Arran’s first VegFest coming in March


Arran High School Lamlash, 10am to 5pm, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March 2020

We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to Arran’s first ever celebration of all things vegan and plant-based over the weekend of 14th and 15th March! Entry to both days is by voluntary donation (which includes seven talks, two films, live music and a myriad of interesting stalls) and so accessible to all. There will also be a great souvenir lucky programme on sale, and a raffle of some fantastic prizes, donated by our stallholders, sponsors and supporters.

We have a great line-up of speakers and films on both Saturday and Sunday, which we hope everyone will find interesting and inspiring. There will be an array of stalls, displaying and selling vegan and plant-based food, drinks and products and we hope that visitors will enjoy discovering (and sampling) some of the food vegans enjoy, as well as the other information presented by the stallholders.

You can hear Jules Lee and Keith Robertson (from the Arran based Scottish School of Herbal Medicine) talk about the Arran VegFest on the live Facebook broadcast of WHOA (What’s Happening on Arran) on Sunday 1st March.

Each morning at 08:30 am there will be a relaxing and revitalizing yoga session to set visitors and participants up for the day ahead with Ute (Yoga Arran) at Kinneil in Lamlash. Spaces are limited and so please contact Ute in advance if you would like to book a place (

On Saturday evening (and indeed throughout the weekend) there will be a great three course vegan menu on offer at the PHT. Contact us at if you would like to book a place for the communal meal with the speakers at 7pm on Saturday evening (a chance to have those burning questions answered and discussed in a social setting). There will be live music afterwards for those who would like to stay on.

The last event in the High School theatre on Sunday afternoon, after the screening of “The Game Changers” will be a Q & A Discussion Panel, hosted by vegan Triathlete Dave Sheahan, with a number of our speakers and so everyone will have a chance to ask questions about issues arising from the film or anything else that they have heard throughout the weekend.

The weekend will be rounded off with a relaxing and fun Vegan Pub Quiz (with proceeds going to the SSPCA) at the PHT on Sunday at 7:30pm. (So pay attention to the information given out by the speakers and on the stalls over the weekend to win a bottle of vegan wine for your team!)


1. Environment
We all know there’s a climate crisis. The Amazon’s being burned. Biodiversity is dangerously depleted. You can’t turn the TV on without hearing about it. David Attenborough has told us. A sixteen year old Swedish girl has told the UN (Greta Thunberg is a vegan by the way) and the UN has told the world. But is anybody listening?

Should we all stop eating meat? The politicians won’t say we should. All Michael Gove can say is “some people have adopted a plant based diet and fair play to them.”

Fact: Animal agriculture is responsible for most greenhouse gasses, more than all transportation put together. So what do you think? Would it make a difference to our planet’s survival? Whether it’s the silver bullet or not, the evidence shows that going vegan is the best thing we can do individually to help our planet.

2. Health
Cut out cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It’s even been shown that heart disease can be reversed with a whole food plant based diet. You can get all your protein, vitamins and nutrients from fruit and vegetables. According to the British Dietetic Association there’s no biological requirement for us to eat other animals at any stage of our lives. Humans simply don’t need meat – we didn’t evolve to eat flesh. And we now know that meat, especially red meat, is bad for us. But did you know that drinking cow’s milk actually depletes a body’s calcium? The meat and dairy industries would have us believe otherwise. But is that just clever marketing? Is veganism all propaganda dished up by radicals with an agenda? Or is it worth us giving plant based nutrition a try? We hope Arran VegFest will give you some evidence to consider this weekend.

3. Animals
Animals are able to perceive, feel, and experience pain and happiness just as we do. Production of food and clothing using animal products causes them to suffer in innumerable ways. If you have a pet you know they’re intelligent beings. But did you ever stop to wonder why we in the UK eat cows, pigs and sheep but not cats and dogs? We get upset when we read about dog meat markets in some Asian countries, but somehow manage to rationalise the annual slaughter of over 70 billion land animals*, and many more sea creatures, just to feed humans.
We simply don’t need to do this.

What exactly is a Vegan?
The term “Vegan” was coined in 1944 when a group of vegetarians who didn’t eat dairy products, eggs or cheese, and didn’t wear animal skins, decided there was a need to better define themselves.

According to The Vegan Society: Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. Compassion to all beings is the underlying theme!


Dr Laura Freeman, GP, Certified Lifestyle Medicine
Physician & Plant Based Health Professional
Originally from Glasgow, Laura recently returned to Scotland with her family after spending nearly eight years working as a Family Doctor in Toronto, Canada.
Dr Laura Freeman is leading two new Lifestyle Medicine clinics in Edinburgh and Glasgow. She has recently been featured in The Herald for launching Scotland’s first scientifically proven Lifestyle Intervention solution ‘CHIP’ (the Complete Health Improvement Program). Dr Laura Freeman holds a strong interest for plant based nutrition and optimising health through lifestyle choices. Her focus is putting her passion in Lifestyle Medicine into practice for her patients and watching the incredible success of their lifestyle interventions.

