Belgium). Since day one, more than 20 years ago, all the food at Ieperfest is vegan! It was two years ago that we went to Ieperfest (see our blogpost here), and it was a wet edition in 2014. This time, it was a beautiful Summer weekend, and we went again one afternoon to try out the vegan goodies and enjoy the atmosphere. We tried to taste something from each foodstall, but by the end of the afternoon were too stuffed to accomplish that plan 😉 Payment for food and drinks was with tokens: we paid 66 euros for 30 tokens in total. Our plan was to start our food trip with the Flemish stew with seitan and potatoes from the Ieperfest Hardcore Foodstall, but it was announced it was only available from 5PM onwards. Bummer! So we started with a Dutch weedburger and some ‘Wish ‘n Chips’, that latter being a new ‘algae’ based dish from TDW. Nice! Here’s an overview of the food and drinks we had:   …

I won the lottery! Dinner with Sea Shepherd crew and Tom Waes on board Sam Simon, Antwerp

Sea Shepherd is international marine wildlife conservation organization. They use direct action tactics to protect marine life, for example disturbing whale vessels and seizure and destruction of drift nets. One of their ships, the Sam Simon, embarked in Antwerp for a couple of days and was open for public visits. I visited the ship with a Dutch friend earlier in the week (review with many more pics of the Sam Simon will follow here). On that visit, I gave a donation to Sea Shepherd, and as such entered the lottery to win a dinner for two on Saturday evening on board the ship, with the crew and Tom Waes. As it is with lotteries, one never expects to win … But this time, I did! 🙂 I got a call on Saturday afternoon and of course I gladly accepted the dinner invitation for two. We had the opportunity to talk to the crew and some volunteers from Sea Shepherd Belgium. And we also met Tom Waes (Belgian actor, director and TV-presentor), who is an ambassador for Sea Shepherd and Captain Alex Cornelissen (CEO …

Our visit to VegfestNL in Utrecht

Last weekend, we went to a vegan festival in the Netherlands. This was the second edition of VegfestNL, this time in Utrecht. Utrecht is only about 2 and a half hours drive from Bruges. The festival was not coincidentally on November 1, which is World Vegan Day. It was located in the Jaarbeurs of Utrecht, a big conference and event hall at the edge of the city. There is supposedly parking nearby, but when we arrived, all nearby parkings were announced as full and the surroundings seemed like a big construction site. Very confusing to get there. Luckily, we found a parking space in one of the streets not too far away, but then it was still quite a walk to the festival venue! It was not a free festival like Vegan Summer Fest a couple of weeks ago in Belgium (see our review here), but with an admission fee of 10€ (which still seems reasonably fair, although it does increase the treshold for a lot of people). There were seperate halls with dozens of stalls, selling food, …

Animal activism with photos. An evening with Jo-Anne McArthur.

On Saturday October 17th, Belgian vegan organisation BE Vegan organised and evening with Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. In the vegan or animal rights community, Jo-Anne McArthur is well known for her work on the project We Animals, which resulted in a book with the same title. We Animals is a series of portraits of animals in the human environment: animals used for food production, clothing, experiments and companionship. We Animals is not just meant to be a series of portraits, there’s also a moral message. Taken from the We Animals website: We Animals aims to break down the barriers that humans have built which allow us to treat non-human animals as objects and not as beings with moral significance. The objective is to photograph our interactions with animals in such a way that the viewer finds new significance in these ordinary, often unnoticed situations of use, abuse and sharing of spaces. The photos are meant to make us question what is normal, and show it from the perspective of the animal. Some of her photos were also featured in the exhibit ‘Het …

Our visit to Fair Festival at DOK Gent

Two weeks ago, September 5 2015, there was festival on the site of DOK (former harbour grounds) in Ghent. Fair festival is announced as “the place where you can find honest and green products“. It is not a vegan festival like the one we went to a couple of weeks prior in Ghent (see our review here), but since it was with free entrance and there was a vegan BBQ at noon (for subscribers only, 16€, made by restaurant Avalon), we decided to go take a look! We arrived at about noon, and after taking a quick first look at the stalls, we went to the BBQ. This was only for people who had subscribed and paid beforehand: 16€pp. The food was very nice, but we were a little bit underwhelmed. There were plenty of vegetables and things like potato salad and rice, but hardly any real ‘barbecued’ things. There was a sate with chunks of seitan, bbqed mushroom, grilled corn and marinated tofu, but even these didn’t really taste barbecued (maybe they didn’t get the time to really …

