A compassionate couple from Lancing are set to take over Worthing Assembly Hall this Easter to hold the town’s first ever vegan fair.
Offering everything from ethical ware, artwork and tempting plant-based foods, the event aims to show the benefits of living a cruelty-free lifestyle while also promoting local businesses.
“The idea for the fair has been in our minds for a couple of years and originally come from a visit to Hailsham’s Compassionate Christmas Fair,” said Paul Hendy, who has organised the fair alongside wife Dawn.
“We asked ourselves ‘how can a small town like Hailsham have a fair but not the largest town in West Sussex?’”
“We then started looking for a venue and a time of year. We did think about Christmas but then thought how about showing compassion at Easter,” added Paul.
“We can’t understand how you can visit a lambing farm with your children then go and take them for a Sunday roast leg of lamb. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the baby animal you eat and the baby animal you visit on the farm.”
Taking place on Monday, April 2, between 10am and 4pm, at the venue in Stoke Abbott Road, the fair also aims to have talks from vegan activists and vegan-themed films.
Businesses who currently have stalls include The Orchard Café, Giuseppes, Healthy Supplies, Iremia Holistic Therapies, The Artisans Pantry, Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital, Debs Art For Animals Charity and The Protein Ball Company who have a factory on the Broadwater Business Estate.
Paul added: “We are very pleased to be able to promote local businesses at this event.
“The rise of veganism has been phenomenal with an increase of over 350 per cent in the last decade and in 2018 it has never been easier to find plant-based foods.”
As well as being vegan for two years along with their son Luke, Paul and Dawn often attend a number of animal rights protest marches, including at the Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium, and are involved with the Brighton & Hove branch of ‘Animals Asia’ as well as ‘Animal Equality’.
“For this charity we have stands at fair’s were we use virtual reality headsets known as the iAnimal to show the public what happens on factory farms,” said Paul.
“The headsets take the viewer on a journey from birth to the end result the slaughter of the animal this experience is one of the most powerful we have seen.
“Some people have been happy to consume meat before iAnimal but after they have changed on the spot.”
The iAnimal experience will also be available at the fair, and Paul hopes both vegans and non-vegans alike will visit the event to find out more about the vegan lifestyle.
He said: “Preventing the exploitation of animals remains a key factor in people’s decision to go vegan and stay vegan.
“Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation everywhere.
“Going vegan is also a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and cooking, and improve your diet.”
Once Paul and Dawn have covered costs of the fair, they intend to pass any money left over to Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary in East Susssex to help a calf called ‘Nipper Jackson’ who needs medical attention.
Paul said: “Whilst celebrating everything vegan at the Worthing Easter fair, we thought it would be nice to raise some money for a worthwhile cause,” explained Paul.
“Nipper Jackson is a calf who wasn’t allowed to be sold at the cattle market because of a deformity on his front legs.
“This deformity means he falls over, so he was due to be slaughtered. Luckily someone saw this and phoned Hugletts.
“Now Hugletts are trying to raise the money for his veterinary care.
“He had an appointment with the specialists from the Royal Veterinary College on Wednesday March 14 to start investigation work to help his legs, so he will able to go on and enjoy a happy and healthy life at Hugletts,” added Paul, who will also be holding a raffle for the sanctuary on the day.
Entry to the fair is £2, under 16s free. There will be free goodie bags for the first 50 guests.
For more details call Paul on 07530 219198 or visit the Vegan Easter Fair Facebook page.