Full stomachs, tired feet – EAT! Vancouver wrap-up
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This weekend was the big EAT! Vancouver food and cooking show. It is a big show at BC Place with vendors giving out samples and selling their various products, restaurants selling food, and cooking demonstrations.
I initially was really nervous about going. I was worried about arguments or conflict from the audience and from some of the vendors. But, strangely enough, we only had one negative comment over the whole weekend.
We had a small booth, paid for by a very generous donor. The display largely focused on factory farming and the environment, but we also had Farm Sanctuary’s “Recipes for Life” booklet, which was very popular. We gave out over 300 copies.
A lot of people were happy to see us there. The Vancouver Humane Society was there too, with their battery egg display. It was really nice to see the animals represented.
The hardest part of the weekend was that we were placed next to a pig farm. They turned out to be very nice people, and we talked before the show opened and tried our hardest to avoid conflict. We shared a lot of laughs when people would remark on the strange irony of an animal rights group being next to a pig farm.
They are experimenting with selling directly to the public for the first time ever, and have a free-range type farm, where the pigs are kept in an open space on sawdust rather than on concrete in small pens. We talked a bit about consumer perceptions and the unwillingness of people to spend more for meat that costs more to produce. Lots of people want animals to be treated better, but are unwilling to pay the extra cost. I can see how this is a real challenge. It will be interesting to see how this farm manages.
I was really glad to meet them and talk to them. Sometimes I get insulated in my little animal rights world, where I forget that “they” are real people who are trying to do the best they can within their own values. There are always real lives on the other side, and this weekend served to remind me of that. Yes, we are on opposing sides, but we can also treat each other with respect.