The term vegan, which denotes using or consuming animal products in one's diet and lifestyle, based on the philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals, was first coined in 1944. In layman's terms, veganism is to refrain from consuming meat, dairy and any other products derived from an animal. Fifty years after veganism was first introduced to the world, the first Vegan Day took place on Nov. 1 and the annual celebration of this compassionate lifestyle has continued since then.
In Turkey, however, last year marked the first official celebration of this day in honor of veganism, a concept that is increasingly being adopted in Turkey and countries all over the world. Held by the Vegan & Vegetarian Association of Turkey (TVD), the event consisted of a full day program of panel speakers, stands, film screenings and more that took place at the Wyndham Grand Istanbul Kalamış Marina Hotel.
This year's event will be even bigger with an additional conference hall, a panel session with special guests, vegan food tastings, vegan art exhibitions, workshops, a documentary screening, product launches and stands and live music. The event will take place between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.Among the speakers at this year's event will be Didim Mayor Ahmet Deniz Atabay to discuss the efforts made to transform the small town of Didim into a vegan-friendly municipality.
This year, Didim held Turkey's first VegFest, a very successful two-day festival that took place in April. There will also be medical experts on hand to discuss the benefits of veganism such as thoracic surgery expert Dr.Suat Erus from Koç University. From Antalya, neurology specialist Dr.Timur Yılmaz will be discussing "We are what we eat!" The founder of Açık Radyo Ömer Madra will be discussing the environmental effects of veganism and actress and photographer Bennu Gerede, who now lives in Bali, Indonesia, will be sharing her story of veganism.
One of the most exciting additions to this year's event will be a live musical performance by vegan group Nirvan Bilirmul, whose relaxing music combines instruments such as the bendir, didgeridoo, mouth harp, santur and synthesizer. They will perform on Saturday at 6 p.m.
While the event is free, having an invitation is mandatory and obtained through filling out a form on the TVD website. Set to be bigger than ever, the 1,000 tickets allotted for this year's event have already been distributed, however, a limited number of additional invitations may be distributed so check out: www.tvd.org.tr to register.
Other events around Turkey taking place for Vegan Day
On Tuesday, Oct. 31 Mexican chef Erika Torres will be teaching a Vegan Love cooking course at the Turkish Culinary Academy in Ankara's Çankaya, where she will show how to make an avocado tahini salad, vegan chili con carne, and coconut walnut pancakes.
Yaşam Vegan Café;, İzmir's landmark vegan café; in Alsancak, will be hosting a Vegan Mexican Cuisine Workshop and Tasting on Saturday, Nov. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Then, on Nov. 12, their monthly Vegan Meeting series resumes, an opportunity to meet others devoted to the lifestyle and to share a vegan potluck type dinner, which takes place every first or second Sunday each month.
Cafe Beirut in Avcılar, Istanbul will be holding a Vegan Forum on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., where people can gather in a friendly and cozy environment to discuss the benefits and the methods on how to become vegan.
Healthy Living Trends Platform 2017
While this event may not necessarily be geared toward vegans, the Healthy Living Trends Platform 2017, which will take place at the Istanbul Congress Center in Harbiye from Oct. 26 to 28, will certainly have a wide range of interesting and unique products on display that could be of interest for anyone adopting a healthy lifestyle, including veganism.
Taking place from Thursday, Oct. 26 to Sunday, Oct. 28, there will be lectures, workshops and lots of stands with diverse products on nutrition, wellness, weight loss, child care, exercise, sleep health and textiles, anything for the sake of a healthier and happier lifestyle. Check out www.saglikliyasamtrendleriplatformu.com for more info.