Our visit to Vegan Summer fest in 50 photos! Belgium’s first vegan festival

Yesterday BE Vegan hosted Belgium’s first* vegan festival in Gentbrugge. Ghentbrugge is near the city of Ghent, about 40km from Bruges, so it was only about a half hour drive for us. We decided to go early. Partly because the weather forecast warned for possible thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Also because the inscriptions on the FB event led to suggest there was going to be a huge turnout (more than 4000 people). So we wanted to avoid the ‘big crowd’ and we arrived a little bit before noon. The festival was mainly inside one of the halls of KERKGent. Inside the hall were stalls of organisations like Bite Back, Animal Rights and host organisation BE Vegan, and also several shops selling mainly shoes, books and food. In one shielded corner of the hall were some seatings for the scheduled talks (about vegan activism, vegan bussinesses etc). The big foodstalls were outside and next to that was a tent where the food demos took place.    Although we were there early, the queues for the main foodstalls outside were getting longer rapidly. We …

Impressions from the photo exhibit ‘The Forgotten Animal’ in Bruges

Anyone who’s going from the station in Bruges to ‘t Zand in the coming week cannot miss this. There are about a dozen big bords with a photo on each side of a ‘forgotten’ animal in the food industry, with next to each photo a description of the fate of the animal. The photo exhibit is originally made by the Dutch organisations Varkens in Nood (Pigs in distress) and Dier en Recht (Animal & Law) and we already saw it in Amsterdam in 2013 (see our impression on our Dutch blog here). At that point, we wrote ‘Would this be possible on the Burg in Bruges or next to the Saint-Baafscathedral in Ghent?’. And now the exhibition is actually in Belgium, and in Bruges even! Fantastic! 🙂 The exhibit uses the same images as the ones that were used in the Netherlands, but the texts are adapted to the Belgian context. The Forgotten Animal is brought to Bruges by a cooperation of different organisations*, and can be seen for a week in the Albertpark.  

Among the hunters at the huntingexpo

Last weekend, there was a Hunting fair in Flanders Expo in Ghent (24-26 april, 2015). On the website of huntingexpo.be, it was announced as “the fair for hunters, with a passion for wild game and fowl, hunting and nature” (de beurs voor jagers, met een passie voor wild, jacht en natuur). No, I did not attend. But I was in Flanders Expo, for the REVA beurs, which was taking place at the same time in one of the other halls. On the parking and the surroundings of Flanders Expo, you could detect the hunters from a mile away! Tweed coats. Round cheeks and red faces from outdoor life. And I spotted a lot of 4×4’s and other big cars with dirt traces on the parking lot (often occupying two parking spaces, not nice!). And yet, I would find it interesting to attend this hunting fair. 

A sandwich à la vegan

Last week, I had to go to Leuven for an educational course for work. A whole day training, and lunch was included. I asked in advance whether I could have a vegan lunch, and the organisation replied they’d forwarded my message to the caterer. Situations like these are always a bit exciting, but worrying at the same time. I took two energy bars with me, just in case. The slide with the day’s agenda mentioned we would be served a sandwich lunch. Surely they could manage that? Lunch break. Everyone left the conference room, towards the table with the sandwiches. Above all other sandwiches on the windowstill, and clearly noticeable to everyone, was a plate with a sandwich ‘veganist’ (the Dutch word for ‘a vegan person’*). Two sandwiches actually, with a label with clearly written ‘VEGANIST’ next to it. I couldn’t miss 🙂  That’s mine! Nothing very culinary exciting, but all in all nice they made an effort! One sandwich was with some sort of guacamole, the other one with a salad and dressing. The times, …

A visit to the Alpro factory in Wevelgem (Be)

A couple of months ago, I visited Alpro in Wevelgem (near Kortrijk, Belgium). The visit to the factory was organised by EVA West, a local division of vegetarian organisation EVA. Alpro makes plant based products, made of soy, almond, hazelnut, rice, … Their soymilk, coconutmilk, pudding and yofu’s are omnipresent in about every Belgian supermarket and are also sold around the world. The factory is Wevelgem (Belgium) is the main factory of Alpro. We got an introduction of about half an hour by a PR-manager, followed by the opportunity to ask some questions. Afterwards we visited the production units inside the factory.