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Vegan Education in Animal Farming Country

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In an area of New Zealand that is better known for the farming of sheep and cows than vegan education, Gentle World volunteers shook things up a little last weekend, by inviting the residents of the small town of Kaitaia to an all-day educational event, complete with a vegan feast extraordinaire!

Dr. Cornelius Van Dorp (who also gave a presentation about the health benefits of a plant-based diet), and his wife Crystal, kindly offered the use of The Herb Shack (vegan café and herbal medicine shop) for the occasion. Thanks to the use of this venue, we were able to offer over 100 interested individuals the opportunity to sample free, incredibly delicious vegan food and to learn about the whys and hows of vegan living.

Guests were greeted with iced tea, tasty hors-d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to sign up for free classes in cooking and veganic gardening (at a date yet to be confirmed – please contact us if you are interested).

After taking a look through Gentle World’s vegan resource books and signing up for a chance to win a deluxe raffle prize, attendees made their way through to the outdoor gazebo, where they had the opportunity to watch educational videos, and listen to our speakers exploring the reasons for being vegan, the many benefits of vegan living, and how to make the transition.

And then, it was the moment we had all been waiting for… An incredibly delicious lunch!

The hot menu included Seitan Peppersteak, Grilled Sausages with Onions, and Home-Style Chili over organic brown rice. We knew it was a success when two young teenage boys returned to the table, saying that they were hesitant to try the food, but it was so good they came back for seconds!

The salad menu included Creamy Coleslaw, Pasta Salad, Hummus, and Cashew-Carrot Paté (which is always a big hit, and this time was no exception). Desserts included cupcakes in three different flavors, Gentle World’s world-famous Banana Bread, and two types of delicious cookies.

Was the day a success? The smiling faces seemed to indicate that it was… But even more important was that we heard from several individuals who told us directly that they were moved to make the transition toward being vegan. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Special thanks to everyone who helped make January 15th a monumental day for vegan education in New Zealand… We’re already looking forward to the next time!

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