Who: VN Contributor Jasmin Singer
What: DallasVegan’s inaugural Texas State Veggie Fair
Where: The Phoenix Project, Dallas, TX
When: October 16, 2010
Why: To rival the “other” Texas State Fair and celebrate compassion
The Scoop: At the Texas State Fair in Dallas, the “entertainment” includes penned-up, branded animals sitting in the hot sun, a rodeo, and a livestock contest. At the petting zoo, I see a giraffe, his head an inch beneath the ceiling, take bites out of the fence holding him captive. You can smell his fear.
Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, you can smell the compassion (and the fried vegan cookie dough) wafting from the Texas State Veggie Fair. The Veggie Fair, the antithesis of its ugly cousin, is the brainchild of Jamey Scott of DallasVegan. For vegans craving the state fair experience sans cruelty, it offers a fried vegan food contest, vegan fair food (funnel cakes, anyone?), carnival games, prizes, bands, and, of course, clowns. As for the Veggie Fair happening on the same day as, as Scott puts it, “the other fair,” it’s hardly a coincidence.
Eddie Garza, Mercy For Animals’ (MFA) Texas Campaign Coordinator, elaborates: “The Texas State Fair is all about making animal agriculture seem like a fairytale… when we know that the reality is that the animals are generally from factory farms, kept in spaces so small and tightly confined that they can’t even turn around or spread their limbs.”
So who can you find at the Veggie Fair? Everyone from kids wearing Texas t-shirts playing in the bounce-house or getting their faces painted, to tattooed 30-somethings (okay, myself included) munching on corn dogs and having their tarot cards read, to the veg-curious learning from groups such as the Black Vegetarian Society of Texas, Animal Connection of Texas, Dallas Vegetarians, and MFA.
The Dallas vegan scene is skyrocketing, and it’s largely thanks to Scott and Garza’s outreach. Not only does DallasVegan host a monthly Vegan Drinks event, but thanks to MFA, the city is getting ready to celebrate Dallas Vegan Week, during which upscale Dallas restaurants will offer vegan options. Kudos to Dallas' blue-ribbon activists!