This is a fantastic opportunity for veggies and vegans from all movements and backgrounds to come together for a day of celebration and awareness raising! Below, we offer our vision for the event, reasons behind it and details of support we need to make the event happen as described.
A range of event banners will be available on our website soon
Picture the scene:
Hundreds of celebrating vegetarians/vegans parade through a busy city centre. A samba band entertains, whilst dozens of revellers dance in colourful costumes, such as super heroes, vegetables and animals! Others have donned their professional uniforms (eg nurses, chefs etc) or leisure/fitness attire (eg footballers, runners etc), demonstrating that those with compassion manifest in many forms. Hundreds carry banners, flags and placards, intent on spreading awareness of their passion for plant based diets. The vibrant carnival atmosphere draws the attention of thousands of shoppers. As crowds look on they soak up the collective enthusiasm for healthy, cruelty-free, eco-friendly living. Some can`t resist the temptation and join the parade! Leaflets leave the masses in no doubt of the benefits that a change of lifestyle would bring.
Where the proud procession comes to an end, a fantastic festival begins. Whilst hundreds of weekend shoppers flow through a central square, dozens of stalls offer a wide range of information and products to vegans, veggies and meat eaters alike. There`s a vast variety of cruelty-free hot and cold food to tempt the taste buds of even the most committed carnivores, including free samples for the curious who may wish to try before they buy! In all corners of the square, entertainment comes from talented performers of all kinds - jugglers, dancers, singers, magicians, poets, story tellers etc. Crowds flock round a stage to enjoy speeches from respected members of the veggie/vegan community and the best, most original costumes, props and banners win awards. The party continues into the early evening as bands take over the stage and round off a day of vegetarian/vegan celebration and awareness that will never be forgotten!
Where could this be? Paris or New York perhaps? No, this is Birmingham - the venue for the first Veggie Pride UK on Sat 16th May 2009!!
PLEASE NOTE: - Full details of this event are yet to be confirmed/approved by Birmingham City Council, but will be announced as soon as possible.
For several years, Veggie Pride events have been held in Paris, and last year, also in Rome and New York. As yet, no event of this kind has ever been seen in the UK. Midlands Vegan Campaigns are committed to staging Veggie Pride UK in Birmingham, where we hope it will become an annual event, celebrated by vegetarians & vegans from across the country and will hopefully grow in size and popularity year after year.
Birmingham has played a very important role in the progress of vegetarianism for well over 100 years and continues to do so today. In 1898, the first vegetarian hotel in the UK opened in Birmingham City Centre. It was named The Pitman Vegetarian Hotel after Sir Isaac Pitman, then vice-president of the Vegetarian Society. The manager, James Henry Cook, also opened the UK`s first `health food store` in Birmingham. The idea caught on, and there were soon health food stores in towns and cities across the country!
Today, Birmingham is home to the longest running purely vegan shop in the country and of course, The Vegan Society have now made Birmingham their home.
WHY ARE WE APPEALING FOR HELP??
Plans are in the very early stages. Many of our dreams for this event will only come true with your support! YOU can help make the above description become a reality. At this stage, there are 3 main ways you can help ensure the event is a success:
1. The council want some assurance that Veggie Pride UK will attract a significant number of people. They don`t want to grant approval, only for it to be a flop due to a low turnout! So you can help simply by pledging to attend! Either confirm your attendance via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=53925241834 , or pledge to attend via Pledge Bank, see http://www.pledgebank.com/VeggiePrideUK
2. The costs involved with organising such an event are very high. Costs include printing(and other publicity), hire of various essentials (stage, sound equipment, gazebos etc), electricity, insurance and possibly even road closures! We will cut down on costs wherever possible but it`s clear that we can`t go ahead without your financial support!
MVC is a small, grassroots campaign group, run by volunteers. Every penny you donate will be ploughed into organising a memorable, inspiring event. Any amount that you/your group can afford will be very gratefully received. Please make cheques/postal orders payable to `Midlands Vegan Campaigns` and post to:
MVC, PO Box 10202, Redditch, Worcs. B98 8YT.
We would also like to hear from potential sponsors. All sponsors will be promoted on our website, MySpace, Facebook, leaflets, posters, adverts etc. If you would like to sponsor Veggie Pride UK, or would like more details, please get in touch as soon as possible.
3. Obviously, keep the date free! Start to think about providing transport from your area, and consider what costumes, banners and props that you & your friends/group can wear/display on the procession. If you can offer ANYTHING, whether your advice, time, talent or resources, we would be delighted to hear from you, please get in touch.
VEGGIE PRIDE WEBSITES
The Veggie Pride UK website is here www.veggiepride.org.uk It`s still being built (remember we`re volunteers!) so is a bit dull at the moment! Do check back soon for updates.
Read about previous Veggie Pride events in Paris http://www.veggiepride.org/en/index.php and New York http://www.veggieprideparade.org/
ABOUT MIDLANDS VEGAN CAMPAIGNS
Midlands Vegan Campaigns formed in August 2007, with the intention of promoting plant based diets for the benefit of animals, people & the planet. We have staged several large events including Free Vegan Food Fairs in Birmingham and Lichfield, and a Vegan Festival in Wolverhampton for World Vegan Day 2008, which attracted 1,200 people. We have recently been nominated for a Vegan Environmental Award for our awareness raising work. We are affiliated to The Vegetarian Society and are local group contacts for both Viva! and The Vegan Society. For further details about the group, please see our main website http://www.veganmidlands.org.uk
Remember, with your help, we will make the first Veggie Pride UK an event to remember!
Thanks in advance for your support.