Veggie Fest Chicago
August 15-16, 2015
“Good Food, Healthy Living” is the mantra for Veggie Fest, a two-day celebration of the vegetarian lifestyle.
Founded in 2005 and hosted by the Science of Spirituality Center, the Chicagoland event is one of the largest of its kind.
The 2015 festival was held on the grounds of Benedictine University in west suburban Lisle, Illinois. Admission is free. More than 100 vendors and exhibitors were generous with their knowledge and samples. Among them were food companies, beauty and skin care professionals, yoga instructors, holistic dentists, chiropractors, book publishers and nonprofits like Mercy for Animals and the Christian Vegetarian Association. A food drive collected vegetarian non-perishables for those in need.
Lectures and cooking demonstrations went on all day. Some were in Spanish. The keynote speaker was meditation guru Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Majaraj, who heads up the international Science of Spirituality. Other sessions covered vegetarian nutrition and meditation techniques. We attended “Aging Gracefully: Using Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes” by physiatrist James H. Gruft, M.D. His advice: a vegetarian diet plus nutritional supplements, exercise and meditation. We also sat in on a vegan cooking demonstration and sampled faux chicken nuggets. They were okay.
Mingling with the crowds were a dozen or so costumed characters: clowns, a banana, a horse, a rabbit. The nonstop musical playlist ranged from reggae to Motown. Children were welcomed to a special activity tent for face-painting, crafts and a costume parade.
On the menus in the for-purchase food court were kabobs, salads, falafel, sushi, wraps, samosas, pizza and smoothies–all veggie-style, of course.