Two years ago, by the time I learned about the first Vida Vegan Conference, it was already too late to sign up. I was living in Tokyo at the time–shortly after the “3-11” (Fukushima) disaster–and was feeling pretty uneasy.
I didn’t know how it would happen, but I was determined to make it to the next VVC bloggers conference, to be held 2 years later.
So as soon as the VVC2013 early-bird tickets became available, I bought one–not knowing where I would be, what I would be doing, or how I would wind up in Portland (a city I had long wanted to visit), May 22-26. I figured I could always sell the ticket, if I couldn’t make it somehow.
Yet, I feel so blessed I was able to attend the conference last week. It was magical being a student again. More importantly–from meeting and mingling with all the accomplished vegan bloggers–it awakened me to the need to put knowledge into action. I rediscovered my abilities and that I have a lot to share with others.
It was inspiring meeting with all the “big names” in the vegan world, many of whom were chefs, restaurateurs, authors, nutritionists, and animal rights activists before they were bloggers (or before blogs even existed). Most of them have a “real job” (or three) and families, too.
I met others who have recently begun blogging–who are still searching for ways to incorporate veganism into both their diets and livelihoods–and still others who are new to veganism or just vegan- or blog-curious. Several had traveled from the UK or Australia, as well as other countries. I really admire those couples who attended together, and support one another’s activities.
I have already begun to apply what I learned and suggestions from my new friends to improve my writing and food photography and to make my blog more useful and attractive to you, my readers. Reviewing several of the product samples received at the conference will be a new source of much content, as will more restaurant and book reviews.
Apologies to my readers that I have neglected to update vegandietguy.com more frequently. I have been traveling since leaving Japan in March ’12, and it is difficult for me to concentrate when I don’t know where I will be staying for very long. A reliable internet connection and electrical outlets are often harder to come by than I expected.
With limited access to a home kitchen, and since beginning training as a raw chef, I have also been eating increasingly simply. I have left my earlier recipes and links on this site because they helped me transition to where I am, and perhaps they will suit some of my readers, too. In short, my blog has been evolving, because I am, too.
I passionately believe that a whole foods plant-based diet is a gigantic step forward for omnivores and vegans alike for health, for animal welfare, and for the environment. I am also confident that the more unprocessed raw organic plant-based foods–predominantly vegetables–we eat the better.
On the other hand–whether “vegan” or not–processed foods containing added sugar (even if it’s called “evaporated cane juice”), genetically modified and artificial ingredients are no better than the equivalent animal-based products for our health.
I wouldn’t trade the security of a home base for the exciting experiences and beautiful people I’ve met in the past year. I needed to get out of the house more often, and not having a house helps! I encourage you to start making a change today–no matter how small it may seem.
May we all keep learning and forging ahead, in the direction of our dreams, and never give up!
I am incredibly grateful to the VVC organizers for their work organizing such an inspiring event. They promise the next VVC will be even bigger and better. I hope to see you all there!