I’ve been teasing you over the weekend with all of the fun leading up to Vida Vegan Con with my part one, two and three posts. Before I cover opening night of the conference, let me explain why attending this conference was so important to me.
I started using Twitter, and ultimately blogging, to learn how to be a vegan and to share what I learned. At that time, it was really about how to be a healthy, dietary vegan. These interactions via social media– which I wrote about earlier this year when I kicked off the Vegan 101 series — planted me firmly in a community of vegetarians and vegan. A community of people who I only knew virtually but held in high regard. Vida Vegan Con was announced last year — a conference for vegan bloggers. I had to go. I wanted to meet the people I admired. I wanted to learn how to be a better vegan blogger. I wanted to push myself further on what it means to be vegan, for me.
After several days of play things really got going on Friday night at the champagne and cupcake reception.
The cupcakes and champagne were great, but then the real magic happened. I started meeting the bloggers I admire and have loved from afar!
I started reading Gena, Lisa and Megan early on in my vegan days. Gena’s blog, Choosing Raw, was interesting to me because while she certainly talks about a higher raw diet (and has fabulous, easy recipes) she writes provocative posts about veganism and inspires a dialogue among her readers. As a mostly dietary vegan she forced me to think more about the ethics of veganism. So it should be no surprise that I ultimately invited her to write about this very topic: Vegan 101: The Ethics of Veganism. When I first started reading Lisa’s blog, she was blogging as the Vegan Cookbook Critic. She was such a valuable resource to me because there were so many options out there that I just started buying the books that she reviewed (because she also tested the recipes). Her blog has recently morphed into the Vegan Culinary Crusade and it’s truly a reflection of who she is. She is a gentle leader in the vegan movement. I was thrilled when she agreed to write Vegan 101: How to share your passion with compassion. Megan, who I was lucky enough to share a room with during the conference, was living in Germany when I first started reading her blog Sweet On (now Go Places). I found her blog when I was searching travel options for vegans. She offered great tips on finding vegan food anywhere (she has an adorable dog, Jasper, who you can meet on her blog, too).
I walked around the reception, visiting the tables and look who I found!
Woodstock Farm Animal Santuary founders Doug Abel and Jenny Brown! I’m a huge fan of their work and my long-time readers know I’m in love with a certain goat resident at the sanctuary. Jenny told me that tickets to ThanksLiving (10/16/11) will go on sale soon. I’m so there.
Look, I finally met The Blissful Chef!
Christy wrote Vegan 101: A Newbie’s Guide to Seasonal Eating and Cooking. Her new book, Blissful Bites, was just released (look for a review and giveaway here soon!)
I met Kristina
who you may know as spabettie. I was thrilled because I have always considered her my best girlfriend that I had never met.
Now do you understand why I was so anxious to attend Vida Vegan Con? I got to meet the real people behind the blogs that have had such a profound influence on me.
After the reception a group of us walked over to Homegrown Smoker, a vegan food truck around the corner from the hotel,
where I tried this decadent “burrito.”
Holy soy curls, that was delicious (and so, so wrong).
Megan and I grabbed our cart food (and picked up some wine) and invited a group of eleven people to our hotel room for a little “party.” I did tell the youngsters that they all had to leave by 10:00 p.m. so I could go to bed. Seriously.
Can you believe I haven’t even gotten to the conference yet? That will have to wait. Tomorrow I begin a very long journey back to New York (due to a Hurricane Irene flight cancellation it’s going to take me twelve hours to get home) so I will wait until Wednesday to post about what I learned during the two-day conference.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and dry after a wild weekend of weather.
Today on Stop Chasing Skinny: “But you’re skinny”