Vegetarians, Vegans and Race Car Drivers

It’s not often that I find something that I want to go see or do in Charlotte. So, when I stumbled across an ad for Charlotte (N.C.) Vegfest, I knew I had to go. These days it’s easier to forage for food as a vegan, but festivals, especially in this part of the country don’t cater to my dietary issues. Let’s face it; I can’t even get a meal during Charlotte’s highly touted restaurant week, where highbrow restaurants offer special prix fixe menus.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect at Vegfest, after all, I do live in the South.

I headed over to Plaza Midwood, an area of town that I actually like a lot, but hardly ever visit. Yet, after every visit I say…I should really hang out here more often. The neighborhood has two vegetarian restaurants, vintage clothing stores, antique stores, a record store (yes, vinyl), bars, coffee shops, etc.

Vegfest was maybe a two-block span, but the vendors included some of my favorite stores and local food producers. Whole Foods, Earth Fare, be yoga, biodwell, rah-rah-Raw, Viva Raw, Novel Sweets, Tofurky, Juice Plus, Beverly’s Gourmet Foods, Zizi’s Restaurant, and a variety of pet, energy and recycling organizations.

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I noticed the raw food movement seems to be very popular in Charlotte. Not a massive festival, but a good turnout – comfortable to walk around and lines had a short wait.


I grabbed a tasty juice with beets and about four other veg/fruits that I can’t remember, and walked around in the 80-degree weather.  I was listening to one of the speakers, a doctor, when I overheard someone saying Leilani was speaking next. I figured there probably couldn’t be two Leilani’s in Charlotte, so I stuck around and I was right. Leilani Munter, my favorite race car driving environmental advocate was speaking. What’s not to like — she has a degree in biology, works with the team that produced the film “The Cove,” is a vegan, drives a fast car…


As a girl who once worked in NASCAR, I can appreciate how difficult it is to not only explain veganism, but to convince people to give up meat, even one day a week as she is attempting. For her it’s not only about health or not killing animals, it’s about reducing the carbon footprint. Basically, it was a nice surprise to run into her there.

Aside from dark chocolate, I’m not much of a fan of sweets — cakes, candy, etc., probably because of the dairy thing. Though I occasionally want a brownie or cookie, but on my way out I couldn’t resist Novel Sweets. Chocolate/Peanut Butter Cupcake — it was yummo!



Vegfest was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.



2 thoughts on “Vegetarians, Vegans and Race Car Drivers

  1. Sounds like a nice afternoon distraction and especially with the added treat of seeing someone you know from Nascar days. The cupcake looks yummy and especially pretty on your polish pottery plate…. love it!

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