By Melody Birkett
A vegan for six years, Clayton Kammerer understands what the community is seeking.
So he founded VegOut! The Vegan Beer and Food Festival, which comes to the Scottsdale Waterfront Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. More than 100 vendors will showcase the best plant-based alternatives found in Arizona.
“I think we’re able to bring a better offering than most other places,” Kammerer says. “We’re doing justice by the community, while allowing new people who are interested, who don’t know much, who are kind of “vegicurious” to enjoy our experience.”
The festival will feature tips and tricks from renowned speakers, music by local bands, and raw vegan cooking demonstrations. Vendors will be whip up cheese alternatives, some made out of cashews, as well as milk alternatives, such as flax milk. Vegan jerky, desserts, tacos and sticky buns are also on the menu.
“A lot of animal products are used in the processing of it, and it’s just not necessary,” Kammerer says. “There are better, cheaper and more humane, sustainable ways.”
Apparel companies will show off fashion alternatives to silk, leather and animal furs. Vegan skin care products will be featured, as well. All of the vendors are vetted for their commitment to the environment, animal welfare and the sustainability of the country’s economy. Attendees will most likely have the same values.
“They care about their environment, they care about their community, they care about their neighbors, they care about their bodies and what they put in it, they care about animals, the welfare of the planet, the welfare of the economy and so on,” he says.
“VegOut! festival is a “movement of compassionate human beings and people who care about plant-based foods, sustainability and conscious living. They want to exhibit nonviolence toward any living being. It’s not just about animal welfare, it’s about a general understanding of compassion about your neighbor, as well.”
VegOut! partnered with Local First Arizona to “keep as many of our dollars invested in this project going right back into the Arizona community,” he says.
Another priority is taking care of the exhibitors, speakers and attendees.
“It’s a trickle-down effect,” Kammerer explains. “If you take care of a small group of vendors first, make sure they’re all happy, they’re going to give the attendees a good experience, too.”