I was finally able to make it to the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival this year. It’s been running for the past 30 years, so I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I haven’t been there before.  I can partially blame Crohn’s disease for at least five of those year though, and I have my ostomy to thank for being able to make it this year.

There wasn’t much planning involved for the day: I changed my ostomy wafer and pouch early in the morning, then had a small breakfast of organic wheat squares (they look like Shreddies) with soy milk.  After finding a parking spot, I drank some water with added electrolytes and we headed out.  With the exception of a few samples, I didn’t really eat much there; not because I didn’t want to, but mostly because I’m a cheap skate when it comes to spending money on food while eating out (I’d rather spend the money on something I can use daily).  My wife and kids came, and they all had something for themselves.

group selfie toronto vegfest 2014

At the Toronto Veg Fest 2014. Group Selfie!

The event was fun, and I was surprised by how many people where there.  I ran into Anne-Marie, founder of the site Meat Free Athlete, who wasn’t hard to spot wearing her MFA shirt and super-recognizable hair cut :)  If you’re into fitness, you have to check out her website and resources!

Toronto VegFoodFest 2014

A perfect place to enjoy the festival

I also met Jess from Uncover Ostomy , who was at the festival with her mom.  I recently found out that Jess has been vegan for several years, thanks to the amazing Forks Over Knives movie.  Jess was one of the first ostomy awareness bloggers I found during the time I was getting ready to have my surgery.  Her ostomy awareness campaign has been talked about all over the world, and she does an amazing job raising awareness by showing women that having on ostomy can still be sexy.  She’s a truly inspiring advocate!

My daughter, Jasmine, also had the opportunity to read the The Declaration of Animal Rights in front of a small audience for the organization Animal Hero Kids.   Her advocacy efforts have been written about in the book Animal Hero Kids: Voices for the voiceless, and I’ve been so proud of her.

Jaz Animal Hero Kids TOvegfest 2014

My daughter giving a speech at the Animal Hero Kids tent

Jaz Animal Hero Kids book

 

I was also “volunteered” to play Ronnie V Cow for part of the presentation!

Putting on the cow outfit

Fortunately, it wasn’t 31c today!

Waving cow

“I don’t always play a cow, but when I do, I’m awesome at it”

By the end of this long day, having had to only empty my ostomy bag once while at the festival (without any problems, I might add), I’m tired, but glad to have been able to make it there.

QUESTION: Did you get out to the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival?