On 23rd February 2024, the Vegan Society Bangladesh organised their first Vegan Festival of Bangladesh, which, as has become a tradition in all vegan festivals in the world, included a variety of vegan food stalls, booths featuring sustainable fashion businesses, documentary screenings, and talks about veganism. The event took place at an apartment building called Shantibari, located in Lalmatia, a small residential area in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Wasfia Nazreen, the first mountaineer from Bangladesh to summit K2, the second-highest peak in the world, also joined the event virtually for a session, as she is vegan and an animal rights advocate. 

Samira Rahman, from Vegan Society Bangladesh, said to The Daily Star, “We wanted to portray the message that healthy and tasty food can be made without harming animals. More importantly, being that vegan food is plant-based, it is wise for people to know that it is also good for our health and environment.”

Jennifer Areefin, founder of Las Vegans, one of the vegan food stalls at the festival, said, “When I started my vegan journey, I had difficulties when going out to eat. There were not good options and so, it was back to plain choices. I took that experience to bring Las Vegans to life because I wanted to connect with other people with similar experiences.”

Sadia Afrin, Founder of Torus Zone, another of the food stalls, said, “Vegan cuisine has a wide range of tastes, depending on the ingredients and cooking techniques used. In contrast to vegetarian cuisine, vegan cuisine usually uses only plant-based components for flavour and texture, excluding animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs.”

As the organisers considered that The Vegan Festival 2024 was an overwhelming success, they are planning more events in the future to keep promoting the philosophy of veganism and the plant-based food that vegans eat. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.