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Vegan group set to meet up for Galway conference


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Vegan group set to meet up for Galway conference Vegan group set to meet up for Galway conference

Organisers of a vegan conference in Galway City in March have insisted that veganism – the act of abstaining from consuming animal products, particularly in diet – is not a threat to traditional farmers.

The Irish Vegan Gala is expecting more than 200 people to attend its celebration of all things vegan in the Western Hotel on Prospect Hill in the city on March 26.

The local group was set-up last April by Galway vegans “to advocate for veganism by showcasing local food and other producers including art, music, crafts in a relaxed social setting allowing vegans and not-as-yet-vegans to mix and interact”.

A not-for-profit group organised by local volunteers, it held its first gala last November at the Western Hotel.

That was described as a “modest success” by organiser, Knocknacarra resident Denis Nealis.

He said it provided an opportunity to plan more events for Galway and elsewhere.

Speakers already booked for the upcoming Galway event include food scientist Dr Camila Perussello; plant-based nutritionist Dr Ailis Brosnan; herbalist Dr Sepi Sefy; and Laura Broxson of National Animal Rights Association.

Mr Nealis insisted the gala did not pose a threat to Galway’s traditional farming community.

“Veganism is certainly not a threat to farmers or anyone else. It is in fact a philosophy and a movement for good in the world,” Mr Nealis said.

“We are also organising an evening event later this year where a vegan meal followed by a talk by James O’Donovan will be of particular interest to farmers. Already underway in the UK and USA are examples of farmers involved in diverse husbandry transition to other land uses including plant-farming for human consumption, renewable energy and re-wilding, including afforestation,” he said.

Mr Nealis said that Farmkind is a company in the USA who facilitate farmers’ transition, and similar opportunities will arise here too.

“Plans are underway to set up a company in Ireland to facilitate farmers’ transition. A move to a plant-based society would be a huge benefit to rural Ireland and revitalise it like never before,” added Mr Nealis.

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