Representing Vedge Your Best at the Vegan Women Summit in Brooklyn this year was an honor. Vedge Your Best was on hand to connect with potential future podcast guests to keep bringing inspiring messages to our Vedge Heads!
What is the Vegan Women Summit?
The Vegan Women Summit (VWS) is a unique event designed to empower women to build a kinder, more sustainable world. Founded and hosted by Jennifer Stojkovic, a food tech leader and author of The Future of Food is Female, the summit brings together individuals who share similar beliefs about food, animals, and the environment.
The VWS is an annual event held over a multi-day period that provides a premium activism space for brands, industry titans, and influential women in the vegan and plant-based industry. The event is a melting pot of ideas, discussions, and lifestyle opportunities centered around vegan food and the future of food innovation.
The Summit Experience
The summit, held in Brooklyn, was a delight to experience. There were over 1,000 individuals physically in attendance plus over 50,000 virtual attendees from around the world. Two stages featured speaker panels that touched on a variety of topics, from fashion and animal rights to health, entrepreneurship, and food systems.
The event also provided a space for brands to showcase their products. Alternative meat protein manufacturers such as Wicked Kitchen, Tindle, Impossible Foods, and others shared samples throughout the summit. Attendees were also able to sample many new plant-based, sustainable, and animal-free foods and goods such as IMPACT for Life energy bars. Every IMPACT for Life purchase provides a vegan meal to a child in need, plants a tree, or feeds a rescued animal.
Highlights from the Summit
Two different stages hosted speaker panels all day long; it was sometimes hard to decide which ones to attend. Topics touched on fashion, animal rights, health, entrepreneurship, food, and cookbooks–lots of vegan cookbooks!
Some of the more memorable speakers included:
- Dr. Janel Gordon, MD offered some thought-provoking insights during her participation in the “Is Food as Medicine the Solution to the Healthcare Crisis?” panel.
- I learned some cool new things from Sylwia Spurek, Ph.D. Not only is she a member of the European Parliament, she’s also a vegan activist.
- Tracye Mcquirter, the brain behind 10 Million Black Vegan Women, was just awe-inspiring. What a powerhouse!
- And let’s not forget about my favorite cookbook author of the day—Joanne Molinaro, who you might know as The Korean Vegan. Awesome recipes!
The Power of Asking for Vegan Options: A Catalyst for Change
At the heart of the Vegan Women Summit, a recurring theme echoed across the panel discussions—the power of asking for vegan options. This simple act, often overlooked, holds immense potential to drive change in our society and our relationships with the environment and with animals.
Advocating for Sustainable Options
Asking for vegan options is more than just a personal dietary choice; it’s a statement of advocacy for sustainable living. The food we consume has a significant impact on our planet. The meat and dairy industries, for example, contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By choosing plant-based alternatives and encouraging others to do the same we can reduce our environmental footprint and promote a more sustainable food system.
The demand for vegan options also aligns with a commitment to healthier living. Plant-based diets are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are often lower in calories and saturated fat. By asking for vegan options, we’re not only choosing our health but are also influencing food establishments to offer more nutritious, plant-based meals. This can lead to a broader societal shift toward healthier eating habits and, eventually, improved overall public health.
Championing Animal Rights
At its core, the call for vegan options is a call for compassion and justice for animals. The meat, dairy, and egg industries often involve practices that are cruel to animals. By choosing vegan options and encouraging others to do the same, we’re advocating for a world where animals are not exploited for food. This is a powerful way to contribute to animal welfare and promote a more humane society.
The Ripple Effect of Demand
Every time we ask for vegan options we send a message to food providers, manufacturers, and policymakers. We show them that there is a growing demand for plant-based, sustainable, and cruelty-free food. This can lead to more vegan options being available in restaurants, supermarkets, and food trucks, making vegan food more accessible to everyone.
Moreover, our choices can inspire others to explore veganism. Friends, family members, and even strangers might be encouraged to try vegan options and start questioning their own food choices.
The Future of the Vegan Women Summit
The Vegan Women Summit is more than just an event; it’s a movement. It’s about creating an inclusive environment for women leaders and the next generation of women changemakers. It’s about professional development and empowering women of color in the vegan and plant-based lifestyle space.
The summit is a testament to the power of women in shaping the future of our food systems. With the continued support of industry leaders like Jennifer Stojkovic, the future of food is female.