Massive Crowds Gather to Celebrate Compassion at the Texas State Veggie Fair

Thousands of vegans, vegetarians, and veg-curious Texans descended upon scenic Reverchon Park in Dallas this past weekend for the third annual Texas State Veggie Fair. Cosponsored by MFA and hosted by, the Texas-sized celebration illustrated the growing popularity of compassionate, plant-based eating.

The Veggie Fair featured dozens of spirited exhibitors, live musical performances, games, and vegan face painting, but like any state fair, the big focus was on carnival foods.

This year's offerings included veggie corn dogs and fried vegan cinnamon rolls from Tough Cookie Bakery, BBQ seitan sandwiches from Spiral Diner, and vegan sloppy joes from Zombie's Food Truck. Other food vendors included Good Karma Kitchen, Holy Kombucha, and Upton's Naturals, who made it all the way down from Chicago.

Vegan cooking demos by "Blissful Chef," Christy Morgan, and internet sensation the Vegan Black Metal Chef awed fair-goers, but the highly acclaimed vegan fried food contest took center stage. The competition featured fried delights ranging from fried seitan "chicken" nuggets to fried PB&J to fried Reuben fritters. Judges James Johnston of Spiral Diner, University of North Texas dining director Ken Botts, and Rachael Abrams of CultureMap Dallas awarded fried Frito chili pie the "Most Creative" award and fried tiramisu cheesecake the "Best Tasting."

Attendees also got a chance to listen to inspiring speakers in the animal rights community, including Amber McDonald of The Kindness Collective and Erica Meier of Compassion Over Killing, who shared the stage with MFA's Texas campaign coordinator Nora Kramer on a panel discussion about ways we can all get active to help farmed animals.

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Photos courtesy of Sylvia Elzafon.