Orlando Tyson is a returning citizen who is also a vegetarian, and is excited about the upcoming DC VegFest coming to the District this weekend at University Yard at George Washington University (H Street, between 20th and 21st Streets, NW).
DC VegFest is the known as the largest vergetarian event in the Washington, D.C. area that is organized by two DC non-profits (the Vegetarian Society of DC and Compassion Over Killing). In the past, thousands of DC residents have turned out in support of it. Orlando is one of those people. The first 500 that attend will receive a commemorative bag filled with coupons, food items, and informative information about non-meat consumption.
“I’ve been going to VegFest for the last four years,” he said. Orlando became a vegetarian eight years ago, shortly after being released from prison. He said that he wanted to stop eating meat while incarcerated, but felt he coulsn’t do it effectively since he had low funds, and had to eat something.
“If you want to become a vegertarian while you’re in prison, you can,” he said as we sat at Starbucks on U Street, NW. “If you’re going to do it, you have to have the money to buy snacks and foods that the prison sells to make sure you have proper nutrition. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have somebody who works in the kitchen to sneak vegetables out for you.” Laughing he added, “There’s a real market, a real industry for something like that.”
When asked what he likes about the DC VegFest, Tyson said, “The DC VegFest is great because it has something for everybody; from the newbie to the veteran, from the vegetarian to the hardcore vegan, everybody can walk away with something – even the meat eaters…there are some great vegetables they can pick up along the way”
The event is held outside and give locals a chance to have face-to-face time with over 75 vendors and exhibitors. Attendees can try samples of different foods and recipes, cooking demos, and get information from some dynamic presenters and speakers.
Authors Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and Jonathan Balcombe, PhD will be on-hand, along with local NBC news anchor Wendy Rieger.
DC VegFest is metro accessible, and will take place from 11a to 6p.
Tyson says, “People shouldn’t have a hard time getting there because you can take the metro there. Get off at the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stop on the organge and blue lines. I’m going back, and am excited about the goodies I’ll be leaving with.”
NOTE: ASL Interpreters will also be on hand.