By: Didrik Ottesen and Melissa Manzone
Lush Cosmetics, located in Kingston Town Centre, hosted its first World Vegan Day as part of a worldwide campaign to raise awareness about veganism on Tuesday.
Employees of Lush’s Kingston location handed out a variety of meals and snacks to long queues of people to demonstrate that vegan cuisine is both healthy and tasty. Samples included chickpea curry, chili, sausages, brownies, and chocolate cookies.
“This is a really good turn out, I didn’t expect this many people at all,” said Chris Smith, 26, trainee store manager at Lush Cosmetics.
The month long campaign seeks to highlight the harmful effect that consuming animal products has on the environment. By allowing the public to test freshly made food, Lush hopes individuals will be inspired to consume less animal products to build sustainable diets on organic fruits and vegetables.
Mr. Smith said that although being vegan does mean cutting out all animal products, including dairy, leather, soap and meat, it does not mean vegans say no to good food. “All vegans love food, that’s how it starts and also what spurred me on, I love a good hot dog and I make a mean pasta bake,” he said.
Victoria Hevener, 21, is a frequent customer who prefers to buy organic, vegetarian made products to support ethical and socially responsible companies, but she doubted if she become vegan. She said: “I love cheese and eggs and honey. Going vegan would be very hard. Also the idea of meat replacements that taste like meat and replacements that taste like cheese is repulsive.”
One of the main issues most people face when deciding whether or not to adopt vegetarian or vegan lifestyles is the lack of important vitamins and minerals normally found in animal products, such as vitamin B12.
Mr. Smith, however, suggested that like anything else, individuals concerned about their diets should see a dietition to make sure they are consuming the appropriate nutrients. He said that vitamin B12 is easily found in soy products such as soy milk. “It’s not hard to get sufficient nutrition, I just keep a well thought-out diet and plan what I eat.”