The Seed: A Vegan Experience in New York City June 16 & 17

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VegFests—annual food festivals held to promote veganism, healthy lifestyles and animal rights—abound throughout the country and world. In New York City something a little different is going to take place this weekend. The Seed: A Vegan Experience will launch in trendy SoHo—at the even trendier, and stunning, 82Mercer. This unique conference center and event space host’s diverse happenings ranging from Major League Soccer events to the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival to Jason Wu and Nicole Miller fashion runway shows.

The Seed

The Seed, a new two-day vegan spectacular at the swanky SoHo venue, offering food, education, shopping, and the arts is for the vegan-curious, the vegan-skeptical, and the vegan choir.

How exactly did The Seed grow into such a hot-ticket event?

I sat down with the co-founders to learn more. Media personality Erin Red was born and raised in Toronto and relocated to New York City at the age of 18. After going vegan in 2006 and developing an overwhelming passion for the movement, she established a vegan blog in 2011 and soon after debuted Red Radio, her enlightening and entertaining weekly vegan podcast. Entrepreneur Harvey Fung has been an integral and innovative part of creating some NYC’s most alluring businesses and venues. With 82Mercer, he pays homage to 19th century architecture—details including cast iron columns, 14-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, brick archways, loft-style windows as well as an upper-level Penthouse with an encased glass atrium create an ideal place to hosts some of NYC’s premiere events.

JL: Why The Seed? What inspired you to do this event?

ER: Harvey and I co-founded the event after I invited him and a group of friends from our gym to see Forks Over Knives in the theatre, followed by an incredible vegan dinner. Months later, Harvey approached me about throwing a vegan event at his gorgeous event space in SoHo, 82Mercer, and of course I jumped on the opportunity. Our vision from the very beginning was to create an event like no other—not merely a trade show or conference, but a comprehensive event where vegans, omnivores, skeptics, and the vegan-curious could gather to revel in every aspect of a plant-based lifestyle.

HF: As a martial artist for more than 20 years, I've always been interested in living a healthy lifestyle and finding that balance in life. Muay Thai and The Wat have changed my life in more ways than one. Six years ago I met Erin Red at The Wat; I didn't know much about her except that she was vegan and had endless energy. As she mentioned, I was invited to watch Forks Over Knives and we grabbed a meal afterward. It was a conspiracy and I think the tasty fake duck had something to do with it.

JL: Is there a market for this type of event?

HF: Absolutely. If you look at Google trends and the search for the word "vegan" you'll see that there is steady growth and interest with a spike between 2010 and 2012.

ER: Without question. I sincerely feel we established The Seed at the perfect time. We are approaching a tipping point—"vegan" used to be a dirty word, and now it's proudly promoted, not just within niche communities but everywhere in mainstream media as well. Many celebrities and athletes are going vegan and speaking out on behalf of the lifestyle, and organizations like Mercy For Animals and Compassion Over Killing are doing amazing work to expose the realities of our current system. People are beginning to wake up.


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