Curious about the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?
By Katie Loudermilk
Florida Gulf Coast University’s VegFest, Eat for the Planet, is coming to campus Feb. 17.
“We hope this event has a lasting impact on the campus, and we hope it builds more support for these types of initiatives,” said Colby Brownell, president of the FGCU Vegan and Vegetarian Club.
The FGCU Vegan and Vegetarian Club and Mindful Living have partnered with FGCU Student Government and SWFL VegFest to educate, inform and inspire people about the possibilities of consuming a plant-based diet, while connecting to sustainability, environmental protection and climate change.
“The event exists to bring people together to have a serious discussion on these topics and give a safe, empowered place for students, faculty and staff to reconsider their choices and maybe decide to make a change,” Brownell said.
Several speakers and vendors will be participating in this educational experience.
Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Michael Klaper are two of the main speakers, and they have been part of the SWFL VegFest for the past few years. Both have spent their careers teaching the public about medicine practices and healthy alternatives when it comes to illnesses.
According to Brownell, Poke Fusion from University Village and Delicious Raw from Coconut Point will be bringing free food. Campus Dining will run a trail mix bar, the on-campus chef will do a cooking demo, and the nonprofit Hope Clubhouse will bring free food as well.
Quartz & Clover from downtown Fort Myers and Conscious Space, owned and operated by FGCU alumnus Cathy Shepardson, will sell sustainable products and inform people about the importance of waste.
Lotus Blossom Clinic will also be providing free massages and free Reiki energy healing for mental health. Fresh produce will be sold at the event as well.
“Our partnership with student government has brought us those additional vendors and additional marketing,” Brownell said.