Barbara Bolton, Go Vegan Scotland
Go Vegan Scotland is a grass-roots, vegan, volunteer group, working to promote veganism in Scotland through advocacy, education and information sharing. Barbara is one of the founders of Go Vegan Scotland, as well as being in house legal counsel for Go Vegan World.

Keith Robertson

Keith Robertson, Founder of The Scottish School of Herbal Medicine
Keith Robertson MSc, is a Fellow of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, recognised for his services to herbal education. He is a much respected pioneer of professional herbal training. In 1992 Keith established the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. A correspondence pre-course and apprenticeship programme is now run from his herb farm in Arran, which researches herbal medicines and vegan organic growing techniques.

Nicola Dee Kelly, BSC MNIMH
Nicola received her degree in Herbal Medicine from the College of Phytotherapy in East Sussex and the University of Wales in 2004. She ran The Clinic of Natural Medicine in South West Wales for 13 years. Now based on the Isle of Arran as a tutor for the Home Help Correspondence Course in Herbal Medicine, she also runs Vegan Cookery classes alongside her Herbal Medicine workshops.

Dave Sheahan, Go Vegan Grow
Dave is a plant based vegan triathlete, High Performance Coach and Founder of “Go Vegan Grow” working with individuals and corporations in achieving sustained high performance and realising their full potential. Adopting and following a wholefood plant based lifestyle forms a major part of all of Dave´s coaching programs. Dave is currently working to qualify to compete in the Kona Hawaii Ironman 2021.

Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd UK is a registered marine conservation charity whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife around the UK’s coastline and across the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd UK uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities committed against marine wildlife and habitats.

Animal Rebellion
Animal Rebellion is an animal and climate justice movement with the stated aim of using nonviolent civil disobedience to compel government action towards a plant-based food system. Their justification for the introduction of such a system is the impact of animal agriculture on climate change, species extinction and ecosystem breakdown.

Laura Silverstone, Singer Songwriter
Imagine the lovechild of the primal folk growlings of Bruce Springsteen and the wit and energy of Alanis Morissette. Now imagine her better, with 80s rock curls and guitar work that could smash paprika, probably. Laura Silverstone combines modern folk textures with classic rock touches, creating her own distinct musical blend. This, together with the force of her soulful vocals and powerful stage presence, has made her a must-see live act.

STALLS (in no particular order)

Catchacarrot Vegan popup
Vegan Tipples
Vegan Paella

Food & Beverages 
Bute Island Foods
Arran Simply Thai
Very Vegan Treats
Cooperative Paella
The Sly Fox (Rawsmary desserts)
Green Grow Foods
Everything Chilli
Springhill Tempeh
The Co-Op
Left Coast Culture
Arran Gin
Vegan Tipples
Alternative Stores

Go Vegan Scotland
Breagha Holistic Massage
Sea Shepherd
Animals Asia
Scottish Herbal Medicine School
Arran Cats Protection
Karebell Designs
Eco Savvy
Arran Wax Company
Veelow Clothing
Natures Soapbox




The Game Changers
Presented by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton, Novak Djokovic and Chris Paul, The Game Changers is a revolutionary film about meat, protein and strength. The 2018 documentary focuses on the benefits of plant-based eating for athletes. It covers multiple success stories of plant-based athletes, references scientific studies, and touches on other arguments for plant-based diets that extend to non-athletes.

73 Cows
This 2018 documentary won the BAFTA Award for Best Short Film at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards. Jay Wilde grew up around cattle farming, though faced reservations about the ethics of raising cows for food. When he inherited the 173 acre Bradley Nook farm from his father in 2011, he moved from dairy farming to organic beef production, believing this to be less harmful to the cows. In summer 2017, after meeting with The Vegan Society, he and his wife Katja gave most of their herd to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary and took up vegan organic farming, with plans to develop a range of affiliated businesses, such as a restaurant, a cookery school, and a shop; the remaining members of the herd stayed at Bradley Nook as “pets”.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Bute Island Foods, The CoOp, VegFund, Caledonian MacBrayne, North Ayrshire Ventures Trust and Stonewater House Vegan B&B, everyone who provided prizes for the raffle and lucky programme, all our supporters and everyone who’s helped make this event happen. Special thanks to Gregor at Ferghan Mhor Vegan B & B in Sannox for creating and managing the website, and to Lamlash Events Ltd for their support.


Interested in finding out more? Here are some great resources: Since 2014 more than half a million people have been inspired to try veganism with a 30 day pledge. Find tons of recipes and a wealth of information and not just for January. The mission of proveg is to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by the year 2040. is a great place to find vegan recipe books, including The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. This book will tell you how to make your favourite dishes without using meat or dairy.

Arran Vegan Group There are more than a few of us on Arran and we’re more than willing to give you all the help and encouragement we can. We get together to eat at different places and watch informative documentaries from time to time. Contact Carol and Jules Lee at or call us 01770 601259.